Feeding chicks and pullets when integrated

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marlene, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    I have some week old chicks and should have a few more hatching in 3 weeks. They are kept separated from the big girls till they are big enough to all go in the main coop.
    My question is "when I integrate the young ones with the main flock, they should still be on chick food, while the big girls will be on layers. How can I make sure they eat their own food?"
    The newly hatched are all big breeds so I am hoping that by the time they are 12-14 weeks they will be big enough to move in with the big girls.

  2. Don't even try to get them to eat their own food, feed them all chick starter or an 18% all flock feed, and offer a side of crushed oyster shells for the laying hens... You can go with unmediated chick feed if you want and I probably would, but if the chick feed is medicated with Amprolium it has no withdrawal period so you can still feed it to hens and eat the eggs...

    Once they all start laying you can switch back to layer or continue the starter/all flock with a side of oyster shells and even if you switch back to layer the side of oyster shells won't hurt, as only the birds that need the extra calcium will eat it...
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    It's worth also trying to integrate them at 3-5 weeks. Was way easier than when they were older because my existing flock didn't see them as part of the pecking order and ignored them. By the time they were old enough the others would have pecked they didn't have to because they already saw them as bottom of the rung and not needing to be taught their place.

    Keep in view of adults but seperste for a week or two first so adults get used to them.

    I let them have time alone in the run to get idea of hides etc. before letting them in with adults.

    Made sure they had spots they could get under and away if an older bird did decide to peck and food (grower for everyone) and water they could get to but big girls couldn't.

    And watched like a hawk for a couple days in case somebody did decide to peck them.

    Introduced twice that way now after having it suggested on here and would never leave to 12+ weeks again.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

  5. Usually this is what I do.....When introducing young pullets to Laying hens I keep them all on Grower feed till the young ones start laying...I provide oyster shell for the layers being young pullets will not bother with it unless laying age...Hope this helped....?

    Also easier if the chicks do not peep still....I for one never worry when adding a few peepers to my flock..They figure it out...
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    Thank you for all the advice and suggestions. I would like to integrate them asap, so will try when they are about 6 weeks old as apposite suggested, under very close supervision.
    Any suggestions as to what props I could use for hiding places for the little ones?
    They currently reside in coops and runs that are side by side, so they are able to see each other daily.
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I integrate brooded chicks at two to three weeks using the panic room method. You ask about props. This is the best prop you will ever discover. It's any sort of enclosure where the smalls can access that the larger birds aren't able. Food and water are inside this refuge so the smalls don't need to compete for food or end up having the larger ones eat it all.

    This is all made easier in my flock because I brood right in my run and the chicks grow up in front of the flock, becoming members in good standing at a very early age.

    Read my article, with photos of my system, linked below this post. It's the one on brooding outdoors.

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