Feeding layer's and younger chickens together

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cjpines, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2014
    Placerville, CA
    Hi all,

    I have 7 month old layers and 9 wk old pullets. They are separated now. My question is: when I have them in the same coop and run how can I separate the food.

    I'm thinking of taking the layer food away, feeding all grower flock raiser and a separate dish of oyster shells for the layers.
    Problem is, how do I keep the younger chicks from eating the oyster shells beings they are not supposed to have added calcium?

    I'm really confused how to do this when they are all together. Any tips?
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Younger birds will usually just leave the oyster shell alone. Mine have never really paid attention to it besides maybe looking at it once or twice when you first put new out. Most people with mixed flocks do as you suggest, feeding a Flock Raiser type food with shell separate and it seems to work fine.
  3. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    As I understand it, and practice it, all you have to do is provide the same flock-raiser (not layer) feed to all hens and provide oyster shell in a separate container. The laying hens innately feel the extra calcium requirement and will eat the oyster shell accordingly. The non-laying hens will not feel the need to eat the oyster shell and will ignore it. It seems like a really good plan for mixed age flocks.
    This *seems* to be working out for me but I really couldn't tell you if my birds are suffering a calcium deficiency or not. I'm just trusting my intuition plus all the advice I've read here and other places.
  4. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2014
    Placerville, CA
    Well, seems it's the consensus that the younger birds won't touch the oyster shells. Thank you

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