Hens eating the chicks grower feed?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nursesusanb, May 15, 2016.

  1. nursesusanb

    nursesusanb Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2015
    The hens keep eating the grower feed. Haven't seen much by way of chicks eating the layer pellets....yet.
    Any tricks to keep them from eating each other's food? Is there any harm to egg production if the hens eat grower feed? Any harm to chicks if they eat layer pellets?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    No harm if chicks don't eat much layer. They should not be fed it but a little now and then is fine. The trick to multi aged flocks is to stop using layer feed all together. What I and many do is only supplement calcium for laying birds with oyster shell. Purchased from bulk bin at feed store- ask at counter. By keeping a dedicated oyster dish or simply tossing a few handfuls on ground (depending size of flock) once a week the birds laying will get the calcium they need. The birds are very good at free choice calcium. They all will peck at it but only the birds in need will consume a lot of it. Makes multi aged flocks easy. Once chicks start hatching I get non medicated starter; when last bag of pellet feed is gone all the birds are on the non medicated starter. You don't eat eggs from birds eating medicated. When the youngest birds are large enough for pellet feed, around 10-12 weeks, and last bag of starter is out the entire flock goes to a pellet form all flock type feed. What I use for this is Turkey/gamebird finisher. Good all flock type feed at 20% protein.

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