Mixed flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by paulsooie, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. paulsooie

    paulsooie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2014
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    Question. I have three hens that have been laying for about 8 months, and 8, 8 week old chicks. Will it kill the chicks if they eat the layer feed? I have put them in the same pen but not sure how to keep them from eating each others food. I figured the layers need the layena, but the chicks might not be ready for it. Any solutions are helpful
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can't keep them from eating each other's feed. And, yes, feeding layer feed to 8 week old chicks can kill them.
    The best method is to feed grower feed to all the birds and provide oyster shell in a separate container for the layers.
    Birds actively laying need extra calcium. Growing birds will likely get urolithiasis, renal failure, visceral gout and possiblel death.

    4% calcium in chick diets can result in up to 50% mortality and the damaged kidneys can affect lay rate when they mature.

    http://www.hyline.com/aspx/redbook/redbook.aspx?s=5&p=36

    http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/content/64/12/2300.abstract
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  3. threescompany

    threescompany Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is not good for pullets younger than 16 weeks to have too much calcium so layena is not the way to go with the new chicks. You could switch out to flockraiser and give oyster shell for additional calcium. The chicks won't eat the oyster shell since they don't need it but the olders will have what they need. Good luck! https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/feeding-chickens-an-introductory-guide is a good resource about feeding.
     
  4. paulsooie

    paulsooie Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok I know I sound cheap, would it hurt to mix the layer I have left with equal parts grower/starter until it's all gone?
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    We're all cheap. Well at least I am.
    If it were me, I'd refrigerate or freeze the layer feed.
    I wouldn't mix half and half. That would give you 2.5% calcium. I'd mix a quarter layer to 3/4 grower.
     
  6. paulsooie

    paulsooie Out Of The Brooder

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    That sounds good, thanks a bunch everyone
     

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