Integrating flocks and feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rusty66211, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Rusty66211

    Rusty66211 In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2009
    Ok I know this question has been asked I just got tired of looking through old posts.
    My old hens are 1 year old there is 24 of them and they are on layer feed and free range all day.
    My babies (25 barred and buff rocks) are 8 weeks fully feathered (mostly anyway) they are in the same coop seperated by a wall and share a run seperated by a fence so they have been seeing each other for atleast two weeks.
    Ok here is the question:
    My big girls go out all day but if I open the run of the little ones I have to close the run for the big ones so that the little ones are not out all day. But then the big ones have no way to get back in to the coop because the only way in is through the run.
    And also if I let them share the coop by simply taking out the temporary wall what do I feed. Do I feed layer or grower or starter or what do I do ? please help was thinking of putting them in the same run this weekend when I am home to monitor but am worried about the feed. Oh how confusing to be a chicken momma but I love every minute of it.
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You and I share the same predicament. I've been trying to read up on this issue, and here's what I've learned:

    Most critical, feeding layer feed to pullets before they begin to lay is dangerous to their development. The high calcium in layer feed can damage the bodies of growing pullets. Yours are getting too old to be on chick starter, so the advice I've read recommends flock raiser until five months.

    Now for the tricky part. How do we keep the youngsters from eating the layer feed? Beats me.

    My flock consists of six adult laying hens, six ten-week olds, and three four-week olds. What I'm doing is providing the youngsters with their own feeder of chick starter, laced with ground up Black-oil sunflower seeds. It's a sneaky way of making the chick feed really attractive to the youngsters. They have access to the adult side of the pen through a small pop hole. The adult hens are too large to squeeze though, so they can't eat up the chick feed from the youngsters.

    I'll be heading to the feed store at the end of the week to buy some flock raiser, then the youngsters will be off the chick starter, except for the three small chicks, who have their own pen inside the pullets' pen, and spend nights inside in their brooder.

    So, I plan on just trusting that the pullets will eat mostly out of their feeder on their side of the pen. If they eat from the adult feeders, as a couple do from time to time, so be it. It shouldn't be enough to do them any great harm. The adults mostly run them off before they eat too much, anyway.

    Life in a chicken yard is complicated enough without fretting over who eats what. I'll just provide what they need and hope for the best.

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