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When to feed Layer Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by BirdsandBunnies, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. BirdsandBunnies

    BirdsandBunnies New Egg

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    Feb 23, 2017
    Hi, I have a question. I have 4 Wyandottes and 4 Rhode Island Reds. I know that my Wyandotte's have just started laying in the past 2 days. We have gotten 4 eggs in 2 days so I am not 100% sure if all 4 of my Wyandotte's are laying or just some of them. The Reds will lay soon. Should we just go ahead and get layer feed since some are laying... or wait a little while until we are sure most, if not all are laying?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If they are all the same age, I would go ahead and transition to layer now. This time of year they tend to all kick in at the same time. If it were autumn, my advice would be different.
    You can get a bag of layer feed and mix half and half till the grower feed is gone.

    I also advise, when in doubt, read the feed bag. It always has feeding instructions.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BirdsandBunnies

    BirdsandBunnies New Egg

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    Feb 23, 2017
    Thanks for your advice! Just curious, why would it be different if it were autumn? We are obviously very new to the chicken game! We have raised our 8 since babies so this has been a very egg-citing process [​IMG]
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't ever NEED to feed layer. In many cases, it's not an appropriate choice. If, for example, you feed treats regularly, layer feed may not have enough protein in it for your flock. Your layers just need a source of calcium, which is easily provided via crushed oyster shell.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Because the signal to reproduce comes to all animals when day length increases vis a vis length of the dark period.
    Laying tends to shut down as days get shorter. Birds approaching point of lay in autumn usually take longer to start and some delay till after the winter solstice. If your birds reach 20 weeks in august or later, there may be quite a bit of difference when they start laying. In effect some may be getting layer feed and yet not lay for another 4 or 5 months which is a long time to get 4% calcium when not building egg shells.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  6. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Birds need to fatten up for the winter. Many switch feeds to supplement the Autumn season as the spring/supper foods become scarce. Bugs, worms, seed, grasses, etc.

    Layer- I always try to start feeding layer rations before the birds start laying as they need the additional nutrients and calcium in their food to help with egg production. If not in their feeds/diet, then they have to suck the calcium and other nutrients from their body which is not good for their health.


    thats my take on it anyway.

    The layer ration I use is 21% protein.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  7. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]........

    I put mine on layer feed as soon as we started getting eggs. Some got layer before they laid, some got it after. This year I introduced new pullets to the flock and I switched to All Flock feed. When the pullets start laying, they'll go back on layer feed. I don't offer much in the way of scraps or treats and my birds don't get to free range regularly. That will change this summer but we haven't had the setup to do it up to this point. We always have oyster shell available.

    You'll get a lot of opinions on this topic. I did what seemed logical to me and what I was comfortable with.
     

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