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When to start laying feed?/

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Rugger0430, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Rugger0430

    Rugger0430 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2010
    Pittsburgh
    My Hen's will be 18 weeks Dec 26th, right now im running low on there grower feed, and was wondering if it's safe to start them on Laying feed a few weeks early?
    Of just keep them on there normal feed until the 26th?
    Thanks...
     
  2. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    personally,i would keep them on grower and free will oyster shell until they started to lay.they wont take the shell until they need it so no harm in the extra calcium.
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I usually start mine on layer at about week 19-20
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    So they're 14 weeks now? It's too early, I agree. Calcium is rough on organs if not being used to make eggs. Around when they hit 18 or 19 weeks I'd probably put out oyster shell separately but I wouldn't start the layer then. When you do start it you can mix the two for a week or longer, to transition them. You know, they will start when they're ready; layer will make no difference in it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2010
  5. Rugger0430

    Rugger0430 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2010
    Pittsburgh
    Thank you all for your advice, I will Defiantly wait till there 18+ weeks to change there feed.
    This has to be the best forum out there..[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    When you get the first eggs you can start blending in layer feed into their grower until the grower is all used up.

    Chickens do not know or care about how many weeks old they are. All they care about is when their bodies tell them it's time to start laying eggs. You may get them as early as eighteen weeks or given the time of year you may not see the first hen fruit until after the first of the year. No need to load them up on calcium before they need it.
     
  7. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is grower feed a commercially sold feed like from Purina perhaps? I was told by the feed store to feed Medicated Start and Grow (Purina) until 18 weeks, then switch to layer feed. But, I just read Purina's website and it says the medicated is only for 8 weeks! So I'm assuming I'd better switch feed now (they are 14.5 weeks old). Is the regular Purina Start and Grow (non-medicated) considered as a 'grower' feed? Or is there some type of intermediate feed from Purina strictly called 'grower'?
    Or, what is the best recommendation of a feed to get for them for the next 3+ weeks?
    Thanks
     
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    You can feed the medicated Start & Grow until they lay their first eggs then slowly blend in layer ration until the starter is all gone. The medication in the Purina feed is not an anti-biotic but a coccidistat that will cause no harm.

    But if it really bothers you and you can't find an unmedicated grower you could move the birds over to the Purina Flock Raiser after the birds hit ten weeks or so. It's a non-medicated general purpose ration with a 20% protein content. At that protein level you'll be able to feed moderate amount of treats if you're inclined without messing up their nutritional intake.

    Much depends on what you can find locally. The extension service recommends feeding starter then transitioning to grower then to finisher and finally layer feed when the birds begin to lay. The only problem is that in many areas it's hard to find a straight grower feed and even harder to find a finisher feed. Purina Start & Grow as the name implies is both a starter and a grower feed and can be used as such.
     

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