Feeding young chicks and grown hens

clamccauley

Chirping
Apr 27, 2017
42
17
82
I have 6 12 week old chicks and 6 grown hens. They still sleep and eat separately but free range all together.

I have a two part question!

I'm feeding the chicks grower feed and the adults are getting layer feed. The way my coops are set up, I cannot lock the hens away from their food during the day without locking them out of their nesting boxes.

The adults are pigging out on baby feed and i've caught the young ones in the layer feed!! Will the layer hurt the 12 week old chicks if they are just snacking on it?

My other idea was to have food in the pens at night and first thing in the morning and then put it all away until that evening. They would only have the 1/2 acre of grass and bugs to eat. I feel this is fine but they act like they are starving. Possibly just spoiled?? :)

I'd switch the whole flock to grower, but the adults just eat it until its gone.

So, basically, can they get enough sustenance free grazing all day with feed each morning? (12 week old chicks too?)

Will the occasional layer feed hurt them or should i lot that up?
 

clamccauley

Chirping
Apr 27, 2017
42
17
82
Thank you! I’ve been told that a few times recently on layer feed!
It’s hard to find a good starter grower in a pellet. Is it just the higher protein (18-22%) I should be looking for in a non layer feed? Or something else as well? I do set out a bowl of oyster shells.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
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832
California's Redwood Coast
Is it just the higher protein (18-22%) I should be looking for in a non layer feed?
It's the higher protein and amino acids... but importantly it's also lower in calcium than layer... which is where part of the concern lies.

I also use Purina flock raiser with OS on the side.. no longer available to me in pellet form but my flock does fine on crumble. I never switch.

Chickens don't eat at night without light so it's just there for freeloading rodent attraction.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,839
80,714
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Wisconsin
Thank you! I’ve been told that a few times recently on layer feed!
It’s hard to find a good starter grower in a pellet. Is it just the higher protein (18-22%) I should be looking for in a non layer feed? Or something else as well? I do set out a bowl of oyster shells.
I feed a pelleted All Flock ration. That's another option if you can find one in your area.
 

Ponte

Songster
Apr 4, 2019
307
431
118
Miami Florida
I was having the same issue so I raised the height of the layers feed to a point that only the older hens can reach and placed the medicated growers feed behind a row of vertical 2x2 and 2x4 which allows only the chicks to get to it.
My chicks are only 5 weeks old so my solution may or may not work for you.
 
Last edited:

BantamBabies

Chirping
Sep 1, 2019
30
61
69
I was having the same issue so I raised the height of the layers feed to a point that only the older hens can reach and placed the medicated growers feed behind a row of vertical 2x2 and 2x4 which allows only the chicks to get to it.
My chicks are only 5 weeks old so my solution may or may not work for you.

I have 2 wk old baby chicks in the coop with mama and medicated chick feed. But I think I need to get the feed out of the coop since I see evidence of mice. I’m interested in how you constructed the way for chicks to feed but not the hens. Can you Post a picture?
 

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