When to switch from growers to layers pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by albodean, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    71
    4
    34
    Sep 27, 2016
    Hi All,

    My 3 Light Sussex hens are all aged between 18 and 20 weeks. I am currently feeding them growers pellets. None have yet started laying and not sure whether they will start before next spring as we are almost in winter.

    Should I wait before they start laying before introducing the layers pellets or should I start when they reach a certain age?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Alex

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,844
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  3. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,253
    734
    201
    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Yeah I would wait, put out oyster shell on the side and continue to feed till gone. Switch to non medicated start & grow till they lay.
    You may not get eggs till spring in the northern hemisphere. GC
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,983
    4,251
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    You don't actually ever have to feed layer pellets. It is only for actively laying birds. And if you free range or like to give your girls lots of treats, a higher protein feed like grower is a much better choice. Just keep some oyster shell out for them.
     
  5. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    71
    4
    34
    Sep 27, 2016
    Thanks for this, I'll have a read through.

    Thank you. There is oyster shell included in the grit I put out for them but to be honest, I've never really seen them touch it.

    Thank you. They only free range for around 2 hours a day while I am in the field with them. I'm abit wary of letting them free range all of the time as the local farmers keep cats to deal with rats etc. and there is also a fox that has been known to come out during the day. Most of the time they are in a secure run on a section of the field around 175 sq ft so not sure if this counts as free ranging?
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,983
    4,251
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    If you do choose to feed layer, once they are laying, you have to be careful about any extras you give them. This includes foraging time outside of the run. Layer feed is usually only about 16% protein. It's barely enough to support egg production. Treats and extras water down that protein content and you end up with birds that can become protein deficient. That's when you run into feather picking and egg eating problems. If you are fine with strictly limiting any extras to only about 10% of the total daily intake, go ahead and feed layer. If you want to spoil and pamper your flock a bit more, stick with a higher protein feed like grower to offset any lower protein treats.
     
  7. this was very helpful thank you! I've been very confused about the difference between feeding layer, grower with oyster shell offered, and then giving treats like scratch, and table scraps!
     
  8. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    71
    4
    34
    Sep 27, 2016

    Thanks a lot for this. This may be a dumb question, but why do people feed their hens layers pellets if growers pellets are better for them?
     
  9. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,718
    18,034
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Not sure that I agree with some of the comments about layers feed. However, a lot of members provide growers and optional oyster shell as this allows them to rear flocks of multiple ages (and genders) without having to divide parts of the flock into those that are egg-laying, and those that are not. Kinda "one feed fits all" idea.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I agree with CT Ken......
    This is how I feed all My Birds from 18 weeks till a year old...Works for me..I never have sick birds from a nutritional stand point...

    I feed Grower crumble/Layer pellets at a 50/50 ratio with oyster shell and granite grit in a separate bowl....Treats at 5% of daily ration which means about a tablespoon each a day....I feed treats to my Birds once or twice a week....I feed the grower to add more protein so I do not get feather pecking or eating....

    Cheers!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by