First Time Chicken Owner

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pooderpie77, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. pooderpie77

    pooderpie77 In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2007
    Hi all!

    I am a first time chicken owner. Right now I have two four month old mix breeds. I think they are four months old. The guy at the feed store said they were about a week old or so . If that is true that would make them around four months old.I have a few questions I hope you can answer for me. I understand they will start laying around 5 months of age is that right? I started out with four but through a night of being left outside unattended I lost two. It was a sad, learning experience. I'm getting three more day old chicks in a few days which leads me to my second question. When the new ones are old enough how do I introduce them to the older ones. At what age should I do that? My last two questions have to do with egg laying. I heard from a old farmer that you should always leave one egg in the nest so they will keep laying. That doesn't sound logical. Is it? Last but not least what should I be feeding my girls?They free range at least two or three hours everyday. I wondered if thee is food I need for when they are laying. Right now they are on the starter chick feed and people food I give sometimes. Thank you for any responses I get.
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!!

    Yes, around 5 months most girls start to lay.

    The younger chicks should not be put in with the older ones until they are almost as big as the older ones. Once the babies no longer need their heat light, usually around 6 weeks of age, then you can put them out in a place near the older birds where they can see but not get to each other. Some people will fence off a place in the coop, out of the weather, for the young ones or maybe keep them in a wire dog cage in the coop. Then when their nearly as big as the older ones, put them in with the big ones at night. Just set them on the roost while everyone is asleep. In the morning there will be pecking and squabbling as the new pecking order is established but they should settle down after a while.

    The purpose of leaving an egg in the nest is to encourage the hens to lay in that nest and not on the floor or out in the woods. I don't like to use eggs for this, unless they're fake eggs, for fear they could get broken. I use golf balls instead and it works fine.

    Once you begin to find eggs, your layers should have a good layer pellet (or crumble, but there's less waste with pellets) and a supply of oyster shell even if they free range. The young ones should be on start n grow until they begin to lay. So, when you finally put the young ones with the layers, you will need to go back to starter until the young ones start to lay.
    It won't hurt the layers to be on starter since it will be for just a month or two until the new ones begin laying.

    I hope this helps!
  3. joebwe25

    joebwe25 Songster

    Feb 1, 2007
    St. Louis, Mo.
    We started introducing my two little ones at about 2 months.
    When the youngest of the two met the others, she charged at leader ready to attack but got pecked right back, and she never messed with the leader again!
    When they were a little older, we divided the coop and slowly introduced them with bread.
    After that, we took down the divider and now they're best friends!

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