12-week olds with hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sheila, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    Sort of similar to another question. I have the younger birds in with the hens, 25 of each age. They are getting along fine and the setup is such that the younger birds are better off.

    I have two hanging feeders, one for the hens, and one for the girls, with grower pellets. Their is in their old area from which I've removed the door.

    The younger birds like to eat from the layer feeder but still go into their old area, so I'm just going to keep two kinds of food for another month or so. They are free range, so will have more to eat soon.

    I removed the oyster shell, as I heard the young birds shouldn't have it. My question is: When would it be safe to return it so that the hens have access to it? Is 16 weeks too early? Should I wait till I see those tiny first eggs?

  2. soctippy

    soctippy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    in general young chickens are not recomended to be fed layer mix untill they lay their first egg. younger chickens need the higher protein and calories that the grower mix provides. they also do not need as much calcium as the layer mix has.
  3. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    are you feeding the grit for the grains?

    also be sure and set the oyster shell where the hens can get it
    THEY really do need oyster shel as if not the gg shells start to take out of the hens bones the calcium they need to make shells for eggs
    you can put the chick crumbles over in the area where the chicks came from as there may be "bossy" old hens and some of the chicks will start to be kept from their feed
    I would not quit feeding the chicks their criumbles
    maybe make it so the old hens can't get under the fence for the crumbles for chicks
    any way that would be how I would do it
    you have two different kinds od chickens to feed

    You must think of the chicks needs in higher protein
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    Thanks for the replies. They all have grit.

    They all have access to outside but the younger ones hang around the door, so I put oyster shell further out where only the hens get it. Then I took everything out of the youngsters' area that might attract the hens, including a couple of too-cozy places to lay, so that the hens wouldn't be as likely to go there and discourage the youngster from eating their own food.

    The younger ones grew really fast. Some of the larger ones are nearly as big as some of the smaller hens.

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