Feeding a mixed flock


Mar 31, 2010
Southern Illinois
We've just introduced our 12 week olds to our existing flock. The existing flock has been getting layer pellets with some mixed in scratch. Up until now the young ones have only had medicated chick starter, except when they are ranging and getting bugs, etc. Now that they are feeding together I don't want to have the layers eating the medicated feed. Are my 12 week olds too yound for layer pellets? What should I feed them together? Thanks for your inputs.


Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
Howell Michigan
I personally never add birds to to flock until they are at least 16 weeks. However, since you have already added yours I would suggest switching your entire flock to "Flock Raiser". 12 week old birds are much to young for layer pellets and a flock maintenance feed won't hurt your layers so just switch to that for the next month.


11 Years
Apr 27, 2008
Ashland, Missouri
I can only speak for myself and what makes sense to me. On their own in a mixed flock, a mother hen takes care of her chicks, leading them to choice bits of feed or bugs and the chicks thrive, no special separate feed. I kept my chicks with their adoptive Silkie mother separated from the flock until the babies were feathering out nicely and running around their pen like they needed more room. I then opened the baby chick pen to the main pen/run during the day, the mother Silkie mingled them with the bigger older hens, they all eat the same food, and at night back in their pen, the babies have the choice of their little chick starter feed with its slight medication. I decided that for eons, chicks have had access to regular chicken feed and scratch and have thrived, as I see mine doing. I worried at first, and then decided that what I'm doing is more natural, is producing good results, and is easier than trying to control what each group can consume. Best wishes with your decision--~G


9 Years
Mar 30, 2010
Moorcroft, WY
I'd switch to flock raiser and offer oyster shells on the side for the laying hens. Then you don't have to worry about different feeds. The link given in the second post is good for discussing the differences.

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