When to switch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Minefalls, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Minefalls

    Minefalls Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I am a newbie to chickens, I have 4 Buff's that are 20 weeks old now. They are on grower feed now, and wondering when I should switch to layer feed? I have enough grower for a few weeks and I think for the past 2 weeks they have been moulting as seeing a lot of feathers around. Am I looking at them maybe not laying until spring as the winter is coming? How long does moulting last?
    They free range about 1 hour, 3 times a week as I like to be out with them (nervous new Mom here), giving them some scratch grain at night as we are starting to get in the high 30's at night, along with treats-they love bread the most so far.
    Thanks
     
  2. Minefalls

    Minefalls Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Anyone out there?
     
  3. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    upstate New York
    You should be able to use up your Grower, then switch to Layer and oyster shells. If they suddenly take a big interest in the nesting boxes, and their combs and wattles turn bright red, it's a sign that they're getting ready to lay. I'd have a bag of layer on hand just in case (you'll need it anyway eventually). Sounds like they have a good diet and are spoiled rotten (as they should be!)[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  4. Minefalls

    Minefalls Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Thank You so much!! I did notice the 2 larger girls combs are getting a little red and the other 2 still pink and was wondering if the pink girls might be sick so thanks so much for explaining that!
    I have had them for a month now and just love them, they are great. Now I just call them and they come running, and they just love to follow me around, checking out what I am doing.
    Nothing beats a chicken running to you from across the yard!
     
  5. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Get some layer feed and start mixing it 50/50 with what is left of the grower.

    Since this is their first year, they will probably start laying even with winter coming on.
     
  6. mosier

    mosier Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2007
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I have a similar question about changing feed. Yesterday one of my three gals started to lay (@ 20 weeks)....by looking at the redness of their combs and just plain size I think the other two still might be a few weeks before they start. Should I:

    1.) Keep feeding them all starter/grower like normal
    2.) Feed them starter/grower but add free choice oyster shell
    3.) Feed them 50/50 (starter/grower mixed with layer feed)
    4.) Feed them 50/50 (starter/grower mixed with layer feed) and also have free choice oyster shell
    5.) Feed them layer feed
    5) Feed them layer feed with free choice oyster shell

    I am new at this. I want all my birds to be healthy and my Rhode Island Red to keep producing eggs. Any suggestions?
     
  7. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 5, 2007
    upstate New York
    Put out grower, layer and oyster shell if you still have grower. If not layer is fine. They'll nibble each other's food but get enough of their own that their needs will be met.
     

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