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when to switch to layer food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by marlowmanor, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. marlowmanor

    marlowmanor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2011
    My flock is 13 weeks old. Right now they are on chick starter food. When should I switch over to layer food? If I remember right 19-20weeks is about the usual time frame for most hens to start laying. I figure my RIRs will follow that time line but my EEs will probably take longer from what I have heard. We don't go through food quickly and I wanted to know if when we buy food in about a month if we should buy the layer and go ahead and get them started on that.
  2. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    We started ours at about 16 weeks. You could either start in a few weeks or wait until they begin to lay.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you buy food once a month, I'd wait one more cycle but buy some oyster shells to give them. But I wouldn't buy medicated feed.

    I would feel perfectly comfortable feeding layer at 5 months. I have fed it earlier than that even, years ago and nothing bad happened that I could tell, but be aware it has too much calcium for their kidneys if they aren't laying.

    So you can actually just give them oyster shells and they will be fine, with flock raiser or grower (unmedicated if some of them are laying). You might want to switch to grower.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  4. marlowmanor

    marlowmanor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2011
    I'll look into the grower and oyster shell when we go to the feed store again. I assume oyster shell won't hurt roosters if they eat it.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:All the chickens will peck at the oyster shell and eat a little of it, but not in quantities that will harm them (including roos). Generally it is better to have the protein percentage decreasing a little for the teenager stage they go through so they don't develop too fast and have reproductive problems according to what I have read on BYC, is why I said grower would probably be better than starter at the just-before-laying age.

    If you want me to find the thread I can look, just let me know (and hopefully I could find it again, lol).
  6. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We started ours on layer at about 18 weeks. They were on starter until about 15 weeks and then multi-flock for one bag.
  7. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 18, 2011
    the girl at our feed store said that 'layer blend' is over priced and that 'high fat' food is just as good for them (and added benifit of being able to feed the high fat to my bunnies)

    my question is have yall had any experience with high fat?
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

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