Mixing the flocks

Fallen Leaf Farm

8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
I have six 1 year old Buff Orpingtons hens, and nine 13 week old chicks. For several weeks, they have been free-ranging together during the day and in seperate quarters at night. The babies have access to their area during the day with their chick food, and the hens have their food in the other area (the babies can get there also). The two areas are seperated by a walk-through door. Each area is 12x8.

We are leaving for 5 days and my chicken sitter (mom) doesn't want to let them out to free-range while we are gone because she is sure she won't be able to gather them all up and it is 5 miles each way out to our home. Our plan was to have her come once a day to collect eggs and check food and water. I feel bad leaving the birds locked up that long, so I was contemplating leaving the walk-through door open so that they would have more area. I could also leave the stall door open into the barn aisle, giving them access to 28x36 of area where I store my horses' hay. (Oh, the poop everywhere!
) I wouldn't be able to separate the food, so the adults would either be getting chick food (which they do love!) or the chicks would be getting layer feed. (Or would there be a feed that I could get that would work for both ages for the week?)

What would you do?
I wouldn't want my hay all covered with poop, but that's me.
5 days locked into their pens won't kill them but they'd be unhappy, but what can you do.
As for the feed. Yes, take away both the current feeds, and supply your sitter with Flock Raiser, which they will both love. If the chick's feed isn't medicated, you could also just feed that. For 5 days, it's no big deal.

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