6-8 week old chicks with Laying Hens

noitulover

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
780
2
141
Central Virginia
We hadn't intended to put our chicks out with the big girls so early, but it just happened! The chicks were big enough to go outside, so we were keeping them separate from our big pullets, but they just decided that they wanted to free range with the flock and roost with them at night! I couldn't say no to that...

however, I am trying to get them to keep eating chick grower! The fact that they now share a coop makes that slightly more difficult... I am trying to separate them as often as I can to feed them a wet mash of chick grower, but they're still eating the layer food and of course, whatever they find free-ranging.

The whole flock is a different age, so feeding has become somewhat varied. We feed them all a mix of grower/finish and layer ration, as well as whatever they get free ranging about 5 hours a day and free-ranging in their run for the rest of the day. We only have one hen that is currently laying. The others are about two weeks to a month away (at the most)! I didn't want to put oyster for the layer, as it might hurt the littlest chicks (6-8 weeks), and the layer doesn't seem affected, as all of her shells are hard and she lays regularly. However, when the rest of the girls start laying, I will want to put in a little oyster shell for free choice.

Will I injure my 6-8 week old chicks? One of which, is a rooster I might add. They will be 8-10 weeks when this happens.

Thanks!
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
I have read on here that people feed all of them a grower or flock raiser ration, then offer oyster shell separately, which supposedly the younger ones won't eat. I know toe extra calcium in layer is supposed to be harmful to younger chicks, but don't know how old they need to be before this is not a problem for them.

Hope others will chime in here as I'd like to know, too.
 

noitulover

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
780
2
141
Central Virginia
yeah, i'm assuming the grower/layer mix is okay, as all the birds look healthy! (and spend most of their time eating bugs/weeds anyway)

i just really don't want to do any damage with the oyster shell!

anyone else?
 

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