Keeping Feed Separate with Mixed Age Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Feathers n Fur, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hunterdon County NJ
    I have 7 four week old chicks that I will be putting in the coop with the big girls - separated of course with chicken wire partition for about 2 weeks or so in the beginning of April (new chicks will be 6 weeks old when they go in coop. I have a heat lamp for the cool temps). When I take down the partition and let the two flocks of 7 each co-mingle the young ones should be about 8 or 9 weeks old. They will be on different food from my layers. How do I make sure each group gets what they need? Has anyone else integrated varying aged birds and figured out the food situation?

    Thanks for your help
  2. kannna

    kannna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard
    If you look back this similar question has been asked this week by a few people and there are a lot of good answers.

    What I do is feed them all Grower and provide calcium separately. The grower doesn't have the extra calcium in it that Layer does and provides the extra protein that growing chickens need. I also use the broody method of hatching so usually the broody can also use that boost of protein for the post hatch recovery.
  3. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Thanks for your reply. I will look up old posts and keep your method as a strong possibility.
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    If you want to keep the young chicks from eating layer feed, that option really is the only one to use. I feed all of my chickens gamebird feed. It feed back egg shells and give them oyster shell occasionally (only bc they seem to prefer the egg shells). I don't get soft shelled or rubber eggs feeding this way, and all of my birds feathers are in beautiful condition :)
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  5. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I do pretty much the same thing, feed a "flock grower" ration to the combined flock but be sure to have oyster shell in a little dish available at all times for my layers. So far, no issues with soft eggs...other than that occasional wierd almost shell-les egg that shows up under the roost every few months.
  6. MsRiderUp

    MsRiderUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2011
    Canton, Georgia
    I am facing the same problem. Previously I've been able to pen off areas near the coop where only the younger chickens can fit through the gap, but alas, my chickens are growing by leaps and bounds! I have been giving them medicated chick feed, and the rest of the flock (4 to 1 year olds) get the flock feed w/oyster shell, ground eggshells offered.

    Oh, and the part that makes it work for sure: the coop is in a 45' x 45' area surrounded by chain-link fence. That is inside a much larger back yard (also enclosed in chain-link fence) that the older chickens free-range in. So it's a square inside of a 'sortof rectangle'. Haven't lost any chickens to predators, but the feeding issue remains now that the young ones (2-month-olds) are about 2/3 the size of the 4-month-old pullets).

    I wonder if I can just feed them ALL the flock feed, and maybe feed the 2-month-olds in their pen with some bird netting over it once a day. Practical considerations dictate that I can't continue to keep them separate. Will need to keep ALL in the 45' x 45' area until I put a gate to the area outside of the backyard, and they can free-range in our woods area.

    I know this is long, but ideas appreciated. There are so many really smart and experienced 'chicken people' on this site! Thanks.
  7. RonP

    RonP Overrun With Chickens

    I also have a mixed aged flock.

    I freechoice 28% protein all flock, oyster shell, and whatever they find interesting in their run (treats).

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