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Feeding 10 chicks, 4 weeks old today and already in with the big girls

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FoosterRooster, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. FoosterRooster

    FoosterRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Gresham
    Hi,
    Our 10 new chicks are 4 weeks old today, and they have been completely integrated into the coop and roosting for the last two weeks or so with the 6 adult hens that are all laying. (Momma started laying again last week.) They all free range a couple of times a week. The big girls are eating a lot of the chick starter as well as their layer pellets. The little ones are fighting for food wherever they can get it and are occasionally eating from the pellet feeder. I make sure there is always plenty of both types of feed, but I don't have the option of keeping them all separated and on individual feeds. Is the best option to just keep both types of feed available and not worry about the adults eating it? I can hang the pellet feeder high enough that it isn't easy for the little ones to get to, although they are flying pretty well already. The big girls seem to always go and clean out the baby's feeder and then work on their layer pellets, and I have seen the babies eating at the pellet feeder on occasion. I know the little ones need starter/grower feed, but is it okay for the big ones to eat it as well? I can't keep them out of it. What is the best course of action to keep the babies healthy and growing, and keep the hens laying? Can I start mixing grower and starter together for the chicks? This is the first time I have had this combination of chicks and adults so I am a little unsure of how to proceed. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Fooster
     
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    middle TN
    You could offer something like Flock Raiser for everyone with oyster shell on the side for the layers.
     
  3. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    Don't mean to hijack your thread, but what if you give your chicks medicated crumbles?
    Can that hurt laying hens? I will need to be dealing with your issue in a few weeks, and have to consider medicated feed.
     
  4. FoosterRooster

    FoosterRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Gresham
    @ Carrie: I have been using non-medicated starter crumbles for the last month. I chose not to use medicated because I knew that momma and the other big girls would hijack as much chick starter as they could and I was not really hip on eating eggs from hens that had been eating medicated feed.

    @Debid: I keep Oyster shell and grit available for the big girls all the time.
    Flock Raiser eh? Okay to feed that to the babies at 4 weeks? (The big girls are pigs with wings so I know they will eat it up!) Should I mix it with starter though?
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Quote:It's supposed to be OK for all ages/genders. I've always heard to mix some of the food together when you're switching from one to another so it's not an abrupt change. You would be taking the chicks off of medication by doing this. Just so you know. Some people are OK with doing that at 4 weeks, others would rather eat medicated eggs.
     
  6. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    Thanks for the info....[​IMG]
     

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