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Feeding a mixed flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Grammieshens, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Grammieshens

    Grammieshens In the Brooder

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    I am acquiring 4 laying hens and 2 roosters. Should I feed them all layer feed or grower feed with oyster supplement for the hens? Also, should fresh fruits and veggies be limited?
     
  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    I would feed an "all flock" type feed which is good for all ages and sexes, laying or not. Additionally I would offer oyster shell in a dish on the side.
     
  3. chickendreams24

    chickendreams24 Crowing

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    Why are you getting two roosters? That is far too few hens for that number of roosters. Why are you wanting roosters?
     
    snow5164 likes this.
  4. Grammieshens

    Grammieshens In the Brooder

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    These six chickens have been together since they were hatched and are six months old right now. (however, only one hen is kin to the roosters) They get along very well. I am adopting them together from a friend who is no longer able to care for them. Do you foresee a problem in the future? I am new to chicken raising.
     
  5. chickendreams24

    chickendreams24 Crowing

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    I understand.

    So a few things first these chickens are technically considered cockerals for males and pullets for females until one year old.

    Cockerals will often become very hormonal and can be very rough on pullets and hens. This can be made worse or better depending on the amount of space the birds can access so the females can avoid the hormonal males. It also depends on the individual cockeral. The number of recommended hens to rooster to avoid feather damage or even injury is between 7-15 depending on the age of the male and his individual temperament.

    Are the pullets laying yet?

    Males often mature sooner than the cockerals and that can cause trouble as well.

    You may need to be able to separate one or both cockerals if they become too rough on the girls. Many peoepe especially those that breed keep a special bachelor pen for raising cockerals when they go through the stage where their hormones first kick in and they go a little nuts. This stage is different for each cockeral and they may never have a problem. If they do have problems their hormones can level out anywhere between 6 months to 18 months old. There's no way to tell beforehand. If the cockerals become a problem you can always re-home or eat them depending on your preference. Pullets and hens will lay eggs without males present. Or you could just keep one cockeral.

    If you absolutely want to keep both cockerals I would recommend getting more pullets the same age or hens. These birds need to be quarantined first to keep the first birds you get safe in case they turn out to be sick or carrying parasites etc.

    It's really up to you. I'm not trying to scare or discourage you. Chickens are wonderful and can be great entertainment, pets, and give you breakfast too. LOL
     
  6. Grammieshens

    Grammieshens In the Brooder

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    The pullets starting laying two weeks ago. I will keep a close watch. If I see trouble, I will probably adopt out one of the cockerals to a friend as I am not ready to increase my flock. Thanks for all the advice.
     

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