When to start on layer pellets.

GC-Raptor

Crowing
Jul 26, 2016
4,652
7,478
481
Connecticut, USA
Will pullets intake more oysters shells as needed by nature than roos if I give them regular chicken feed? Or just go with layer feed and and roos are fine with it?
From what I've read, Roosters fed a Layers feed after 18 weeks old don't succumb to excess Calcium till around 3 years old if they are predisposed.
Most Roosters that free range will die to a predator defending his flock by the age of two.

If I fed a Layers feed my rooster would get the same.

I lost two hens this year, one in March and the other in June while free ranging to a Fox or Bobcat an hour before sunset. They were 19 and 22 months old.
That said, if you keep your chickens in a predator proof pen, your rooster could live well past 3 years if fed a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower or All-Flock feed, but would probably be less fertile than a younger roo. GC
 
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U_Stormcrow

Songster
Jun 7, 2020
1,182
2,374
236
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Yes, you can absolutely feed your whole mixed flock, of whatever ages, All Flock/Flock Raiser with a side of Oyster Shell which the layers will free choice from, when they need it. Use of the oyster shell will go up in spring when they start laying as the days go longer, and taper off in winter as they get short once again.
 

ToniaM

Chirping
Aug 19, 2020
59
115
73
Yes, you can absolutely feed your whole mixed flock, of whatever ages, All Flock/Flock Raiser with a side of Oyster Shell which the layers will free choice from, when they need it. Use of the oyster shell will go up in spring when they start laying as the days go longer, and taper off in winter as they get short once again.
Thanks so much for replying. I’ve read so many mixed opinions and I do see where this approach makes sense!!
 

U_Stormcrow

Songster
Jun 7, 2020
1,182
2,374
236
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Thanks so much for replying. I’ve read so many mixed opinions and I do see where this approach makes sense!!
Honestly, its lazy - but we home hobbyists with small flocks by and large don't have the time, space, etc to keep mixed flocks apart, maintain differing (fresh) foods for them, and feed them separately. Its slightly more expensive than specialized feed for solely egg laying birds when they are actually laying - we are paying for convenience - but most of us aren't in this for the money, and in the quantities most use, the differences don't account for much in total each year.

Obviously, if you have a couple hundred laying birds, a different sort of economics applies.
 

ToniaM

Chirping
Aug 19, 2020
59
115
73
Honestly, its lazy - but we home hobbyists with small flocks by and large don't have the time, space, etc to keep mixed flocks apart, maintain differing (fresh) foods for them, and feed them separately. Its slightly more expensive than specialized feed for solely egg laying birds when they are actually laying - we are paying for convenience - but most of us aren't in this for the money, and in the quantities most use, the differences don't account for much in total each year.

Obviously, if you have a couple hundred laying birds, a different sort of economics applies.
It’s been a bit of a pain trying to keep them from each other’s food when they are free ranging and the gate to the run is open with that being the only way in and out. So we have been counting down the days/weeks thinking we could mix them with the same food at 20 wks from things I’ve read in the past.
Our son had to go out of state to work so... his chickens have become ours, more or less. Two coops on each end of the run. And Now I don’t have to chase them out of each other’s food when they sneak back in the run to steal it!! Bought the flock feed today. It’s a dollar or two more a bag but well worth me not worrying and chicken chasing half the day 😂
Thanks again!
 

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