Feeding a mixed age flock

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Carpenter Coop, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Carpenter Coop

    Carpenter Coop Chirping

    I have 15 chickens, ages 1.5-4.5 months how do feed the older higher calcium without hurting the younger
  2. Don't use a calcium fortified food, instead offer the calcium as a side dish (crushed oyster shells are cheap) the laying hens will seek it out the others will mostly ignore it...
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  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree with Meep...buy AllFlock (or something like it) and just offer oyster shell free choice. Personally, I think we worry a little too much about the younger ones getting the layer feed, but I've always gone to a general feed just in case... And even with layer feed, I still offer oyster shell free choice anyhow...some partake, so they must feel they need it.
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  4. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    It is important that your younger birds are not allowed access to calcium, as excessive calcium in the diet of young birds is known to cause kidney damage and/or skeletal deformities.

    If you have the space to do so, I would recommend separating your flock into smaller groups. This will allow you to feed a layer feed to birds as they reach 18 weeks of age. A complete layer feed contains adequate protein and calcium and other trace minerals to support bird health, nutrition and strong eggshells. The younger birds would then be able to stay on their starter/grower diet, where they will be receiving higher protein levels needed for growth and development.

    If you do not have the ability to separate your flock, then I would recommend feeding them Flock Raiser, which has higher levels of protein but still provides a nutrient profile to support both adult and juvenile birds. You will need to supply oyster shell to support eggshell integrity in the laying hens. The younger birds may also eat some – unfortunately, this is the risk you take when you cannot separate age groups. Then, once the younger birds near the 18 week mark, consider switching them all over to a layer feed.

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