Chicks eating layer pellets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kristenm1975, May 1, 2009.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 pullets that are nearing two months old and are ready to be moved out to the "big girl" coop with my other full grown hens. I say they're ready meaning they are fully feathered (of course) and the temp at night isn't going below 45 or 50.

    My only concern is that I have no idea what to do about the feeding situation. I can't separate the big girls from the little ones once I put the pullets into the coop, so essentially, they will all be eating the same thing. Should I just mix in chick start with the layer pellets and hope the mix will do for both groups? [​IMG]
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Have you put the pullets in with your hens yet? I didn't integrate mine until they were about 4 months old. I introduced them earlier but the hens really went after the pullets and I thougtht the hens might really hurt them.
     
  3. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't put them in there yet, but I think since there are 5 of the littles and only 7 of the bigs, no single pullet will get pecked at too much since there will be quite a few of them to chase around.

    Also, there's a lot of room to run and many places to hide. That will help.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I have read here that the calcium in layer feed can harm chicks, so all should be fed grower feed or something like Purina flock raiser, plus offer oyster shell free choice, which the older hens will eat for the calcium. I'm no expert, for sure, just passing on what I have read. (I spend way too much time here!)

    When you introduce them to each other, they will rearrange their pecking order. Some say best to do the intro while free ranging, some put the new ones on the roost after dark. I have read of it going quite smoothly or going so badly they had to be separated again. Good luck, and let us know.
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I fed my pullets starter/grower until I got my first egg then I switched them over to the layer. I had some starter grower leftover so I mixed it with the layer feed. I did the same with my original flock too. I saw no apparent health issues. Also It dosn't matter how many birds you have when you integrate them. They won't necessarily pick on one pullet but they will chase them all. They will still establish a pecking order. Hope all goes smoothly for you. Some do tend to go better than others.
     

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