Feeding old and new

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bevis, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been reading a lot of discussion of how to feed new additions to the flock that are not of adulthood yet and seem to have no solid answer. We just integrated 6- 1.5 month old chicks into the main flock. In the past we have waited until they were 4 months old to integrate. This integration was sooooo smooth it was without stress or any fighting. I read that the bigger chickens do not view the babies as a threat when you integrate this way. That was absolutely the truth and there has not been a single fight. So Meyer Hatchery tells me that this is a bad idea because you cant verify that the flock elders are only getting layer and the chicks are only getting starter and what if the chicks eat oyster shell thats out for the main flock.

    I have read threads here that state that they have been feeding multi age flocks something called flock feeder or complete flock. I have no idea what those are. We feed our chickens in the run with a goat trough and i saw the little ones standing in the trough eating 16% mash layer. So i told the wife that we needed to do something but im not sure what thats going to be. We put 20% starter mash inside the coop for them but they are not hanging out in the coop anymore. They are out in the run playing with the big chickens and eating there too. So i took 50lbs of mash 16% layer and mixed it with 50lbs of 20% mash starter and thats what we have been feeding everyone.
    Should i be concerned that the babies are getting the extra calcium thats in the layer and causing them to have development issues ? Should i be concerned that the big girls are eating a mix with 20% in it ?

    Am i making a bad mistake ?
    Is there a different product to use ?
    Is there any other way to do it better ?

    This is important because we currently have 9 chicks inside in the brooder inside the house and 2 of them are lavender orps and 2 are frost white leg bars. I dont want to make a mistake with these very expensive girls or any of my other chickens.

    Also as a side note, Meyer suggests that these new 6 day old babies get chick grit now. That seems odd but i can certainly do that if needed.

    Please share your thought or experiences on this scenario .
    Thanks
    chicks 6-1-17.jpg
     
    BiggJohnn likes this.
  2. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another question, would it be ok to go out in the yard and cut a plug of grass with dirt under it to put in the brooder ? Or is it too soon for that ?
     
  3. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's advisable to give them all a flock raiser with oyster shell free choice for the layers. The young birds shouldn't be interested in the oyster shells, past investigating it. Chick grit starting at a week old for the young, chicken grit for the older.

    ETA:
    Good idea to wait until they're a week old.
     
  4. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, i asked the mill about flock raiser and they didnt know what i was referring to. They can make me whatever i want. Im making that 120 mile round trip for feed this week. So if you know what i need, im sure they will make it for me. As far as grit, i assume the small ones are getting plenty of that in the dirt inside the run. The big girls have free access to crushed oyster shell at all times.

    Here are some pics of the little ones and their environment.


    0606171425a.jpg 0606171425b.jpg 0606171426.jpg 0606171426c.jpg

    0606171425.jpg
     
  5. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The grass question was asked because i though it might be a good idea to get them exposed to cocidia while their young. im sure i messed up that spelling
     
  6. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Flock raiser is nearly identical to chick starter with 18% protein, no added calcium.

    ETA: Sorry, you keep posting while I'm typing. lol

    Yes, you can go ahead and give them plugs of untreated grass, as well as dirt for dust baths.
     
  7. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    then i will call him today and ask him if he can make me 18% with no added calcium.
    would that work ? its mash and i feed it dry
     
  8. bevis

    bevis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2014
    Yes, you can go ahead and give them plugs of untreated grass, as well as dirt for dust baths.




    the 6 day old chicks right ? i assume the grass needs to be short so as not to get twisted up in their gut
     
  9. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes sir, that's what you want. :thumbsup
     
  10. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    If the grass is green & they're getting grit, it shouldn't be an issue.
     

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