Feeding...help!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by The Chicken Boyy, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. The Chicken Boyy

    The Chicken Boyy Chillin' With My Peeps

    103
    1
    121
    Oct 17, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I need help trying to figure out a way to feed laying hens and 10 week old chicks...! My chicks are getting grower/finisher and my hens started laying today so i have to switch them to laying feed but i dont have any idea on how to get them to eat the right kind of feed?

    HELP!
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Well, as I said on your other thread - offer oyster shell with the grower. The layers will eat the oyster shell as needed. The chicks will leave it alone. Both can eat the grower.

    A lot of people feed Purina Flock Raiser to laying hens offering oyster shell free choice.

    Steve
     
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    You can put the chicks feed under a bucket with holes in it big enough for them to get in. And put the laying hens feed up high where the adults have to stand tall to get at it.
     
  4. The Chicken Boyy

    The Chicken Boyy Chillin' With My Peeps

    103
    1
    121
    Oct 17, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Only problem with the bucket idea is that my 10 week old chicks are 2/3 the size of my hens!

    -digits you think the chicks wont eat the shells?
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I bet you would have a hard time forcing the chicks to eat the oyster shells.

    Everything I read says chickens can self-regulate calcium intake if given the choice. I no longer have roosters but I can remember them grabbing a mouthful of oyster shells, looking around like "where can I spit this," and then walking away.

    Steve
     
  6. Jeannine

    Jeannine Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Nov 8, 2008
    Williamston, S.C.
    My Coop
    Guess what? I have the same problem right now. I meant to keep my twelve 11-week-old pullets from mixing in with my 3 laying hens, but they all got out of the temporary "inner pen" I made for them one day while we were away, and they have been getting along just fine. But of course, they're all eating everything in sight! I just ran out of grower mix, and thought I just might give them all the layer crumbles for now. Will that be a problem for the pullets? Or will they just start laying small eggs sooner . . .
     
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Layer feed doesn't encourage young birds to lay eggs. That feed provides the nutrients for mature layers to maintain their bodies and lay their eggs.

    At 11 weeks, your pullets are still far from egg laying and the need to produce an eggshell every day. Without making that eggshell - they will be getting far more calcium in the layer feed than they need. That calcium must be voided thru their urinary system.

    Our modern breeds of chickens produce many, many more eggs and eggshells than their wild ancestors (what we might think of as a normal chicken [​IMG]). Our laying hens have far, far more need of calcium. However, an immature bird does NOT have that need. If its growing body has trouble voiding 5 or 6 times more calcium than it needs - health problems may result.

    Steve
     
  8. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:Find two 5 gallon buckets. On bucket one cut holes only big enough for the chicks to stick their heads in at a appropriate height. On bucket two cut larger holes for laying chickens. Put bucket one on the ground for chicks. Hang bucket two at a height to high for chicks but low enough for your layers. Another trick I used was to take a cheap clear tote and cut hole the chicks could enter but not the layers. Then put feed in a bowl in side the tote. I had to do the tote so my ducks would not harass the chicks while they ate. The adults chickens could take care of themselves.
     
  9. Jeannine

    Jeannine Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Nov 8, 2008
    Williamston, S.C.
    My Coop
    Thanks digitS' for the info. I'm heading out in the morning and getting another bag of grower feed for the chicks. I'll let them all eat that for a while, to avoid any trouble. The older hens will get oyster shell, so that should help them for a while, too.
     
  10. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    6,583
    14
    261
    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    digitS' :

    Our modern breeds of chickens produce many, many more eggs and eggshells than their wild ancestors (what we might think of as a normal chicken [​IMG]). Our laying hens have far, far more need of calcium. However, an immature bird does NOT have that need. If its growing body has trouble voiding 5 or 6 times more calcium than it needs - health problems may result.

    Steve, this is the best explanation of why not to switch to layer feed too early that I've seen on BYC. Ever. Nicely done!​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by