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Chicks eating layer feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chknwhisperer, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. chknwhisperer

    chknwhisperer New Egg

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    This is my first posting, i hope i do it right. We have 3 chickens in our flock, and are adding 8 more, that are 12 weeks old. They have been "playing" together great, however the chicks have gotten into the layer feed. What will happen to them, if anything?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It is bad for their kidneys. You can feed everyone Flock Raiser or unmedicated chick starter/grower with oyster shell on the side for the layers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. chknwhisperer

    chknwhisperer New Egg

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    Thank You! There is so much to learn about these guys!
     
  4. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It won't hurt them if they got into it - only if they continued to eat it for a length of time. A lot of people (including me) don't ever feed layer due to the high calcium content. As another poster stated, it is hard on their organs... it is especially hard on roosters and silkies. Since I currently have pullets, roos, silkies and various breeds of layer hens, I only use a grower/flock raiser and then just supply oyster shell on the side. Then, they can regulate their own calcium and my boys and silkies don't get too much. When I have new chicks in the flock, everyone just gets chick starter for a few weeks, then back to the grower! Hope that helps!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is that really true that roaster and silkies can't eat layer food? I have never heard that before...
     
  6. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They CAN, but I choose not to as the high calcium content is very hard on them and you will probably experience shorter life spans on your birds if you do...
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Cock birds should not eat layer feed but many do feed it, not wanting to feed them something different or to switch the whole flock to something different.
     
  8. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 20 chicks that are 12 weeks old, and 9 layers that are on layer feed. I let them free range every day for about 4 hours and it is the only time the chicks have access to the layers feed and the layers access to the chicks feed. I see my layers eating the starter-grower feed often, I even added a feeder in their side of the run so they would leave the chicks feeder alone and the chicks can come inside the run to eat if they want to while free ranging. The layers seem to like the started-grower feed better than the layers which is OK because it has 18% protein instead of 16% however even though I have a dish with oyster shells 24/7, it looks to me that they are not eating it because I don't have to refill it. I have been giving them crushed egg shells and they eat those promptly. My problem is that it is just my husband and I and don't have that many egg shells to give them. Any ideas? how can I supplement calcium to my layers since they don't seem to like oyster shells?
    Also I am planning to keep 2 cockerels so I will continue to give them starter-grower feed.
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I've never purchased oyster shells. I know, I know, I'm weird. If I feel the layers need a boost of calcium, I simply feed them some calcium carbonate pellets. Many folks know of this as garden lime, pelletized. However, it is absolutely essential to buy the correct product. Most garden lime products have far too much magnesium. You must read the label.

    You want virtually pure crushed limestone. Calcitic lime. A small 8% or less of magnesium. I only pay $4 a 50 pound bag at our farm store for this product and use it in the gardens and elsewhere, so there's always some in the barn.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks a lot for the tip. I will get the crushed lime stone, maybe they will like it and eat it. CHICKENS [​IMG]
     

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