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Author Topic: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets  (Read 29980 times)

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2012, 03:18:16 pm »
So why EXACTLY just out of interest do you ONLY feed it when there inlay? Not wanting to provoke you just curious and am not narrow minded enough to think there's only one way of doing everything  :)

There is up to 4% calcium in layers pellets along with additives to push birds into laying more eggs.

A bird not in lay needs at the most 1% calcium the rest going to the kidneys and liver and causing liver damage.

I never feed layers or growers pellets, as there is absolutely no need to do so if your birds have free range.
All mash and pellets are convieniance feed for poultry. Chemicals that your feeding to produce eggs that you eat.

I might start a petition against pellets for poultry :eyelashes:

But each to thier own, but please be aware of the facts before advising other people to follow your example
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2012, 03:54:57 pm »
But surely as the eggs develop they need the extra calcium aswell not just after?  :thinking:
Also if there free ranging ( which mine do also) how do you stop them getting to much calcium from natural sources?
And finally just to tip you over the edge   :eyelashes: if it causes so much damage then why are my chucks so healthy and live long productive lives?  :love:

Just to add that my hens are all fed layers and wheat mixed in the morning only, maybe it would affect them more if they were penned with ad lib feed?
My layers contains 4.3% calcium.

Was only advising as it works fine for me and others by the sounds of it



deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 06:34:44 pm »
you only need to  micro manage if you have a problem ie soft shells, i agree with castle farm, theres no need for layers with free range.

WarescotFarm

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 07:01:47 pm »
It's all like the 'how to best bring up a child debate'

I think there are many shades of grey (no reference to that awful book) and we all find our own way that works with our own setup.

I am a nutritionist by trade and what I would recommend someone to eat for the 'correct healthy diet' would be great for us but if you fed it to an eskimo, chinese person etc... it would have a very different effect.

We all have our own little ecosystems and routines in place. I think it is good to get advice from others and make our own way and learn from our mistakes (and wear a bullet proof vest for forums)

Chickens and most of our livestock survived very well before us humans got involved  :eyelashes:
Miniature Falabella, Pygmy Goat, 2 Glouster Old Spots, 1 Long Island Red, 1 Light Sussex, 1 Dark Sussex, 1 Silkie, 1 Magpie Duck and hopefully some more chicks and ducklings due to hatch soon!

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 07:05:52 pm »
If I bought a POL pullet I would put her straight onto layers pellets. I always thought you put them onto layers as you thought they were approaching laying their first egg ...... as their body is getting ready for laying and thus needed the nutrients/ minerals etc. from layers pellets.


I must admit that if my growers were 14 wks old I wouldn't buy another bag of growers if I thought that they wouldn't finish it ...... especially if they were free ranging and given some grain as part of their diet.


A neighbour of mine, raises her chicks under broodies and they get no special food .... just the mixed grain fed to the adults. The mum picks out the small pieces for them and it is lovely to watch. Not saying its the correct way but even this seems to work .... healthy chicks and hens. ;D

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2012, 08:16:16 pm »
Calcium overload
Dangers of giving chickens too much calcium
source: Darold Stenson
 

Calcium is important for bones, teeth, and growth, and helps with muscle contraction and blood clotting. Laying hens need calcium supplements, but too much calcium can cause problems, and even kill chickens, through kidney failure. The process is slow, and birds may not become ill for some years. Affected birds may lay fewer eggs, then become less active, and may also limp
Too much calcium in the feed is one cause. Breeder feeds have higher calcium levels than maintenance feeds, and should only be fed during the breeding and laying season, not all year round.. Causes also include feeding crushed oyster shell all year, instead of stone grit, to help with digestion. Chickens should have access to grit all the time, and only be given oyster shell a month or so prior to starting to lay, with the oyster shell withdrawn at the end of the laying season. Breeder feeds, with their higher calcium levels, are designed to boost egg production, and reducing calcium levels may affect production, so chicken keepers may also need to think about whether their birds should have more natural lives, with lower calcium levels, and laying fewer eggs.
 CH,HD
 
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 09:30:56 pm »
Cheers for that, very interesting  :thumbsup: great to hear how different people feed, guess that's what so good about a forum.

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2012, 11:23:40 am »
Calcium overload
Dangers of giving chickens too much calcium
source: Darold Stenson
 The process is slow, and birds may not become ill for some years. eggs, 
 CH,HD
So in practical terms quite irrelevant then.

graham-j

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Canterbury Kent
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2012, 12:11:06 pm »
Hi, nowadays I don't feed layers pellets until as near as I can to point of lay and would recommend others do the same.It is not alway possible to keep pullets on growers pellets much past 16 to 18 weeks,as not every body has the space to keep adult birds away from the main flock.
For years I didn't even know growers pellets existed,I have raised chicks under broody's,from hatch on crushed layers pellets,and they have lived for 9 or 10 years.
I always wonder when I hear this argument what about cockerels they eat layers pellets and don't lay any eggs at all,is the calcium used up in seaman production I dough it.
What would you sagest bachelor cockerels are feed on do you keep them on growers,affect dose the higher protein levels in growers pellets have on older of lay birds or cockerels.

Graham.
Graham.

SouthMains

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2012, 09:40:43 am »
I never feed layers or growers pellets, as there is absolutely no need to do so if your birds have free range.
All mash and pellets are convieniance feed for poultry. Chemicals that your feeding to produce eggs that you eat.


Can you give some details of what you feed you chickens, we have ours free ranging but still give them layers pellets and some mixed corn..What do you feed your on?

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2012, 12:16:23 am »
Just to revisit an old topic but one that's still puzzling me. as a novice poultry keeper If layers are so bad if they're not in lay, won't they harm cockerels? Why do cockerels not get stones from too much calcium?

And more relevantly to me. I have geese, ducks and chickens in the same (big) run so they have access to the same food. I have chicken layers in a feeder that I think only the chickens use (harder for the ducks and geese to get to) but I have waterfowl growers in a big bowl which I know the chickens are just as happy helping themselves to. Given that none of the hens has yet laid an egg (they're about 26 weeks and pure breed Orpingtons so it could take a while), is it a problem if they're eating waterfowl growers? What's the difference between waterfowl and chicken feed?

And even more questions:

- My ducks are actually a mature pair so they're not really 'growers' but nor is she laying at this time of year. What do most duck owners feed when they're not laying?
- I'm hoping to breed from both the ducks and geese next year (although they won't be sitting - I'm hoping to use a surrogate hen), is it worth moving them onto breeders and if so, when?
- And what happens about chicken breeders? Is it common to switch over to breeders even if only some are laying for hatching?

Oh, so complex. I'm also giving them lots of grains at the moment because I thought it might help them fatten up and keep warm but is this OK?

Thanks,

Hester

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2012, 06:09:38 am »
Hi Hester. The bag of growers usually states putting the pullets onto layers 18 weeks onwards. That's based on hybrids laying at 21 weeks. I advise staying on growers until the first egg. The 3% calcium in layers is to replace the bone calcium lost producing the eggs, as I read recently they get egg shell calcium directly from their bones and then replace it via their diet. Growers has 1% calcium.


Cockerels are not affected apparently, because at that age their system can tolerate the excess. Layers pellets are fatal to chicks leading to rapid kidney failure. A broody with chicks should eat the same crumb as them. She will be very run down after sitting and needs the high protein diet. Our solitary cockerels are fed growers. The risk to chicks diminishes as they get older, so by 18 weeks they would have no issues with the high calcium levels in layers.

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2012, 02:34:11 pm »
I reckon the most important element of a chickens diet is fresh ground.  I use growers for the vulnerable period, then get them onto layers asap.  Fat or big hens won't lay.
 
I tend to use what is available and cheap.  At the moment they are on pig meal and started laying like the clappers  :excited:.  I make sure they have very good housing, additional protection from the elements and a large very green area to roam.  I have had chickens for years and have started to simplify things in the last twelve months, keeping to these basic ideas.  I can honestly say that my current set of chickens are really doing very very well.

I use growers for meat birds.  You want them to build up and this is the only way of doing it.  I add corn in for the last few weeks to get a good roasting bird.

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: weaning off growers and starting on layers pellets
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2012, 09:05:21 am »
After reading previous threads, I decided to change to a mixed grain diet (morning and evening) for all my birds (Castle farm recipe, 2 parts wheat, 1 part cut maize and 1 part rolled barley. The cod-liver oil is added to the wheat and mixed in by hand, just enough to coat the grains. I then add the cut maize and mix again and then the rolled barley. - http://castlefarmeggs.co.uk/?page_id=108  ).  Ive some ex batts, some April hatched Light sussex and Marans which are just coming into lay, and a separate pen of Late May hatched 'chicks'.  They all get access to poutlry grit (and do eat it, surprisingly) and freerange all day over a large area.  They are looking great and laying well and even better, our first cockrel tasted GREAT (which was a change from last year).  Well happy that I know exactly what they are eating now and therefore what I am eating and selling ;D .  I think it works out a tiny bit cheaper too.

 

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