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do you keep a seperate coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rancher hicks, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Right now I've got two broodies running around the yard with chicks and I've got others a few months old about a month away from laying. Young roosters trying out there new voices so I expect there will be some serious wake up calls soon. Well you get the picture. They are pasturing/free ranging (whats' the difference?).
    My question has to do with feeding.
    1. How do I keep the layers laying and the chicks growing with out the crossing of feeders?
    I buy my feed at the Country Max or TSC store.
    2. So what do I buy that can be fed to all?
    3. Do I need a seperate coop?
    4. I have a seperate run, do put all the young ones in there and feed medicated grower?
    5. What do I do with the broody who still has chicks chasing after her, but is now laying again?
    6. What do I do with the broody who has chicks still young enough for her to brood?

    7. How do I solve this problem? I have a broody on eggs now and set to hatch July 1st. Important eggs of course. Delawares.

    Thanks for your help

    Rancher
     

  2. rubyrogue

    rubyrogue Songster

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    I have a lot of mixed ages.I feed flockraiser(20%) and offer oystershell in a seperate dish for the layers. I have also fed 20% grower when they were out of flockraiser. I like the higher protein but dont like the medicated feeds.
     
  3. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

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    CAn you raise the hens' feeders so the chicks can't reach the layer feed, and put the chicks' feed inside a "fence" that the hens can't fit underneath or through the openings of?

    I can't speak to the rest of your questions, as I (unfortunately) can't free range my birds and don't have any broodies anyway - but hope to in the future, so I'll follow this thread with interest.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    What rubyrogue said. Feed something appropriate for the young ones, then offer oystershell or crushed eggshells free-choice in a separate container.

    Good strategy for when you have roo with hens, too.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I built a covered cage, similar to a rabbit cage, but out of 2x4" wire. I made it large enough that I could set a 7# feeder of chick feed in the middle without any hens being able to reach their necks far enough in the cage to reach the feed. After the chicks were about 7 weeks old, I had to cut a few wires to make wider holes since the chicks were bigger, but the hens still couldn't get the feed and they tried!
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    Where can I find unmedicated chick starter? Most of the chicks that I have are a month or two away from laying. How soon can I take them off the starter and put them on a layer? I don't see a "non-layer" grower at TSC. I've heard of feeding them "game bird" but that is expensive here.
    It's my understanding not to eat eggs laid by birds fed starter. How important is that? What if they've eaten some but not all?
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Your feedstore should have nonmedicated starter. It is a normal, non-unusual item. (I mean ACTUAL feedstore, not TSC). Also nonmedicated grower, although depending what the %protein is it may not be appropriate for the youngest ages of chicks. (e.t.a. - if your pullets are approaching laying age, though, they shoudl be fine with grower feeds, whatever the protein)

    Nothing wrong with eating eggs from hens eating nonmedicated starter.

    It's up to you whether you want to eat eggs with amprolium residues from medicated starter. I don't see it as being a big deal, but everyone's different (and honestly I hardly ever *use* medicated starter *anyhow* [​IMG])

    If you are going to use commercial layer feed, they don't need it til they are actually laying (expending calcium). Honestly though you can do just fine sticking with a nonlayer feed of appropriate %protein (such as many of the grower feeds that are sold) and just provide free-choice eggshell or oystershell. You should probably provide free-choice eggshell or oystershell ANYHOW, even if you're feeding layer feed, since not all hens have the same requirements.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010

  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    Thanks we do have a feed store though it's not nearby. I'll give them a call.

    Rancher
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    Well I did find non-medicated chick starter which I just learned is used for duckling and goslings. I didn't know you couldn't feed medicated to them. Now I have another question how do I prevent young pullets and cockerals from eating layer mash? I can keep them on medicated til they move to the coop which is about two months before laying commences?

    Thanks

    Rancher
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Now I have another question how do I prevent young pullets and cockerals from eating layer mash?

    Why would you need to?

    Just only feed EVERYBODY the grower (or nonmedicated starter). Having free-choice oystershell or eggshell will provide the extra calcium the layers need.

    Really really!


    Pat​
     

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