feeding older and younger at the same time

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nettamere3, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. nettamere3

    nettamere3 Hatching

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Texas
    My question is: what do you feed a flock that is made up of birds in both the egg laying stage and the growth stage?

    Background: I have two RIR hens that were my "test proof" that we could raise chickens. They are now old enough that they lay every day- I'd say about 30-35 weeks old. Then we got a batch of chicks via mail- which are now about 8 weeks old- there are 24 of them. Which gives us 26 all together.

    When the chicks were very little- I just fed a scoop of layer feed and 2 scoops of chick starter. I watched the hens pick out the large pellets and the chicks go for the chick starter- and figured that it was all good- every one was getting that they needed....

    Fast forward to today- and the little chicks now eat the layer feed and the hens peck at the grower feed meant for the chicks. So everyone is just eating whatever they get to first.... which means that it is highly probable that no one is getting what they really need. They all look great- and the hens lay well- but I have to wonder if it is healthy in the long term or if I'm just overly concerned.

    Barriers: It is not feasible in our set up to divide the flock for feeding. I have also tried feeding different feed in different areas with no luck.

    Plan: Today I plan to change the feed for the winter- and make a giant tub of layer feed, grower feed, add in some scratch, sunflower seeds and hope for the best. Is this the right action to take?
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I have a similar situation.I put out a free feeder of lay pellets near where the older hens hang out and a feeder of Start n grow where the younger birds hang out and that's as far as I go about stressing. If they want to eat eachother's food, oh well. I figure if the chickens for thousands of years have survived without processed perfect feed, mine can survive a few weeks with free choice of two balanced feed rations. Short of dividing the run and confining the older birds, this is my best solution.
  3. We run our chicks on starter/grower for the first 8 weeks then switch them to layer and haven't had any problems yet.
  4. skand

    skand Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    Quote:LOL I agree, that's how we do it. To each his own. They are all healthy, laying, growing etc

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