When to start feeding layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Wfpendragon, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Wfpendragon

    Wfpendragon Chirping

    Mar 13, 2016
    Our pullets just turned 17 and 16 weeks old yesterday, I heard mixed advice on when to start feeding layer food, some feed bags say starting at 16 weeks, others say 18 weeks, and still others say wait till you see the first egg. Right now they are eating All Flock feed pellets and no oyster shell on the side because I heard feeding it too early can cause health problems. I was wondering if I should switch them to layer ration once the current bag of All flock is finished, or if I should continue feeding it until they all hit point of lay and just add oyster shell on the side when I get my first egg. :)

  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    Hi! Continuing with your current feed and offering oyster shell on the side when you get the first egg is the way to go. Then once they're all laying, they can transition to layer feed. Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Crowing

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Personally at 5 months I mix 1/2 chick to 1/2 layer for a month. Then at 6 months onto straight layer feed.
  4. Jasonp7007

    Jasonp7007 In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2016
    Somerville Texas
    Hi. Not trying to piggy back on this thread, but I have a coop of mixed aged birds. Some are 6-7 weeks old, and others should start laying here soon. Is it ok to feed them all the same thing, like the starter/grower and then change to the laying feed? I also have guineas in the mix.I just want to make sure they are all getting the proper feed.

  5. Yes, starter grower is fine, just offer a side of oyster shells for those that are laying and need the extra calcium...

    The guineas could benefit from a higher protein game bird type feed or additional protein supplements but it's not absolutely necessary...
  6. Jasonp7007

    Jasonp7007 In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2016
    Somerville Texas
    Meep, Thank You SOOOOO Much!!!! I actually just finished reading another thread (sorry about over asking this question) but it seems like everyone almost does something different. It can be really difficult to a new person like myself to know if I am doing something correct. I really really do appreciate your feedback.

  7. There is no single right way, chicken keeping isn't black and white...

    With that said the reason to hold off on layer is scientifically supported, excess calcium in growing birds and non-laying bird can cause health issues, some serious and even fatal in extreme cases...

    It's dirt cheap insurance to simply avoid layer feed in mixed flocks and eliminate the excess calcium concerns or potential problems... Chicken are well aware of their calcium needs and will seek out extra calcium as needed, but they have no real way to expel excess calcium beyond egg laying if it's forced upon them as a component of their feed...
    Cryss and AllynTal like this.

  8. Cryss

    Cryss Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Northwest New Jersey
    Thank you. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I will be getting 2 young pullets at about the time my 3 girls will begin laying. I found this thread through the sesrch and this answer makes the most sense to me.
    I love BYC:love

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