When to switch her to layer...and how

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DixieChickie, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. DixieChickie

    DixieChickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    VA
    Okay I have a seperate coop for my cochins (and a couple of other bantams), Everyone is together except for my 6 and 7 week olds, they are still seperated. The youngest that is loose in there is 10 or 11 weeks. The oldest is my blue pullet she's around 16ish weeks of age.....and she's doing the "egg stomp", when my RedStars started doing that they started laying very soon afterwards. So when should I switch Blue Jeans over to layer...now? Also being she's in with a mixed age group how should I go about feeding her Layer food? There are 3 that fly up to the upper most reaches of the coop to roost and explore, she's one of them...the other 2 are @ an 11 week old and a 13 week old. If I put food up where she can fly up and get it, will it hurt the other 2 girls, if they eat it too? I don't want to split them up and then have to reintroduce later on when the others are older.

    Also my Frizzle, Rizz, is in there he's @ 13-14 weeks.....I have seen him mount Blue Jeans.......is it possible for her first eggs to be fertile already? Can Rizz already be fertile?
     
  2. mljohnson05

    mljohnson05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Missouri
    The chicks will eat what they need, so seeing that they are not to far from same age, they should be fine. I would put her food where she likes to be the most....Don't stop the old food all at once though...start mixing the new food into her feeder and over a week or so wing out all of the starter/grower.

    Also since you have younger ones in there....Leave their starter/grower out where they eat so that they can continue to eat the starter/grower.



    Hope this made sense....[​IMG]

    Best Wishes,
    Laura
     
  3. begbfg

    begbfg Barnyard Beckie

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    Feb 11, 2011
    Roxboro, NC
    Quote:I've never heard of the egg stomp, but I'm fairly new to this. What does it look like? My girls are 14 weeks old.
     
  4. DixieChickie

    DixieChickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    VA
    I don't know what it's actually called....I call it the egg stomp because eggs soon follow. If my redstars stop laying for whatever reason, they don't stomp anymore. My cochin pullet doesn't stop like my stars do. But if I walk up they hunker down lightly hold wings away from their body (my redstars stomp real fast) if I touch their backs afterwards they fluff up and shake. Basically what I read is its how they would submit to a roo. So the behavior means they're ready to start laying soon.
     
  5. begbfg

    begbfg Barnyard Beckie

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    Feb 11, 2011
    Roxboro, NC
    Quote:Thank you, DixieChickie! I guess my girls aren't quite ready yet. My boys keep trying to mount them but they raise cain and run away. It's funny to watch sometimes![​IMG]
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You'll usually find that referred to as the "squat" on here. Not that "stomp" is wrong or "squat" is right, just trying to help with communication. And I agree, I also find it's the best indicator that laying is about to start.

    My flock varies in age from about one month to four years, and my chicks grow up with the flock (and broodies) from day one. I stopped feeding layer entirely several months ago, so the young ones wouldn't get too much calcium -- actually I don't believe layer is so good for my roos, either. I found if I feed a grower or flock raiser and offer oyster shell separately, the chicks leave the oyster shell alone and the egg shells stay nice and hard.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Growing chicks should not have access to Layer. The extra calcium it is bad for growing chicks. It can cause bone deformation or kidney damage. It is not that they drop dead or turn into Frankenstein after the first bite, but a steady diet over time can cause serious problems. Any of them will eat any of the food.

    When I have young chicks with the flock with a broody, I put special feeders down low where they can get to them while I also leave the big feeder in there. My adults seem to think anything I put out for the chicks is a special treat, even if it is the same feed as they have in the main feeder. I've had very young chicks fly up to the big girl feeder and stand in it so they could eat that feed. I know of no way to keep the chicks out of the big girl feed.

    When I have a mixed age flock, I keep Starter or Grower out available to all of them and offer oyster shell on the side. I do not feed any Layer. That way they all get the nutrition they need and the ones that need the extra calcium for the egg shells get it from the oyster shell.

    Can the rooster be fertile at that age? Yes, it is possible, even likely. It is a little unusual for a hen or pullet to let a rooster that age mount her. They usually prefer a more mature rooster. But I have had a 15 week old rooster that mature hens allowed to mate with them. Not many but a few.
     

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