moving in together

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenmom1, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. chickenmom1

    chickenmom1 Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    My chicks are now about 12 weeks and we opened up a new yard for them. We are opening up the yard to the hens too.. The hens keep eating the chick starter food. Is that a problem and will it stop my hens from laying if they are eating too much of that food instead of layer food.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I have that problem too. I have some younger pullets and cockerels that I still have on the chick starter/grower, then I have my laying hens. When they free range, the hens will run into the younger chicken's areas and eat their food. I just let them do it--you can't really stop them! It's like, that food must be DELICIOUS![​IMG]

    I know the hens eat their layer food too, because I keep having to refill it, plus the eggs are fine, so I don't worry about it. I do keep a two sided container filled with oyster shell and grit inside the hen's coop for those strong egg shells.

    So just IMHO, I think it's fine. Hope this helps![​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  3. chickenmom1

    chickenmom1 Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    It helps a lot. I am just hoping that the hens don't pick on the smaller chicks. I was hoping that the larger area would keep them busy. I have a little tophat that seems a little slow that I am worried about. They always pick on the weak and she is.
  4. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    My hens were not so nice to the chicks at first but now they all get along - also I switched to non medicated chick food because I read that laying hens should not eat the antibiotics. The chicks get into the layena too. The hens are molting so a little extra protein won't hurt and my chicks are June Hatching so they are nearing egg laying age.
  5. sixxchixx

    sixxchixx Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    Escondido, CA
    I was wondering how many hens/chicks you have? I am new to this and I know that its almost time to integrate my four 10 wk olds in with my 2 hens. Im really worried about it. the 4 pullets are like my "babies" and im really worried about them getting beaten up. they will all have about a 90sqft yard with plenty of shade and plants to kill and a large coop for nightime. Right now the "babies" have their own little space away from the grown ups and are in a rabbit cage at night.

    since you have some experience with this do you have any advise?
    thank you,
  6. chickenmom1

    chickenmom1 Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    Funny!!! I am new at this too. This website has saved me. We moved into the farm last year. My husband's mom died and we moved into her 7 acre farm with 25 chickens. I loved it and it came natural because I love animals. The girls started laying less and in order to keep our farm tax we have to make sure we are selling eggs. We bought 36 babies this spring and they are now about 12 weeks old. My husband made a huge yard for the new ones and we just put them together. Everything seems to be going fine because the large hens are too busy eating the new grass and stuff to pick too much on the little ones. I lost my roo last week to a hawk so I think that might be making it easier too. I think you'll be okay with integration, just find something to keep the girls busy. I heard that putting a whole cabbage in keeps them busy and I also heard and I did this myself, put a small tote or box in that the babies can escape into that the hens can't get into. Good luck,

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