How to keep 4 week olds away from the layer food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KPort Chick, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. KPort Chick

    KPort Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2008
    Maine
    How do I separate the babies food (medicated crumbles) from the adult hens food (layer crumbles). Everyone seems to say that the layer food is hard on the young pullets. I keep the food out all day.
     
  2. mud21

    mud21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Just figure out: what can one group do that the other group cant? The chicks are a lot smaller than the hens, so put the chicks feed somewhere that the hens are too big to fit. Maybe make an area that has little entrance holes, like a creep feeder for large animals. For the layer feed, put it somewhere the chicks cant reach. Maybe on a shelf that the hens can fly up to, but the little ones cant.
    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I used econo-wire (very cheap from Lowes) that has holes about 2"x3" and made a squareish all-wire cage about 2'x2.5' and set the feed hopper and waterer in there. The babies can easily sqeeze through the wire, but the mamas can't. Saves SO much on feed costs - the adults just love that chick food and I didn't want to share!

    The babies also run there when they feel threatened - they learned quick that the other chickens can't get in there.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Yeah...but how to keep the chicks out of the hen's food? [​IMG] My 4 wks can already fly up to the 5 ft. tall roosts, so they can get up to any feeder of any height. Mine don't seem to even like the chick starter and neither did their mama. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    All my adult birds lovelovelove chick starter, even the ducks, geese & guineas. And the chicks will get into the layer pellets whenever they can. I've tried making small/narrow openings to enclosures with the chick food, but the adults seem as talented as ferrets in getting themselves through tiny spaces. Not to mention the need for great big teenage chicks to still eat chick feed.

    So far the best solution I've found is to keep them in separate pens until the chicks are 18-20 weeks old and can eat adult feed.

    The second-best solution is to let the chicks out to free-range in the morning, when the adult birds & their feed is confined, and then shoo them back in during the afternoon when the adults get out for their recess.
     
  6. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hens need higher calcium content than chicks
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  7. KPort Chick

    KPort Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2008
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    Interesting...thank you everyone. That might explain why one of my grown hens keeps laying a very soft shelled egg. Maybe she is eating the chick food and not the layer food.
     
  8. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    putting apple cider vineager in their water will help hens digest vitD and calcium from the oyster shell
    yopu need to make sure the oyster shell feeder is by the crumbles feeder
    2 tbsp per gallon of water will not hurt either hens or chicks
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The issue is further complicated for my flock because of all the bantams I have. They fly over the fences, in & out of any pen they wish. There's no place I can keep them out of the chick food in any open pen, so I've given up trying. Their little eggshells are strong, so I don't think it's affecting them.
     
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Although four weeks is possibly too young to start this; as they get older you can use Flock Raiser for ALL your chickens. Then, when your youngest ones are laying or about 20 weeks old you can switch back to just layer feed.
     

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