I keep a mixed age layer flock - in my coop right now I have 33 weeks, 29 weeks and 20 week olds. Now of course I also have 4 week old chicks and 3 day old chicks to add to the flock.
I use MannaPro Chick Starter medicated in the inside brooder for birth to 4 or 6 weeks of age depending on outside weather. I move them to the outside brooder and they get Purina Grower Starter medicated crumbles from until they are 16+ weeks in one feed dish on the ground under the coop and in one inside the coop tucked under the manure box. I feedly offer Purina Layena with Omega 3 Pellets for the 16+ week olds in a hanging feeder that is high enough that they have to be old enough to reach it. The taller younger chicks have tasted, but won't keep eating the layer feed. I have noticed the chicks will start eating the oyster shell and layer feed around 17 weeks old as they start to approach point of lay. The ones who don't eat it aren't ready to lay yet.
You can choose to feed them all the same feed - like a grower or a flockraiser - and eliminate the need for multiple feeders. But it's been my experience that they will choose the right feed for themselves. I also like offering the different feeding stations so I have more confidence everyone is getting some nutrition and no one is hogging it all :)
Originally Posted by countrygirl5
I was wondering how ya'll feed the baby chicks when they are in the coop with the other hens? Don't they need the starter food for the first two months? How do you get them what they need w/out the other hens eating it all? Or do you keep them seperate till they're old enough to eat the same food as the hens? I plan to put the mamma and her chicks in a converted chicken tractor that will sit right next to the run during the day so the flock gets used to them w/out them being in danger, but there's no grass there right now for them to forage so I'll be able to put their food and water in there for them, but do I continue to do that for 2 mos. and then introduce them into the flock?