Feeding hens that are different ages?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hurleybirds, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Hurleybirds

    Hurleybirds New Egg

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    We picked up our first 4 laying hens at a bird auction this weekend (Barred Rocks). Well, we hope they're hens, but they could all be roosters [​IMG] We didn't get any information as to their age, but they are not laying yet so we bought an organic chick grower feed for them since I read that layer feed has too much calcium and could damage their bones.
    We have the opportunity to pick up some 28 week old Leghorns today that are laying, but it just occurred to me that they may need to be separated in order to feed them the layer mash. I would prefer to keep them all together, but how to deal with the feeding issue? We do plan to let them free range mostly but will have feed in the coop for them just to be sure they're getting enough.
    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=504
    we
    would love to see pics, the above link will show you how, just make 10 posts then follow the links instructions...

    I have a mixed flock as well...I give the 7 week olds & the older girls all Starter/Grower....with oyster shell on the side for the big girls...as the older ones reach POL (point of lay) at about 18 weeks, I will remove all the Starter and use Layer feed or Flockraiser, since I also have several roosters, and still provide Oyster shell on the side.

    So you can continue with the chicks food, just add a dish of oyster shell for your older ones you are getting...

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

    This is just my opinion and what I plan to do, someone else may have different advice.
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Yep, free choice oystershell for calcium is what most folks advise. Somehow the laying hens crave it when it is offered, but the younger ones basically ignore it until they have a need for more calcium. Instinct is amazing.
     
  4. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    I have several 10-14 week old poults and then I have 2 roos and a hen that are older around 6-7 months. I keep them separated by age, the younger are in one coop and run and the older ones are in their own coop and run. I feed the younger ones chick food and the older layer pellets but lately I have been letting them freerange alot and they are eating eachothers food so who knows who is eating what lol. I do throw oyster shell in with the hen, she eats it and oddly enough one of the roosters thinks the stuff is the greatest thing in the world, not sure why but he eats it lol.

    Also FYI on the Barred Rocks, the roosters are a lighter color from very young, the hens get nice and black with white and the roos stay gray and white, if you have one that is particularly light compared to the others she may be a he lol but its pretty easy to tell on them. They are BEAUTIFUL birds, I have 4 and I love the things, they are so sweet and "talk" all the time. When they freerange they sit on my porch rail half the day just waiting for me to come out and give them treats lol.
     
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A Barred Rock roo I raised: he is about 20 weeks

    [​IMG]

    and my pullet: she is 16 weeks

    [​IMG]

    she is darker in color...
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  6. mochicken

    mochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    NW Missouri
    Yup thats about what mine look like too, when they were young ( about 6 weeks ) it was REALLY obvious but as they got older you can still tell the difference but you really have to look at some of them. My pullets are actually quite a bit darker than yours but they are only about 12 weeks old right now. Beautiful birds btw JodyJo
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:oh, thanks so much...I feed them what they are supposed to eat, and let them free range all day....they are happy chickens!
     
  8. RanchoDelPolloLoco

    RanchoDelPolloLoco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2011
    This was a question I had too. I have some RIR's who are almost ready for Layer feed and some babies who are on Starter... they all share a coop. The chicks seem to eat anything and everything though, even the Bantys... I am worried about what feed to give???

    Lovely Barred Rocks, I have a female (fingers crossed) who is about 6 weeks old.
     
  9. neVar

    neVar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have different aged guys together- i have 4 1 year old silkies- then a Roo and a pullet that were hatched april and a little guy hatched beginning of june all together.

    I offer two different feed dishes- layer- and another with grower in it- so far my 1 year olds have great eggs- fabulous shells- my youngest one doesn't eat it as the pellet is too big for him he sticks to the grower as best as i can see
     
  10. RanchoDelPolloLoco

    RanchoDelPolloLoco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fantastic! I will do that, hopefully their instinct will kick in and they will know what they are doing [​IMG]
     

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