Winter feed for pullets?

AntiqueB

Chirping
Aug 27, 2020
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Bergen County, NJ
I have 3 pullets (Easter Egger, Buff Orpington, and Speckled Sussex) that will be 18 weeks old on December 7th. According to the starter/grower I have them on, they are due to change to layer feed around that time. I am not planning on having artificial light in the coop, and I live in North NJ. Should I switch them to layer feed, even if I doubt they'll be laying eggs until spring? I never had chickens before, but I am thoroughly enjoying them! Thanks for any advice.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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NY Southern Tier
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I have 3 pullets (Easter Egger, Buff Orpington, and Speckled Sussex) that will be 18 weeks old on December 7th. According to the starter/grower I have them on, they are due to change to layer feed around that time. I am not planning on having artificial light in the coop, and I live in North NJ. Should I switch them to layer feed, even if I doubt they'll be laying eggs until spring? I never had chickens before, but I am thoroughly enjoying them! Thanks for any advice.
Keep them on the Starter for life and just put out containers of oyster shell.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
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If they eat it, which most layers will, that is all they need.
Sometimes there is an issue but not often.
Once laying commences, they'll need more than the 1% calcium in most feeds to replace that which they are using building shells.
 

rayrose

Chirping
Apr 17, 2020
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Columbia, SC
My Coop
I'm a newbie also, but everything I read from the seed companies, is that you can't keep them on starter/grower for life. You have to switch them to either All Flock with separate oyster shell, or Layer Feed.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
I'm a newbie also, but everything I read from the seed companies, is that you can't keep them on starter/grower for life. You have to switch them to either All Flock with separate oyster shell, or Layer Feed.
I don't disagree with that advice. IMO, starter is a bit high in protein for fully grown birds.
That is a point of disagreement on this site where many opt for high protein for birds their entire lives.
 

Wee Farmer Sarah

Crossing the Road
Oct 8, 2018
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North Central Massachusetts
I switch from chick starter to all flock with oyster shell on the side. Non laying birds do not need the extra calcium in the layer feed and it can cause some problems. The all flock has a higher protein content then layer feed and is good especially in winter when fresh bugs are not as plentiful to add a little extra protein.
 

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