Feeding question about laying and nonlaying birds...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by littlebanty, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. littlebanty

    littlebanty Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 9 chicks now and when they get big enough to go with my big birds Im putting them out with them. How do you feed them together laying pellets and the starter/grower? should I just put the unmedicated starter/grower in one feeder and layer in another?
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You should not try to integerate them until they are at least 16 weeks old and near the size of the grown chickens. Otherwise they won't be mature enough and have enough size on them to defend themselves from the attacks associated with being the new chickens in the flock and the assertion of the new pecking order.

    When you place them in the main flock, they should be in a pen where they can be seen and limited contact with the other chickens so that they can get used to seeing them. This usually is about 2 weeks for me. By the time the new chickens are 18 - 20 weeks of age they are getting near the point of lay. You can continue to put out their starter/grower feed. Your older chickens will eat the starter feed and the younger chickens will eat the layer feed. They will be fine. When the younger chickens start to lay and you run out of the starter/grower then give them all the layer feed.
     
  3. littlebanty

    littlebanty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Miss Prissy....hmmm. That may be a problem for me since I dont have anyway to separate them. I cant keep them in the house for 16 weeks...stinky. I did have some chicks before that I put in with my hens and they all did fine together for a day or so until a raccoon came and took all my chicks and ducklings but 2....They were about 8-12 weeks old at the time. I now have a shed I lock them up in. My hens seem to adopt whatever I put in there and some do show that they are older and the boss....but they never were visious.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You really need to find a way to keep them apart until they are near the same size. A couple days of past experience is really not enough to know how they will react with a new set of younger chickens. They may be fine but experience tells me the younger chickens will be picked on and they will be bullied for food. They may even cower or hide from the older chickens. Older chickens can kill younger chickens thrown into the flock on their own too early.

    I am not trying to scare you or worry you. I am trying to give you sound advise as to what can happen.
     
  5. littlebanty

    littlebanty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Miss Prissy....I have some time so I will figure out a way to separate them....I wonder if putting them in a cage when they get alittle older and putting them in with them would help them get use to them...? I have a big dog crate I could use. Hmmmm...thats an idea.
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    A large dog kennel would work for a while. Just make sure they have plenty of room to move around and get away from one another. Crowding will cause them to fight amongst themselves.
     

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