I mixed the flocks in one coop - 4 weeks to 7 months

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PurpleChicken, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Iceland
    With 60 chickens spilt among 2 3x18' coop sections in my barn and one
    3x5' brooder it was getting to much to handle. So tonight I put all of them
    out in the run, removed the seperator that split the to coop areas, put in
    new pine, and let them all be together. It's a little crazy right now and probably
    pure horror for the younger ones but it's going ok. My 9 standard layers are picking
    on them a little but not too bad.

    My biggest dilema is food. Unless I'm advised otherwise I'm gonna make a blend
    of 40% layer / 40% grower / 20% scratch. There is plenty of oyster shell, granite
    grit, and sand available to them. They also get a lot of raw oatmeal, there favorite,
    fruits, vegies, and table scraps.

    I'll watch the egg shells to make sure they aren't getting any thinner.

    So many local people have said they just feed layer to their entire flocks, including
    roosters and youngins.

    Some of these birds will end up as layers and pets. Some will go to new homes.
    Some will be meat birds.

    Our local feed store said whe would sell birds for me but that is for another thread.
     
  2. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

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    Quote:I would get rid of the scratch, mine get all layer, but mine are not as wide in age. The scratch does nothing for them as far as nutrition, (and they may fill up on scratch thus waisting the food they really need), the grower shouldnt hurt as long as plenty of oyster chell is available,
     
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Mine get a general poultry feed (16%) and I give them oyster shell and grit on the side.
    I have layers, almost layers and a rooster - they seem to be doing just fine.

    I do give scratch - twice a day a cup in the morning when I open up, and a cup at night to keep em cozy...

    Only three of my hens are laying (no problem with the shells)- the bantams - the standards are 19weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  4. crazy4chicsinBC

    crazy4chicsinBC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Abbotsford, B.C.
    Purple
    I'm so interested in how this works for you. I have my RIR (30 weeks, and great layers) on 1 side and a whole bunch of Jersy Giants (about 12 weeks) on other side (both meat ,pet and laying) they are seperated by chicken wire, which I would like to remove. So please let me know what happens.
    Cheers,
    Kim
     
  5. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    When I mixed my 8wkers with my adult flock,
    I leaned an old screen in the corner. They could pop behind it, but the big girls couldn't. I kept their food back there, and they seemed to do well. Yes, they *could* eat the layer, but I think overall they stuck to their grower. It worked out very well. They would come out, hang around with everyone else, then flee to their corner if they felt threatened.

    I don't have much advice on the mix, other than that you have to do the best you can do regarding protein/calcium/whathaveyou. I know that my "chicks" are about... 16wks now, and eat layer with the big chickens (yes, I understand the risks), and are doing fine. I do keep an eye on them to make sure everyone gets to food and water (only a real concern with one of them.. she's just not pushy and will stay far away from the bigger chickens). No health problems with them at all.

    Anyway, good luck! Keep an eye out for blood/chronic harassment. Make sure there are enough food/water stations set up so everyone has access to something. It does get to be a bit much with numerous pens of chickens, especially while plowing through snow to get to them! I actually have three groups going right now, but two of them live in this room with me, so it's dry, warm, and comfy to get their food and water. Eventually, though, the two youngest will join the big flock (Jane, too, if I can somehow get her to integrate with them!! She's convinced she's a lap and house bird!)

    Meghan
     
  6. crazy4chicsinBC

    crazy4chicsinBC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2007
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    Meghan
    I like the idea of the "old screen in corner" I think I will try to do something of that sort....Thanks
     
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Iceland
    Thanks for the responses.

    The 20% scratch is only a temp thing for the winter and most of it
    is hand fed or thrown on the pine to get them to scratch at the pine and
    mix it up.

    I like the idea of a "sanctuary" for the little ones. We'll watch them for
    any signs of being picked on.

    As for nutrition I'm more concerned with the layers than the chicks. I believe
    getting too little calcium is more dangerous than getting too much. My layers
    all pick at the oyster shell and I go through a cup or so every few days. The
    grit gets less attention but they do love the sand box.

    I wish they could free range but the snow and frozen ground sorta limit that.

    Don
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    Sounds like a great idea! I'm going to wait a few more weeks and try.
     
  9. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    NY
    For protection from big chickens
    I got an old screen door that was along the road for trash pick up.
    already had hinges and all I had to do was lay it on its side
    and screw it to the wall at an angle. small birds can run behind it but still see and be seen by the whole fllock.
    if you dont need it ya just flip it up against the wall and have a hook & latch to keep it out of the way.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I wouldn't feed the really young ones layer, but many people find that with mixed age flocks, they have success feeding an all-purpose poultry feed and putting out the free-choice oyster shell. I did that using Purina FlockRaiser one time. Also, the Southern States Rockin-Rooster Booster pellets have very little calcium, but they are 20% protein, an excellent choice if the smaller ones will eat pellets. It can be quite a challenge feeding such diverse age groups in one place, that's for certain.
     

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