how to stop young chicken from eating layer crumble

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by opihiman911, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    I have 5 young birds that are about 12 weeks old. I had to release them into coop because they were getting to big for my juvenile cage. For the last week I have left a crack in the cage door for them to run and hide from the older one and to have their own water and grow feed.
    The other day I caught them eating out of the big girls feed bucket that has 20% layer crumble. I have this bucket on a raised platform about 2 feet off the ground and the bucket is hanging about a foot off the floor. They somehow made it up on the platform and stretched their neck to eat the crumble. I raised the bucket even higher and now they are just jumping up and sitting on the edge of the feeder eating the crumble.
    They have plenty of grow crumble in their cage, they just aren't eating it. They have taken to the layer crumble and also the big girls water dish. As far as I can tell they aren't even going into their cage, just cruizing and sleeping with the older ones.
    If I leave the grow crumbles out in the open for them, then the big girls will eat it all.
    This is the first time I've had little one venture out and find the layer crumble so fast. They are not afraid of the older ones and are already accepted as part of the flock.
    Should I worry about them eating layer crumble so young? I've heard that the extra calcium isn't good for them, but what can it do to them? Will it kill them?
    Not sure I can really do anything about it, but I'm open to suggestions.

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    It won't kill them, but it also wont kill your layers to eat the grower. Just give free choice calcium.
  3. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    hmmm...a free for all buffet dinner and let them eat whatever they want.....I like that simple solution. Thanks

  4. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    I think it best if mixing ages to give all starter/grower feed and put out oyster shell and crushed egg shells for the extra calcium the layers need. My younger chickens and my rooster show no interest in the oyster shells and egg shells. I think the reason non laying age birds aren't supposed to have the calcium in layer feed is that it can interfere with their bone development. Calcium isn't good for roosters, either.
  5. Liza

    Liza Songster

    Mar 27, 2008
    Dripping Springs, Texas
    I also read that giving high calcium food before 18 weeks can damage the chicks kidneys as well as the damage to the bones. It sounds good advise to give everyone (big and small) the chick's feed and offer calcium to the older girls.

    Has anyone heard of mixing oats with chick starter at eight weeks? I was told to start mixing the oats slowly until a 50/50 mix was achieved.

    Cheers Everyone,

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: