How Much Layer feed to Hurt Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by New Flockman, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. New Flockman

    New Flockman Out Of The Brooder

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    Our two "surprise" chicks are integrating will with the flock. Surprising how deferential adult birds can be with chicks. If any of the hens get a grasshopper, it's like a chicken demolition derby until the original chicken gets the 'hopper down or someone gets it away. If a chick gets one, they look and hover but don't actively try to take it away.

    Anyway. I've been feeding the whole flow the chick starter/grower from the main feeder with extra oyster shells around. I also put some layer feed on the roof of the flock's "gazebo" which the chicks cannot reach as yet. At some point, they will and they may partake. How much layer feed does it take to hurt them? From all I can discover, it's a cumulative thing so I should have plenty of time to discover they can make it up there. May plan is that when I see they can, I'll move the layer ration to a less accessible locale or remove it from the chicken area altogether . Sound OK?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no reason to have layer around. The hens can eat starter/grower just as well. I don't know of any studies or good scientific answer to the question about how old the chicks need to be before they can eat layer, but 12 weeks seems to be a safe general idea.
     
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  3. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

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    I don't feed my hens layer mainly because I seem to have chicks all the time. My entire flock get starter/grower with a big bowl of free choice oyster shell. Eggs have always been rock hard. They all free range too. If you choose to give layer wait until laying age...6 months.
     
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  4. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't waste my time with layer feed either. Grower with calcium free choice is just fine
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    What they all said. I have multi-age and gender flock, so just feed all-in-one. Oyster shell in the run when I think of it.
     
  6. New Flockman

    New Flockman Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with you overall but I also have about 400# of really good Hiland Naturals layer feed around. As I said, teh chicks were a surprise. We didn't detect the broody hen until the very last (not that we didn't have clues, we were just clueless until it was patently obvious ( : < ). I was mainly wondering how much it takes to hurt them. I don't image a skosh here and there will do much harm and that the regular diet is the problem. Thanks!
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Layer contains 3 times as much calcium as chick starter/grower or all flock. The calcium can hurt the chicks kidneys, and later can cause gout and kidney failure. It does the same to roosters or any other chicken that doesn't lay eggs. How much it takes to cause that is uncertain. If you mix it half and half, it would cut the calcium down significantly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You could just store the layer feed for a few months until the littles are ready to handle it.
     

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