When to switch to laying feed: so much conflicting advice!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bawkbawkbawk, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there any straightforward answer to the question?

    I've been looking through old threads on the subject and I've seen everything from switching them over to laying feed at 14 weeks to the claim that laying feed should absolutely not be given until you see an egg.

    Yet many people seem to switch over automatically around 16 weeks and others at 20 weeks.

    Mine are 20 weeks old today and not yet laying. I just used the last of our starter - should I go back and buy more or is it okay to give them the laying feed?

    And what about oyster shell? Will it hurt them to give it to them before they actually lay? Someone suggested it could cause them to be eggbound.
  2. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Tuttle, Oklahoma
    Storey's guide to raising Chickens says at 20 weeks to begin layer feed. No way would I buy more grower feed for 20 week olds. They may take a couple of days to get used to the switch. They will eat it when they get hungry.

    Another way is read the back of the bag of feed and see what they recomend. Right now I am using purina flock raiser and oyster shell supplement cause I have 12 week olds in with the layers.

    I always have mine on layer feed by 20 weeks with no problems.

    The book also says calcium is needed and it varies on how much depending on age, diet and state of health.

    I don't always give mine oyster shell but the book says to give it to them in a seperate feeder and they will eat what they need.

    I think most pullets get egg bound because it is new to their body and they have a very large egg.

    I have several books and I think Storey's has the most info. in it. I find it very helpful.
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    At 20 weeks, you can switch them, no problem.. Another problem with putting them on layer too early is it is lower in protein they need for growth. Also, I have heard that the calcium can cause problems in the kidneys of the youngsters.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I used the last of my bag of stater/grower around 18 weeks and just went ahead and switched over to layer. I started putting a dish of oyster shell in the coop shortly after when a couple of them got really red combs and looked like they were getting ready to lay. At 20 weeks I would certainly just go with layer mash.
  5. chickylady

    chickylady Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2008
    grand rapids
    At 20 weeks I switched to layer pellets and within a few weeks I got eggs! I have had no problems since. They do not need any medicated stuff, just layer pellets.

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