Joining youngers with olders -- feed issues

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lizzylougaupo, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. lizzylougaupo

    lizzylougaupo New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2013
    I have three 12-week old girls and would like to add 2 more. What should I do about the feed? The current ones are about to switch off medicated feed to regular, but when I join the new ones with them can they eat the same feed? Feeding them separately isn't really feasible with my small A-frame coop, but I also don't want to keep the new ones inside till they are 12 weeks old -- I look at mine now and can't imagine still having them inside!! I will try to reach 8 weeks inside but even that will be a challenge. 12 weeks is what is recommended for med. feed but is that necessary? Also, will 8 weeks old in November (here in Oregon rainy and cold but not usually below freezing that time of year) be okay to go outside?

    Thanks for any input!

    Chicken mama to Miska, Pquaaaa and Sarah.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
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    I never use medicated feed. I also never raise them in the house. Mine go out into a house just for chicks as they hatch regardless of time of year.
    IMO if you keep the bedding dry and feeders at least half full, medicated feed isn't necessary.
    If you have a means to get electricity to the coop for heat lamps, they can go out any time of year. And 8 weeks is well old enough to handle cold. The earlier you can get them together the better. Three adult birds will pick on 2 little birds.
    When the older ones begin to lay, you can continue to feed them all grower feed and provide oyster shell in a separate container for the layers and switch to layer feed when they all start laying.
     
  3. lizzylougaupo

    lizzylougaupo New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2013
    Thanks... I see that you live in Missouri so it's probably even colder there! I do want to give them medicated feed -- it's because of a bacteria (virus?) in their poop that they build immunity to over time but don't have when they're younger. And they do eat their poop, I've seen! Not on purpose, but it gets in stuff, and they peck at it! But it's good to know that they'll be okay at 8 weeks to go outside. Maybe I'll discontinue the medicated when they move out and call it good enough?

    Good idea for the heat lamp -- I've been thinking about getting a light out there to extend their "daylight" hours anyway so I don't have to wait till March to get eggs! Still pondering or if I want to go a completely natural cycle. Also thanks for the tip about oyster shell.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The medicated feed does nothing for bacteria or viruses. It is strictly for a parasite called coccidia. The affliction is coccidiosis. The medication, usually amprolium, is a thiamine blocker. I don't like giving that.
    That's the point of keeping the feeders full. They won't peck at their feces as much.
    It's also the reason to keep bedding bone dry. Coccidia cannot complete their life cycle from the oocysts in the feces unless moisture is present.
    Healthy chickens are not wimps.

    I've raised chicks in an unheated, uninsulated building with only heat lamps. A warm spot and lots of cool space.
    At times the building was down to about 30 but the heat lamp simulated a hen and they can choose their comfort zone.

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    This is the outside

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