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integrating chicks to older flock/what to feed

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have 3 four month old pullets who should start laying any time now who I have started on layer feed.  First question: is it ok for them to have layer feed if they aren't laying?

 

Second question: I have baby chicks about 2 weeks old who will be integrated into the flock in a couple of weeks.  I want them to be on starter ration but I will have them in the same coop as the older hens.  Keeping layer feed out of reach is not an option as one of my 3 older girls is a bantam.  

 

Should I have them all on starter crumbles until the small ones are older?  

 

If so, how long is the layer feed good for (I have it in a rubbermade tote with lid) or will it still be good in the spring when they are all laying?

 

Also need advice on how to integrate other chickens into the flock.  The bantam is in a temporary coop where the others can see/smell her (they were pecking her pretty badly when she was out with them 2 days ago).  I want to know this so the little ones can be integrated as soon as they are able to be outside permanently.

1 chihuahua, a cat, 4 chickens (so far...), and 5 runner ducks

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1 chihuahua, a cat, 4 chickens (so far...), and 5 runner ducks

Reply
post #2 of 4

Layer feed is for actively laying hens only. If you have any birds that are not currently laying, do not feed layer. The excess calcium will build up in their kidneys and it will eventually kill them.

A good choice for flocks with birds of different ages or with roosters is a grower, all flock, or flock raiser type feed and supplement the laying hens with crushed oyster shell.

post #3 of 4

When integrating young birds into an established flock, you need to take it slow. It's best to have a look-but-don't-touch period, so they can all get to know each other safely. The younger birds need to be big enough to handle getting picked on, and fast enough to get away from the older ones. Lots of space and places for the smaller ones helps, too.

Many people find that their large fowl will not tolerate bantams, and end up having to keep them separate.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Seems like they're OK. Banty is part of the flock now. Thanks!

1 chihuahua, a cat, 4 chickens (so far...), and 5 runner ducks

Reply

1 chihuahua, a cat, 4 chickens (so far...), and 5 runner ducks

Reply
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