when to....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mommyoftwo, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. mommyoftwo

    mommyoftwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 19-20 week pullets. One has started to lay, and I only have about a week of two of starter feed left. I also have a rooster. Can I switch them to a layer feed? Which isbetter layer crumble or layer pellets? When to give them extra calcium? What should I give them...and how to feed it? Which kind of feeder
     
  2. chicksak

    chicksak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are in the same boat so this is what I learned this afternoon from our feed store. Bear in mind that when I went in we hadn't had an egg yet, so will be double checking my info tomorrow.

    Oyster shell for calcium, can be mixed in with the food as well as put into a feeder of our choice for the birds to take as they want.

    crumble or pellets will be the choice of your chickens. Mine love the crushed down bits of their food so I will end up going with crumble.

    As far as switching to layer food, I was told to wait until all the girls were laying as layer food for non laying hens could be bad for them and to supplement with oyster shell and BOSS for the extra protein. With the additions of food, it will allow you to finish up any non layer food that is left.

    Hope this helps. If I hear anything different tomorrow I will post it, unless someone else posts differently fist.
     
  3. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crumble and pellets are the same feed only in different forms. The mill my feed comes from only makes pellets and then they crush them for crumbles. Crumbles are designed to be feed with mechanical feeders in large operations where they move the feed with screw conveyors. Pellets are mostly designed for the Home Back Yard Chicken owner and are easer to feed and create less waste.

    You can use any type feeder you like, there are many to choose from. I have used a version of nearly everything out there over the years and now I'm currently building my own from PVC pipe and like them better than any I have ever bought.

    Oyster shell should be in a separate feeder or container and offered to the birds free choice. For some reason they know when they need to add it to their diet and they will get some when they need it. I use an open container screwed to the side of the coop and yes it gets wet but that doesn't matter with oyster shell and doesn't hurt it at all. I just give it a little stir every now and then and make sure there is plenty in the pan.

    You can switch your birds to layer the next time you buy feed and it is fine to give it to the rooster. You will seldom see him eat but he does or how else would he get that big. When you give your birds treats the rooster will mostly just stand aside and wait on all the girls to eat before he gets a little for himself. Its the same way with all the feed, he won't eat when your out there because he is keeping an eye on his flock and not interested in eating.
     
  4. Irishhenman

    Irishhenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say you should start mixing the feed together now since you only have 2 weeks of grower feed left. Chickens don't like sudden changes in their diet. I would mix about I part layers pellets to 9 parts growers pellets to start off with and ad another part layers and reduce one part growers every two or three days. A lot of people say that layers are bad for growing chickens but they are not really in small amounts and it will not make much of a difference at all. I have had growers from 10 weeks that have thrived on layers pallets and whole wheat.

    Calcium in the form of oyster shell grit should be given as soon as all the hens are laying. I give it to my hens in a separate feeder and they take it when they want.

    If you want to give your hens access to food 24/7 give them their feed in feeders that you can buy usually plastic any type would be fine. If you are going to give them a fixed ration like 100g of feed a hen each day you can give them their food in a shallow bucket of an old frying pan would be perfect.

    I give my birds layers pellets mixed with whole wheat and some flaked maize (corn). Layers pellets are not as wasteful as crumbles.
     
  5. chicksak

    chicksak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 50 lb bag of layer pellets and two of my 4 girls are laying. Besides oyster shell, which they get, what can I mix with the food to supplement it so I don't have to go buy layer feed?
    Thank
     
  6. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Did you might happen by chance to mean that you had a 50 lb bag of starter grower feed? Because if you have a 50 lb bag of layer pellets then you don't have to add anything to it have layer feed. If you are concerned about the 2 birds that are not laying yet eating the layer feed then just wait to add oyster shell as a supplement until they all are laying. When you do offer oyster shell don't mix it with their layer pellets, offer it to them in a separate container and they will eat it when they need it, they know when they need the extra calcium.

    Basically what I'm saying is Layer Pellets are Layer Feed. I think you mixed up you words or thoughts somehow, please clarify.
     
  7. chicksak

    chicksak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oops, I have 50lbs of grower feed. They get oyster shell in a separate dish to take as they wish. Just not sure what else the two layers are missing by not being on layer feed.
    Thanks
     
  8. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good, I'm glad we got that straightened out. I don't know all the ingredients but most starter grower is medicated and the laying hens don't need the medication. So it might be something needs to come out of the starter grower not something being added. Hopefully someone with more knowledge of that will jump in and help you.

    LoneOak
     
  9. chicksak

    chicksak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LoneOak,
    They are not on chick starter, which can be medicated put puller grower, the next step in the feeding cycle from what I have been told. Thanks for the help.
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some starters are medicated. By the time they are old enough to go to grower they no longer need the medication to prevent cocloious, as they should have built up immunity to it. So growers are not medicated. Most starter/growers are not medicated on the assumption that they will be on it till layer or finisher for meat birds. Now there is no difference between growers and layers, but the calcium. The protein levels can vary, but even some mills will make different percent protein growers and layers for people who want a higher or lower protein feed. If you are supplementing the calcium you don't have to go to layer. When I have a broody with chicks in the flock I will feed a grower with a calcium supplement.
     

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