I have a question about feed for the chicks. . .

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bookworm chick, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    Right now, the 7 chicks and the hen are in a brooder coop within the main coop. They can see each other through the wire. I'm not sure when the best time is to integrate them with the flock. They're going to be 2 weeks old on this Saturday. They're eating chick starter crumbles.
    My problem is that the main flock are eating layer crumbles from a hanging feeder. I think I'd read somewhere that the layer feed is harmful to baby chicks. The hens do scatter some on the floor of the coop. Also, even though it's a hanging feeder, those little rascals can jump much higher. Heck, a couple of them will jump on the mother hen's back and ride her.
    Should I switch the main flock over to the chick starter when I let them together? Will that harm them? These are our first chickens (bantams) and I just don't want to make a mistake that could have been prevented if I'd only known.
    We only have the one coop with attached covered run. They don't free range. (We have a hawk family that lives nearby, one even sat on the roof of the coop trying to figure a way to get dinner)
    Any suggestions would be surely appreciated!
  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    Started crumbles for adult birds are fine, my mother hens will happily eat it. I never knew that layers pellets were harmful for chicks, some of mine eat it happily. [​IMG]
  3. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    I found where I'd read that layer ration was harmful. It's in Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens. It says not to feed lay ration to chicks, even as an emergency feed because its high calcium content can seriously damage their kidneys.
    Guess I'll switch the hens to the chick starter just to be safe.
    Does this mean when I integrate them all together that I'll have to remove the oyster shells from the coop too?

  4. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Switch your adults back to starter, they will be fine until your younger birds are ready for layer. Every bird I own (even layers that are 2 years old) gets fed gamebird starter.

    You can leave the oyster shell out, they should only take it if they need it.
  5. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    put just starter out and a seperate container of oyster shell
  6. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    You should wait to intergrate them. they should be close in size, you can get away with a little smaller. put them in at night so they think it is normal when they wake in the morning~

    As far as food, feed your hen separtly, that's all i got....sorry

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