How to feed chicks in with the adult flock?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Georgia Nana, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Georgia Nana

    Georgia Nana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Kathleen, Georgia
    Much has been said about the danger of feeding chicks laying food, but I don't see that I have a choice. Mama Welsummer hatched 4 beautiful babies in the small broody pen, but as soon as they were feathered out they, along with mama, joined the rest of the flock in the big pen. How do I feed them the chick starter/grower that they need, and keep them from eating the laying crumbles ?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You can feed them all a variety of feed possibility. Starter, Grower, All Flock or Flock Raiser. Just no Layer feed.

    Just provide the hens a calcium source, such as shells, on the side. Chicks normally aren't interested in them, as their bodies are craving the calcium supplement.
     
  3. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    Fred's hens has great advice. It's better to feed the entire flock high protein feed (with a shell supplement on the side) rather than feed chicks layer.
    Layer feed will likely harm their kidneys, and even if it doesn't it will almost certainly cause shell problems when they do start to lay (because all that early calcium can permanently harm their ability to store calcium). I often suspect many soft shell layers were fed too much calcium too early.
    To an extent, chicks on free range will only eat just so much layer anyhow (they'll have other food sources), but of course that depends on what other food they can get hold of.
    best wishes
    Erica
     
  4. Georgia Nana

    Georgia Nana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Kathleen, Georgia
    Thanks guys. I will switch to flock raiser.
     

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