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12 Week Old Chicks-Feeding Question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

this weekend i put my 6-12 week old chicks with the rest of my hens. i have two separate feeders in the coup, one with starter feed and one with laying pellets. my 1-yr old hens are eating the starter.
do my chicks need the starter food or can they start eating the laying pellets?

34 hens, 1 German Shepard, 1 miniature dachshund, 1 Corgi and 3 cats
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34 hens, 1 German Shepard, 1 miniature dachshund, 1 Corgi and 3 cats
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post #2 of 7

at 12 weeks they need a grower, not starter, layer may just get them laying to early

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

i will get the grower feed today, how do i get them to only eat the grower and keep the older hens away from the grower feed?

34 hens, 1 German Shepard, 1 miniature dachshund, 1 Corgi and 3 cats
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34 hens, 1 German Shepard, 1 miniature dachshund, 1 Corgi and 3 cats
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post #4 of 7

At 12 weeks they should still be on a starter or a grower feed.  They shouldn't be switched to layer until they actually are laying.  I keep they younger ones seperate until they are actually laying and then begin intergrating them.   I have the same problem with my layers.  It's like the grass is always greener.....They jump the fence (it's only two feet so it's more like a hop) into the fatties pen and eat the broiler/grower.  Then they go over to the 13 week old pen and do the same.  From there they make their way over to the baby pen........then they eat out of each others houses.  In between they eat bugs grass or anything they can beg or steal off of us.  I don't worry about the older girls, but I don't allow the young ones to eat the older girls food.  There is way to much calcium in the layer mix for their young kidneys.  All my chicks can get out of their fencing as we like them to start learning how to get around, but they have to get back in so we don't use very tall fencing.  Hence the short hops for my older girls.

post #5 of 7

You really need to not let 6-12 week old chicks eat layer feed--the extra calcium is not good for them and their is not enough protein.  However, your hens can eat grower feed or flock raiser with a dish of oyster shell available for calcium--the ones who need it will eat it.  When the yound ones are over 20 weeks or laying, you canswitch to layer, but a lot of people who have mixed flocks and frequently chicks, just use flock raiser.  It's good for chicks, roos, layers, and other types of poultry.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim2448 

this weekend i put my 6-12 week old chicks with the rest of my hens. i have two separate feeders in the coup, one with starter feed and one with laying pellets. my 1-yr old hens are eating the starter.
do my chicks need the starter food or can they start eating the laying pellets?


Personally, I never put chicks that young in with older birds. I wait until the young pullets are 20 weeks before working them in with the older birds. I do this for several reasons:

1. Fights: birds that young just can't hold their own against a full grown hen.
2. Health: if the older birds have ever experienced any type of health issues (this will eventually happen if you keep your chickens long enough) then the young pullets need to be older to withstand the onslaught of microbes.

As to feed:

I feed 20% chick starter until the birds are 12 weeks. From 12-14 weeks I feed 1/2 chick starter mixed with 1/2 14%-16%. AT 15 or 16 weeks, I change the food to 14-16% and feed that the remainder of their lives.

NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
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NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
Reply
post #7 of 7

I feed my whole flock either grower or flock raiser.  Oyster shell is available separately.  Works for all ages.

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9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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