When to switch to layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shakecc, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. shakecc

    shakecc Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2008
    Central OH
    I have (7) 8 week of chicks. Currently they are eating free choice medicated chick starter and water. They free range in our yard about a hour a day. These are our first chickens and I am trying to figure out what is the best nutrition plan. I have a few questions:

    1) At what age should they switch to a layer feed?
    2 If/when do they need to have grit added to their diet?
    3) What other things (I have seen mention of oyster shells) should be included and when to include them?

    Thanks...you guys are the best!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They are already getting grit if they freerange, but they do need it since they're probably eating grass, etc, so you could offer them some if you dont think there are enough pebbles, etc, for them to get from your yard. You can switch to layer when you get the first egg or if they are over 18 weeks old. You can offer oyster shell if they are already producing eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I switch to layer feed as soon as I got my first egg. I had a little leftover starter/grower that I mixed in with the layer and have never had a problem with their eating. I know some people just switched but I thought that mixing the last little bit would be ok and they are doing just fine.

    Quote:I started them on chick grit when they were a couple of weeks old. I started giving them oyseter shells also when they started laying.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  4. shakecc

    shakecc Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2008
    Central OH
    One additional question...should the grit be mixed into their food or is it offered seperately?
     
  5. wickedfreshchickens

    wickedfreshchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Pa
    Check the layer feed...some Im hearing now has the grit and or oyster in it.
    We give ours all separately.
     
  6. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was told to switch them at 18 weeks by the people at our feed store.

    Sonja
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I switched the from the starter/grower to layer feed when they layed their first egg. I buy the grit separately and I smash the oyser shells myself. I give it to them in side dishes near their feed and they have free choice and eat what they want or need. I had a couple of soft eggs, when they first started laying. I ate them. [​IMG]
     

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