My chicks are mixing up food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by vfem, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I put layer pellet out and chick starter out for my silkies. I have 2 that are about 8 weeks and one that is 29 on layer. The older hen has been eating the oyster shell and pellets randomly, but will eat the chick grower just to knock them out of the way. I noticed the chicks are now eating the layer pellet that has been broken up in the bowl!

    Do I need to seperate them to get them to eat their own foods until I feed them all the same thing? Is this even going to hurt them?

    I am wondering if the chicks are eating the oyster shell too? They are given grit.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    yes seperate!!!! it's the only way right now, later when the chicks are 15 wks old or so you can switch to grower for both and lay down the oyster shells for both with no problem.
  3. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    If you seperate it will be much harder to put them together in the future. I know some people feed just chick starter to all their chickens and leave out oyster shell for the layers until the chicks are old enough for layer. There are also feeds like flock raiser designed to be fed to a mixed age group of birds. You can also do a creep feeder which is a pen with small enough or low enough openings to only allow the younger animals inside. You put your chick starter in there where the older birds can't get it.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I feed laying mash to everybody! Started out the day olds on it and they are thriving. Saves a lot of confusion and trying to buy separate feeds. Chicks are a month old now and getting big and sassy!
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    If you had to choose between the chick starter or layer feed I'd definitely do chick starter before layer. With the layer the chicks will get more calcium than they need and not enough protein. Both of which can impact growth. Not in a way you'll probably immediately notice but long term animals raised with poor nutrition like that will have more of a chance for injury, joint problems, and likely have shorter lifespans. With the chick starter the layers can get their calcium elsewhere and are mainly just dealing with some extra protein. Extra protein is more stress on the body to eliminate but much less likely to cause both short or long term problems in already grown animals.

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