Merging chicks in coop question

careeka22

Songster
Jul 29, 2016
399
381
176
Aylett VA
Sorry I have yet another question. So I got the idea here of putting a mesh divider between the older hens and the new babies with a "baby door" where they could go in and meet but retreat back if needed. I have a large coop and only 2 adult hens left so I was going to divide it and put a tiny chick door down the middle so they can integrate and go to the run if they want but also are safe. However I was wondering how to keep them from eating the layer feed? Will it matter if they do? I was going to keep the layer feed on the big hen side and the starter feed with the chicks so the older 2 couldn't eat it. Will the chicks just know to go for the starter feed since it's finer?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,844
21,967
907
Southeast Louisiana
No those chicks will not know any better. The way I handle raising chicks with the flock is to feed them all the same low calcium feed, maybe Start or Grower, and offer oyster shell on the side. It's a pretty standard method on here. That way the ones that need the extra calcium for egg shells can eat it and the ones that don't need the extra calcium should not eat enough to harm themselves.
 

careeka22

Songster
Jul 29, 2016
399
381
176
Aylett VA
No those chicks will not know any better. The way I handle raising chicks with the flock is to feed them all the same low calcium feed, maybe Start or Grower, and offer oyster shell on the side. It's a pretty standard method on here. That way the ones that need the extra calcium for egg shells can eat it and the ones that don't need the extra calcium should not eat enough to harm themselves.

Ok great idea! Will it matter if it's the medicated starter feed? We just got a 50lb bag yesterday and I can have the older girls finish off the rest of the layer feed before I put the chicks out there.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,844
21,967
907
Southeast Louisiana
Check the label for what the medicine is in the medicated feed. If it is Amprolium (and it usually is) there is no withdrawal for using the eggs. That means the hens can eat the medicated feed and you can still eat the eggs. It is really rare for the medicine to be anything other than Amprolium but if it is then it will depend on what the medicine is.
 

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