chicks with the hens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Geordonbuck223, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Geordonbuck223

    Geordonbuck223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long should i wait until i put my chicks outside with the big hens keeping in mind that it is going to be winter soon. (but i have it pretty warm with a tarp covering the run and there is an inside area)... Also when i do put the chicks out there with the big hens.....how should i go about feeding the two different ages of birds.... i currently have then hens on layena should i give them flock raiser????? Please help thank you......
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    For feeding, yes, just feed everyone flock raiser or anything other than a layer feed. Many people never buy layer because there are chicks around periodically, and the extra calcium isn't the best diet for cock birds, either.

    I wouldn't try to combine them until the young ones are about the same size as the adults. Here is a good thread on integrating chickens:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/803815/integrating-two-groups/0_20
     
  3. Geordonbuck223

    Geordonbuck223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    should i provide some source of calcium for the older birds like oster shells or is flock raiser just fine...
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Hens need free choice oyster shell all the time even if fed layer feed; mixed groups of birds do best on flock raiser plus oyster shell, free choice, fed separately. Mary
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I agree with Folly's. I should have mentioned this, sorry.
     
  6. Geordonbuck223

    Geordonbuck223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    okay thanks will the chicks eat the oyster shells. also will the hens lay less eggs being fed layer pellets....
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've raised several batches in with the flock and have never seen a chick pay any attention to the oyster shell. Lots of people feed their mixed flock a feed like flock raiser with oyster shell on the side. If the chicks ate much of it, they would have damaged organs, just as happens if they eat layer at a young age. Layer feed doesn't encourage or discourage laying. Assuming their nutrition is adequate, how many eggs they lay depends on other factors, mostly genetics and season, but also stress, molt, etc.
     

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