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Intriducing Baby Chicks to the flock and Feeding Starter feed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lindzmae, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. lindzmae

    lindzmae Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi All,
    I raised 3 chicks with their broody mama in a small coop on out porch. The baby chicks are now 6 1/2 weeks old and still very much attached to mama. I see in posts that by 8 weeks the chicks should be started on grower feed. I have also seen where by 8 weeks the babies should be introduced to the flock as mama starts distancing herself.

    Our large coop/run in fully enclosed on our property to keep out predators.

    My questions:
    1. When should I start introducing the babies to the flock
    2. How can i ensure the babies are consuming grower feed and not the layer feed the other chickens consume.
    3. My baby chicks feel really greasy, should i add a pile of dirt in their current coop to dust bathe?


    Thanks!
    Lindsay
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    When raising baby chicks in with the flock, simply feed the whole flock the same feed, whether it is starter (medicated or unmedicated,) grower or flock raiser. Offer a bowl of oyster shell separately for laying hens to take if they want to (you'll be surprised how little they use.) If you can't find flock raiser in your area, just use grower.

    When the youngest chicks start laying, you can switch to a layer feed if you wish. However, if you have any males, it is better not to feed them layer feed, but rater, continue with the flock raiser and offering oyster shell on the side. Although people do feed their cockerels layer feed, it can cause problems:

    http://www.hyline.com/aspx/redbook/redbook.aspx?s=5&p=36
     
  3. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't feed the flock medicated feed if they're laying because you will have to discard all of the eggs while they are on the medicated feed
     
  4. lindzmae

    lindzmae Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2014
    Thanks everyone! I don't know why I didn't just think to introduce everyone to grower feed. We fed this to our girls in December when their egg production slowed in order to help them through molting. No worries if we have cockerels because once one of them starts crowing, he has to go. We aren't allowed roos in our city limits.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, Purina says this is not necessary because the amrolium, which is not an antibiotic, stays i the chickens' intestine til it is taken up by the cocci.
     
  6. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah I see. Sorry for the mis info. Heard about not being able to save the eggs while feeding medicated feed from somewhere wish I could remember. Probably an article or something
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2015
  7. StoneHens

    StoneHens New Egg

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    My 5-week old Wyandotte pullets are getting very upset at night when they can't roost with the big girls. (The two babies are in a separate but attached pen adjacent to the fully enclosed run). We had planned to keep them in the small pen until they are near the size of the grown girls. They can see each other and there is no visible aggression. The babies are fine all day until evening when the hens start working their way up the roost ladder. Then the babies start crying and jumping up at the walls, working themselves into a frenzy. Should I just let them in with the big girls? They are pretty laid-back types (Australorp, Ameracauna, Sicilian Buttercup) and I don't think they would harm the babies, but it's so hard to know. Should I just wait? Their crying and distress is pitiful to witness!
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Not so much a used to, low dose antibiotic supplementation is still going on. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/15/poultry-farms-antibiotics-chickens_n_5822438.html

    Arsenic was in use as recently as 2013.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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