Chicks now mixing with the hens. Is a bit of layer feed a problem?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by swirler, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. swirler

    swirler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2011
    Well, the babies (Australorps and Barnevelders) are near on six weeks old now.

    They've as of this weekend got a couple of wee doors in their hutch so that they can mix with the hens in the shed (but the hens can't get into the hutch, to eat their medicated starter feed, or to corner and hassle them).

    The first thing they did was sprawl in a sunbeam - so cute!


    We have hung the hens' feeder as high as we can and still have the hens readily eat from it, but of course the chicks are crafty little beggars, and can flap up and perch on the edge and snatch a bite or two before being chased off. Could this conceivably harm their nutrition in any way?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The chicks should not be eating layer; the extra calcium is harmful. There is really no reason for the hens not to eat medicated chick feed, though, if the medication is amprolium; you can eat eggs from hens eating feed with amprolium.

    The usual solution for this situation is to feed everyone a grower or flock raiser, or most any complete feed except layer, and offer oyster shell on the side. The hens will take the oyster shell if they need the calcium, and the chicks will ignore it.

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