Adding to Flock....need help PLEASE

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Pine Roost, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Pine Roost

    Pine Roost Chirping

    Aug 16, 2012
    South Carolina
    I currently have a flock of 9.....1 RIR roo, 5 RIR hens, 3 bantams...all of which are around 30 weeks old and laying. I have them eating laying pellets, and also feed them scraps and a cup of corn scratch each day. I just bought a Brinsea incubator and am going to brood some when the weather warms up. I know that chicks can't eat laying pellets, but don't have room to expand coop to separate the smaller chicks (once they are born). Could someone please advise on how I should mix them in? Should I feed a flock maintainer with oyster shell free-choice, once the chicks leave the brooder and are put in the main coop/run???

    Please give me some advise. Thanks in advance.

  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    It is never a good idea to put chicks in with older birds. Even at around 5 weeks old they are much to small. The risk of serious injury and even death is high. That is why most people have a grow out pen for young birds. That way they are kept safe until they are about the same size as the older birds, around 15 weeks or so, as well as the fact that it gives the older birds plenty of time to get used to seeing them around before they are put together. When integration is done this way pecking order scuffles are often very minor. This is especially so with small flocks who can't help but notice newbies in the flock.

    If you have absolutely no place to raise babies other then in with the older birds I would strongly suggest waiting on hatching them until you can make a place to put them.

    As far as feeding a mixed flock of layers and non layers.... yes, you can feed a flock raiser/all flock type feed with oyster shell on the side.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    First, you'll need either a huge ol brooder or a grow out pen. Chicks under four months tend to be killed when introduced to grown hens.

    What do you plan to do with the roosters you hatch out? Do you have a seperate place to house them, or enough room to grow them out? Enough space to keep your big roo from killing them and to keep the hens from getting hassled too much?

    As for feed, I'd change off layer feed and as you said, just go to a grower/ all in one type feed and offer oyster shell on the side. I don't want my roosters having the calcium, plus I usually have non-laying birds of different ages so don't want calcium in the feed.

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