Chickens and chicks are eating each others food.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RichnSteph, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 9 hens and a rooster in the coop/run and last two days ago we added in 7 chicks that are 6 weeks old. When I feed in the morning and afternoon the chicks leave their feeder (I keep chick starter in there all day for them) and head to the big chicken feeders and the adult hens head to the chick feeder. As long as the chicks are full and have chick starter available all day this won't be a problem will it? During the day while the big chickens are out free ranging the acre the chicks are usually within close proximity of their feeder and I see them head back several times a day to eat the feed and then they wander off to explore again.


    Can I let them continue this or do I need to find some way to keep the hens from the chick feed?
     
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it medicated chick feed? If not, I wouldn't worry about it. If it is, I'd put something in place to keep the hens out of it but to allow the smaller chicks access.
     
  3. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is. I'll find some way to keep the hens out of it although I'm fresh out of ideas.


    Thanks for the reply!
     
  4. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try putting a "low hanging" roof type structure over their feeder. Something low enough that the hens can't stoop under and reach the medicated feed, but tall enough for your babies to fanagle their way under to eat.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If the chicks are close to finishing off their chick starter, they are old enough now to go on a regular flock raiser formula, and the entire flock can safely eat it. Just make sure the layers have access to oyster shell free choice since the flock raiser doesn't have much calcium in it.
     
  6. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chicks are only 6 weeks old. I'm not sure when to change the feed but will search for it right quick.

    Thank you!
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Six-week old chicks can go on regular feed immediately, but you can finish the chick starter first if you can keep the older ones out of it. If it's just a small amount left, I'd just toss it, and get some Purina Flock Raiser for the whole flock and quit worrying who is eating what.

    Since I've been raising chicks every other spring, I have found it so much simpler to just feed flock raiser to the entire flock all the time so I don't have to worry about it. By the time the chicks merge with the flock around age six weeks, they've finished off their small bag of starter and start eating what the big girls eat. I always have free choice oyster shell available, and those that need it, eat it, and the chicks may sample it, but quickly lose interest.

    It just got too complicated trying to figure out who needed layer feed, who didn't and then trying to keep the chicks away from it. Most of us who've had their chickens for several years have gone this route, eliminating layer feed completely as it really isn't necessary as long as they have a good calcium source available to them at all times. In fact, I've found that the hens much prefer the taste of flock raiser over layer feed.
     
  8. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the advice. We stupidly bought a 25lb bag of chick starter for 7 chicks thinking they'd be eating it for a while. I'll save it for if/when we hatch some more. Since I have to get feed on the way home today anyway I'll pick up some flock raiser and start feeding it along with oyster shell in a separate container.
     
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  9. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 I agree. This is what we do and it works fine. We switch to layer feed once the little ones start laying. You don't want the young ones on layer feed until they start laying.
     
  10. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I set up a small circular fence around the chick feed and they've gone back to eating that instead of the layer pellets since the big birds can't run them off of the smaller feeder.
     

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