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Feeding 14 week chicks & laying hens - need advice!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
We have 4 laying hens that have been living in a makeshift coop for the past year but we built a large coop and purchased 19 chicks (12weeks ago) to fill out or flock. The hens are free-ranging during the day on out 25 acres. The chicks have been living in a pen that I built as a future brooding pen. Well, the big coop will be ready for move-in today but I'm not sure how to handle the feeding since the chicks are still on chick starter and the hens get Purina Layena Crumbles to supplement their free ranging.

I'm going to move the chicks to the big coop today and I'm going to keep them confined for another 2 weeks before I give them their first taste of freedom. I was hoping to move the hens to the coop at that time; but I'm not sure about feeding. Obviously, there's no way to get the hens to eat from one feeder and the chicks from another, inside the same coop. So, should I keep the hens and the chicks in the two separate coops, with their respective feeds in their coops, and just allow them to interact during the day during their free time? OR, would it be 'OK' to mix the chicks and hens and feed the (then) 14-week chicks Layena Crumbles, even though it's a month early? OR, let them all (even the hens) feed on the starter-grower feed for 4 weeks?

Kinda uncertain here. Sure could use some advice!
post #2 of 2
Just feed the chick grower. Keep egg or oyster shells available until you switch back could layer.
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