Do I have a problem?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ole rooster, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I don't know if I do or not. I have these chicks that are 9 weeks now. I bought a sack of layer crumble for the big girls to replace the pellets I've been using. The big girls ate it like they hadn't eaten in months. They threw the pellets out on the ground to get at the crumbles. Now the chicks are into it big time. I've read where layer for chicks will kill um. Well, if that's true mine will be dead in no time. At 9 week these chicks are as big as the sexlinks I have full grown.

    Is this feed gonna kill the 9 week olds? I still feed the starter/grower and they eat it but the eat the other stuff too.

  2. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    I would not sweat it too much as long as they have access to non-layer.

    They seem to self regulate pretty well.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Do you have a problem with them eating the Layer crumbles? Maybe, maybe not. I'd take it away myself and feed them all the Starter/Grower and offer oyster shells on the side.

    There are plenty of studies out there that show extra calcium can damage growing chicks. It can cause skeleton problems but the big risk is that the internal organs can be damaged. They are not going to fall over dead the instant they eat one bite. One bite won't hurt them. Whether they are hurt or not depends on how much extra they eat and for how long a period they are eating it. It is not about the percent of calcium in some of the food, it is about how much total volume they eat and for how long.

    The damage does not always immediately kill them. Their kidneys or liver may be weakened so that if they are stressed out a year later, they can't handle it as well as they would have if they had undamaged internal organs. A lot of people seem to think that if they don't immediately fall over dead everything is fine and great. Not necessarily true. In these studies they cut the chicks open to look at their organs.

    I can't tell you that you will or won't damage them. I don't know how much of what they are eating. When I have young chickens in my flock, I feed all of them the same thing and offer oyster shell on the side for those that need it. That way I don't have to worry.
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010


  5. pheonixstar15a

    pheonixstar15a In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2010
    Layer feed is not really the thing to feed Young birds, but i know of some people that do feed that to them and it doesn't kill them, but i think a little would not do any harm as long as their main food is the starter food,
  6. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    My biggest problem as to keeping them out of it is the run stays open all day with the food exposed. They run free all day so they do as they please. But 3 times a day I feed the starter/grower and they dig right in. It's practically impossible to separate things.

  7. Tivona

    Tivona Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    I have different aged ducks with some still young and some laying. I put out two containers side by side. One with layer pellets and the other waterfowl feed. I do notice that the older ones mostly eat from the layer pellets and the younger mostly from the waterfowl feed side. Mine are definitely self regulating. Perhaps yours are doing the same? My theory is that the older ones know they need the extra calcium from the layer and the younger have no feeling of need for it so they chose according to what instinct tells them. I don't worry about a few nibbles as long as they stick to the correct feed most of the time.

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