Age differences/ nutritional needs - help

BusyBearMama

Songster
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
712
29
128
New York State
I put my 8 week old birds loose in with my laying hens. I realized that the hens are eating layer crumble and oyster shell and yummy produce and things like that and these guys are on grower crumble and they get chick grit and occasionally other things... How do I make sure everyone is getting what they need? I put grower and grit and produce bits out and lots of oyster shell up where it don't think they pullets can get to it... What's the best way to do this so that the laying birds get the calcium they need and the chicks don't get too much and not enough of other things? They really like being together, my month old chicks are penned with them but separate so their feeding is not at issue... Advice would be appreciated. I'm sure this is a fairly common question.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,042
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Simplest approach to feeding a mixed flock (one I use myself, as a matter of fact) is to feed a grower ration to all birds and provide the oyster shell in a separate container for the actively laying birds. You don't have to worry too much about putting it out of reach, etc. as the young birds may peck at it once or twice to see what it is but don't really seem to care for it and leave it alone until their body tells them to take it in.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,990
37,600
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southern Michigan
I agree, although I have had layer pellets in a feeder higher off the floor, with separate oyster shell, and a third ground level feeder with Flock Raiser for the young birds. Mary
 

BusyBearMama

Songster
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
712
29
128
New York State
Thank you both so much for responding, I had this sudden 'wait will they be ok?!' Feeling come over me & it sounds like you all are doing a very similar thing and its fine :-D which is great :) they're really liking being all together, out there and I think it helped being put out in a yard pen with the big birds because there haven't been any issues. For the younger birds I'm introducing them by putting them in the chicken house in their cage, then in a few weeks I will let them out and they'll hopefully be fine too. Then I think a few more rounds of chicks will go through before we have the full flock we want so this info is really important!
 

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