Meat birds and egg layers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by willowtreecreek, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. willowtreecreek

    willowtreecreek Out Of The Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    Right now I just have layers. In the spring I would like to increase my flock to include bot meat birds and layers. Can I keep these guys together in the same coop? They will be free range in the day? Also how to I hanlde feeding if the layers get egg ration and the meat birds get grower/finisher? Anyone have advice?
  2. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    You need to keep them seperate. The hens need the calcium and the meat don't.

    The layers which sounds like are adults will really hurt baby chicks if they are put together.
  3. willowtreecreek

    willowtreecreek Out Of The Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    Okay thanks! If I had to choose should I free range the layers or the meat birds? The others I will confine to a run attached to the coop. I may just make two large runs and not free range at all. That way I don't have to hunt fir eggs and I don't have to worry about the little ones becoming prey.
  4. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe rather than feeding layer feed, you can feed them finisher and just put out a pan of oyster shells. I am pretty sure I have read that the hens will eat them for the calcium they need, and the rest won't go after them since they don't need the calcium...again, I THINK this is correct.

    As far as free ranging- what we plan on doing with ours is free ranging the broilers for the first half of the day, allowing the hens to stay inside and lay in their nest boxes. Then, in the early afternoon, lock up the boys and let the "chics" run wild for a few hours. this way, everybody gets exercise and well as grass and bugs...and we hopefully will not play hide and go seek so much with the eggs....

    As for the little chicks, definitely DO want to keep them safe from the big chickens, they will bully them and not let them eat in the BEST scenario- the worst one, they will peck them to death.
  5. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    assuming you are doing cornishX as meat birds, freerange the layers, since the cornishX will not be doing a whole lot of rangeing anyway.
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:If you have color rangers, they can free range, (from what I've read, I haven't raised color rangers yet, but I always have layers, and I have raised C-X's) Cornish X won't be much inclined to range. I hung the feeders up so they couldn't lay down to eat.

    I keep chicks in until they feather out, but have an area where they and the adult birds can see and hear each other. By the time they are feathered out, I let them out all together, there's seldom a problem.

    When my birds are out free ranging, I'd have a really difficult time getting them to go back in and be locked up before dark.

    Hens don't always lay eggs in the morning, either. They will usually lay in the nest boxes, though there may be some hide and seek, especially in the springtime, when they may be inclined to brood, if they are broody types.

    Once the babies are about pigeon size, they should be able to range with the hens, without any trouble.

    Best of luck, with whatever you work out to do.

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