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can chicks eat chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by genabeana, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. genabeana

    genabeana Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    I want to put my 6 week old (3) chicks outside with my one lonely hen. The chicks are eating chick feed, the hen (20 weeks) is eating layer feed.

    Is this a no-no to put them together and have them eating each other's food?

    We're in middle TN with highs in the 70's right now, and a low of 49 a couple of nights ago.

    Thanks!
    '
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Laying feed is VERY bad for chicks. The calcium ruins their kidneys and can even be deadly! Also, the hen will probably attack them.
    So don't do it!
     
  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    A mama hen can eat the baby's starter, but NOT the other way around.

    Chicks can eat layer in a pinch for a day if you somehow run out, but it will kill them eventually.

    I wouldn't put them in with a strange hen anyway. You can't mix them until they are about the same size as the adults.
     
  4. genabeana

    genabeana Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    Thanks for the good advice. I would've killed 'em>
     
  5. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    I'd hate to have my hen alone like that. Have you tried introducing the chicks to her to see if they get along?

    I've got all ages in together and have introduced chicks to hens as young as 4 and 5 weeks old. I just make sure the chicks have a place they can hide to get away if they are getting pecked.

    I also feed flock raiser with free choice oyster shell as they can all eat that with no problems.
     
  6. genabeana

    genabeana Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    So chicks can eat oyster shell with no problems?
     
  7. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    no, the chicks just don't eat it. I don't know how they know, but the chickens only eat the oyster shell when they need it. I just have it in a bowl in the coop and they eat it whenever they want some. The chicks leave it alone.
     
  8. genabeana

    genabeana Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    I changed the layer food to chick food, put the chicks outside, and put a heat lamp in the upper portion of the coop for them. I put a chick feeder and waterer near their sleeping place. They made it through the night just fine, and the hen is mostly leaving them alone! The unseasonably cold weather is a concern to me, but the chicks are fully feathered and do have the heat lamp.

    I'm on my way to tractor supply to get oyster shell for the hen.

    Thanks for all the great advice, everyone!
     
  9. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Yay! I'm so glad it's working!
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Awesome!
     

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