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Integrating chicks into flock and seperating feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cluckey, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 2 year old chickens in the coop with 4 babies in the brooder in the garage. When the chicks turn 5-6weeks old and we start to integrate them into the big flock, how do you make sure the chicks are still eating starter/grower and the layers are eating only the layer feed. Do they have to be separated until 20 weeks? Anyone have any advice on this?
     
  2. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I would say 5 weeks is WAY too early to put them out with the rest of the flock. The usual age to have them integrated is 16 weeks. By then the chicks will be on the layer feed. Then theres no worry who is eating what feed.
     
  3. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh wow. i didn't realize it would be that long. I'll have to come up with a spot for them to go in the mean time.
     
  4. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I got chicks in the brooder that are about a month old. You can start introducing them when theyre young but cant put them out in the coop together permanently until theyre full grown. Im actually gonna put my chicks in a pen outside in the run for a few hours and introduce them to the older girls later today. That way they can see each other but cant get to each other if things go sour. But like I said before ill put mine out for their first night in the coop at 16 weeks, but start slowly introducing them in the mean time.
     
  5. Swurts

    Swurts Out Of The Brooder

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    I have chicks that are 9 weeks old in the coop right now and some that are 4 weeks old in the brooder. I let them all outside together supervised during the day. Do you think it's a small enough age gap that at 6 weeks I can put the younger ones in the coop permanently? It's been about 70-80 during the day and 50-60 at night.
     
  6. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had two sets of chicks about 2-3 weeks apart in age, we moved the first set to the coop at 5 weeks, then integrated the other when they came of age and had enough feathers to keep them warm at night. That didn't seem to be a problem b.c they reached the transition to layer feed about the same time. I think you'll be fine.

    Question on integrating though when you let your broody hen hatch chicks. We have a broody lady and i'm hoping she hatches some chicks, how do you provide the right food so the baby gets what it needs and the rest of the coop doesn't eat it? And how to keep the chick from munching on the layer feed? Anyone have any more advice/opinions on this?
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I don't ever use layer feed. I have too many babies and male birds, birds I don't want to have that extra calcium. I feed everyone all-in-one, similar to a grower or All Flock, Flock Raiser, something like that. I give my hens oyster shell to boost their calcium intake when they feel they need it. Everyone eats the same feed, easy peasy for me [​IMG]
     
  8. mimsy

    mimsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my 3- 4 year olds and 1 one year old layers and I'm integrating 4- 9 week old chicks and 1- 9 week old turkey poult. They sleep in a separate coop but I have everyone out all day free ranging now. My older girls are slowly being switched to All flock (with oyster shell on the side), so they have their mix of layer and that currently. The youngsters are all on Game feed grower. Everyone eats everyone elses food and I just don't worry about it. They all eat a hefty amount of vegetation and bugs so I figure it all works out ok.

    Knock on wood I've been lucky and my older girls are doing well with the the new ones. the only one giving them any grief is the newest one who's only about a year. (we think, she is a stray we ended up with a few months back) She's bottom of the pecking order so no real surprise she is trying to boss them. If she gets out of sorts and trys chasing them my two Polish who are the leaders will go chase her away from the babies. The older girls only give a firm peck to the babies if they are real rude..like grabbing something out of their mouths or trying to chest bump them.

    My coop is split into two sections and one section would normally be for feed, egg collection and such, but right now it's got the babies in it so they are all together but separated at night and before I let them out in the morning by a wire wall. I'm currently also putting the young ones in the coop if there is going to be no one home to keep an eye on things.

    I started letting them free range together when the babies were about 7-8 weeks old.

    Good luck with integration.
     
  9. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My babies were hatched and brooded in a dog crate inside the coop. So they were seperate and safe, but right there with everyone else. They are 4 weeks old and have been loose for a couple weeks but could run back in the crate if need be. Chick feed in the crate. Hens cant get to it. But the chicks are eating the hen food. I think i will keep their chick food in the crate just from the standpoint that they will get fed. Momma pretty much has no interest in the chicks. I was surprised at that, but maybe because the chicks blended so well she no longer feels the need to protect them.

    My newest chicks are 2 weeks old in the same crate i used before but with heating pad momma, in the coop with everyone else. I m hoping it works the same way.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  10. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That actually sounds like a good way to do it. My coop isn't big enough for a dog crate though. I have one broody chicken sitting on two eggs at the moment. I'm wondering if when/if they hatch I should bring the babies inside and put them under a heat lamp. I picked up a small coop over the weekend I think I'll park that one next to the bigger coop and put a small run on it, maybe that way when the chicks are feathered enough to spend the night outside, they can stay in there until they are ready to lay.
     

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