Chicks eating grown up food

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sixxchixx, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2010
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    ok, I know that the extra calcium is bad for their livers but how do you avoid it once they are all integrated together? I have four 13weekers and 2 layers, they eat eachothers food. I try to keep the adult food where the hens hang out and the baby food in the coop but they find it those little boogers!

    how much damage will they do? for both ages. will the extra protein hurt the layers? and will a nibble here and there of the calcium really hurt the little ones?

    any ideas on how to separate or a "catch all food" they all can eat?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I feed all of them grower with oyster shell on the side free choice. Grower has enough protein for the layers and does not force the chicks to eat too much calcium. The young ones will eat the layer if given a chance. I don't know of any way you can stop them. A broody hen will even pick feed out of a high feeder and give it to her very small chicks so putting it high does not help. At 13 weeks, you could not get it high enough anyway.

    Too much calcium can cause bone damage and liver damage in a growing chick. It is not that one will fall over dead the instant it eats a bite of layer. But over time, too much calcium can cause cumulative damage. A lot of times, you won't even know they are damaged. They may be more sickly or less efficient than they would have been. Or maybe six months later, their liver finally gives out, they die and you really don't know why.
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:I had the same problem when I added younger birds to my small flock of layers. The layers prefered the grower/finisher food and their eggshells got soft. The youngsters played Big Chickens in the layers' coop, when the layers were out free-ranging, and I suspect they even ate some of the layer feed. They couldn't when the older batch o' chickens were around, because the layers put those kids in their places! "My food. Go away."

    Anyway, I followed the suggestions of many BYCers and just switched everybody over to the grower/finisher feed (similar to FlockRaiser) as ridgerunner describes. And I provide crushed oyster shell free choice, in two separate places so all the layers had ample opportunity to take it as needed. The eggshells hardened right up again.
     
  4. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Escondido, CA
    thank you for your responses
    right now i have been feeding the little ones Purina Start & Grow

    [​IMG]

    so just to reitterate...

    its ok for the adult birds to eat the grower feed as long as there is a calcium (oyster shell, which i have) supplement? but NOT ok for the little guys to eat laymash

    right?
    (Im sorry if im a little slow)



    PS Gryeyes,
    you are my favorite question answerer!! [​IMG] I swear you have responded to so many of my posts! thank you for everything
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  5. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    someone please answer me yes or no. i dont want to be irritating but i just want to make sure that if i feed my hens this food they will be alright.
     
  6. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:
     
  7. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    yes,that is correct.
     
  8. jim and carol and laura

    jim and carol and laura New Egg

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    Hi Im jim , i just found BYC and I have four two week old production red chicks. I have one question and its probably an easy one. How old do the chickens need to be to change from baby food to layer food for big chicks and what brand is good. Im in South texas and we have a feed stor here as well as Tractor supply.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:[​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you are here! [​IMG]

    A lot of times, the recommended ages for different feeds are on the bags. I like to use Starter for the first 6 weeks, Grower from then until they are ready for Layer, then Layer after the first egg or 20 weeks of age. In some stores, the Starter and Grower are combined in a Starter/Grower. Some people really get hung up on brands, but I think any of them are OK.

    Never be afraid to ask a question on this forum, even if it has been asked a thousand times before. This site would die without questions. Your question sort of ties in with the OP's (Original Poster's) topic, but you are usually going to be better off starting your own thread when you have a question. Part of it is that the thread really belongs to the OP but most of us don't mind other questions, especially when they are related to the topic. I do it myself probably more than I should. The reason you should start your own is that many people have already looked at this thread and may not look again. You stand a better chance of getting your question answered if you starty your own thread with a good descriptive topic title. Hope you stay around long enough to learn your way around. I think you'll find a lot of friendly people here.
     
  10. jim and carol and laura

    jim and carol and laura New Egg

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    Sep 14, 2010
    Thanks ridgerunner. Not only do I know zip about raising chickens but zip about forum etequette or spelling. I built a nice little coop and we are having fun watching the chicks change so fast. I'm a little worried about varmints especially Racoons, but the coop can be closed up tight at night so hopefully that will keep them safe.
     

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