Feeding hens and roosters together?
- Monkey Lookout
Probably the best way to do it is to provide them all with growers food and then have crushed oyster shell as an option (i.e. in a separate food container) - that way, the girls will eat the oyster shell if they feel a need for calcium but your cockerel won't touch it. For now though, all your chickens are fine wth growers food and your pullets will only need the optional oyster shell once they begin to lay.
All the best
CT is correct.
A lot of people freak out about making sure that the females get different feed from the males or that the males waste the feed and they don't really need it....blah blah blah. There's really not much you can do to feed them different feeds. Not a big deal. You will just have a super healthy, nice looking rooster from eating 'female intended' feed. It certainly wont hurt the male at all!
Ideally the males and females should be fed separately. They don't have the same nutritional requirements when they are adults. The biggest concern is going to be the extra calcium in laying hen fed is not needed by the rooster. If the rooster is eating laying hen feed, this can lead to kidney damage, failure and, ultimately, his death. You can continue to provide the grower feed to all the chickens and provide supplemental oyster shell for the ladies, but this is not going to provide you with a high level of egg production. You can try placing a feeder that is elevated higher for the rooster's feed. He will be bigger than your hens so only he should be able to reach it. This would allow to you offer two feeds to meet the requirements of both of your birds.