How to feed a mixed age flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TheHalfWayCoop, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    We picked up some more silkies lastnight and were under the impression that they were 'chickens', not chicks. They looked slightly smaller than our almost 7 month old pullets so I was thinking maybe a month or two younger. I got them home and into the light and they are WAY smaller, probably 1/3 the size of our girls [​IMG], appear to be fully feathered, but still have their baby peeping voices. When we take the newbies out of quarantine in a month they still wont be laying age and our silkies are all laying, how do we put both chick started and layer mash in the coop without everyone eating the wrong thing? Or does it matter? I swear everytime we get their feeding straight something else comes up to confuse it [​IMG]
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe you can feed them all Flock Raiser feed with free choice oyster shell on the side.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    For a "mixed" age flock, you can feed starter, grower, raiser and offer hens shells on the side.

    Once everyone is around 16 weeks, none of this matter so much. There's nothing magical about layer feed. It is merely feed with higher added calcium. Then again, all commercial feed has calcium, just not as much as the layer formula.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    My guess is that by the time they come out of solitary, they'll be plenty old enough that layer wouldn't be an issue. Let's say they are 12 weeks now. They'd be 16 weeks after a month. No biggie.
     
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they 16 weeks is ok for layer....hmm....and that may be, but I would go a bit longer...use flock raiser with oyster shell on the side, or starter/grower with oyster shell on the side...the choice is yours...
     
  6. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    Okay, so I can buy them all chick starter and just use oyster shells on the side and that'll cover everyone? After talking to the man we bought them from he's thinking three are 8-10 weeks and the other is about 12-14, so this sounds like a good way to go. What about cracked corn, should I be buying that now that we're getting temps in the very low 30s at night? Thanks so much for the help!
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There's no cracked corn around here.

    For every ounce of that they eat, that's one less ounce of their balanced feed that is missing from their nutrition. Corn is only 8% protein. It "waters down" their total protein intake if over fed. The feed bag very likely list corn as the number one ingredient anyhow. Corn is likely 70% of their feed already. Making corn an even higher percentage of their diet make little sense to me. At $11-13 a 50# bag, it just isn't a great value either.
     
  8. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:you are right on with the feed....oyster shell when they get close to POL...they don't need it till then, and most likely won't touch it.

    corn...scratch, just a treat and not really good for them...it can help keep them warm, but so can a full tummy with other things that are good for them...greens, fruits, etc...
    I give mine BOSS daily...and on cold days, warm oatmeal!
     
  9. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    Great information! So hopefully our layers will now to chow down on the offered oyster shells, the little guys wont want to be bothered with it, we'll continue feeding them the greens/fruits/meal worms/etc... we throw in each day and get ourselves to the bulk store to buy some oatmeal for the cold nights. Awesome! I feel much better now. We really thought these guys were within a few weeks in age of ours and that was that, now I feel like we've added an unprepared for baby to the family [​IMG] I'd be worried about heat for them too but I know they've been out in the barn at the farm for the last few weeks so they should be fine.

    Thanks so much for all the help everyone! We'll put our layer mash in a tupperware for a little while and bust out the chick starter again and find some oyster shells [​IMG]
     
  10. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     

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