1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Many questions?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by andreanar, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,032
    640
    236
    May 16, 2014
    Upstate NY
    1. My girls are 23 weeks old, not laying yet. I read conflicting advice on when to change them to layer feed. Should I do it now or wait for them to start laying? I've got to buy more feed in a few days and Im confused.

    2. My lowest of the pecking order, will the others pick at her (or each other) more now that they are spending more time cooped up? I have 7, and the coop is 12 feet x 15 feet, 6 foot high.

    3. I plan on getting a few more started pullets this spring. Is it ok to keep them in the same coop with chicken wire separating them until they are integrated? (After the newbies quarantine period)

    4. Why do nest boxes have to be up off the floor?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,720
    5,466
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1. You could probably switch to layer now.
    I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat and have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.

    2. Maybe, have places where low bird can get up and away from bullies and/or 'out of line of sight' hiding places.

    3. Yep, temporary wire partition is a great way to start integration. Might also want access to another adjacent run or partition the run too with separate entrance from coop partition.

    4. They don't have to be up off the floor....if you don't mind bending over the get eggs.....but it does give more floor space.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,032
    640
    236
    May 16, 2014
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for answering. I guess I'll buy the layer feed now.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    16,515
    4,539
    481
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    X 2 on all points.

    I, too, prefer to feed flock raiser with supplemental calcium as it is MUCH easier than worrying about who is/isn't actively laying (a laying age hen who is not producing due to molt, age, illness, etc has no more need for the excess calcium in layer feed than a cockerel or chick), etc - so much simpler to be able to feed every bird on the place the same feed - plus the flock raiser is higher in protein than layer feed and I like that for my birds (also helps if one offers a lot of other food/treats that are low in protein so you don't take the overall protein content of the birds' diet below the minimum level)
     
  5. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,091
    124
    156
    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    X3 on the points! My hens actually use an old dog crate as a nesting box. It has plenty of hay in it and they get in and make their nest and lay their eggs. It is temporarily on the ground as my girls are in a new coop and we don't have the house part quite done yet. There will be nice, up off the ground nesting boxes in that one!
     
  6. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,032
    640
    236
    May 16, 2014
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the responses! What is a good brand of flock raiser? And do I leave out calcium and oyster shell if Im feeding that?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,720
    5,466
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use Purina Flock Raiser because it's the better of whats available here.
    Yes, to the calcium/oyster shell being available at all times in a separate container.

    I mix chicken egg shells with oyster shell in a bottle and dispense into these:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,945
    3,104
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Just to emphasize, the calcium is offered in a separate location, not mixed with the feed. The ones that need it for the egg shells will normally eat what they need. The ones that don’t need the excess calcium for egg shells may eat a little but not enough to do themselves harm. If it is mixed with the feed, they have more trouble self-regulating.

    I use the same general type of rabbit feeder for my oyster shell. I got mine in the rabbit section at Lowe’s.

    Instead of feeding Flock Raiser I just feed Grower or non-medicated Starter, depending on the age of the chicks. Seems like I always have chicks in the flock. Mine have access to enough forage that I don’t worry about keeping the protein in the feed that high. Not that there is anything wrong with Flock Raiser, just the way I choose go. You don’t have to be too rigid on what you feed them. A range of things work well.
     
  9. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,032
    640
    236
    May 16, 2014
    Upstate NY
    All right. That sounds like it makes good sense. I'll grab one of those feeders when I go pick up the flock raiser. Thanks. This really helped me, as I find so much conflicting info on feed.
     
  10. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,032
    640
    236
    May 16, 2014
    Upstate NY
    They do free range during the day and find all kinds of bugs and things to eat.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by