Need an answer to this question.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chick_love99, May 16, 2009.

  1. chick_love99

    chick_love99 In the Brooder

    May 12, 2009
    here is my question for all:

    My family has a flock of 6 hens and 1 rooster. We are raising three more chicks. We want to integrate the young ones into the main flock. We are not interested in culling. (We have culled and we don't want to cull at this time. Our main flock is producing just fine...) My flock consists of 1 Bantam Buff Cochin rooster, 1 Astralorp, 1 Rhode Island Red, 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Ameracaunas. The chicks are 6 weeks plus, as of today. I am about to transition the chicks from chick starter feed to grower feed. The chicks are presently living in a pen inside the main, enclosed chicken yard. Therefore, they are presently separated and able to eat their specific feed. But, I would prefer to have the young birds living amidst the mature hens but my concern is about the birds getting into each others different feeds. I understand that chicks CANNOT eat layer feed until approximately 5/6 months due to the calcium and its affect on their kidneys. So, as I envision integrating the young and older birds together, this is the scenario: I could raise up the hanging feeder, containing the layer feed, so the feed would be unaccessible (for now...) to the chicks (excluding the scattered feed on the ground though). And I would allow the grower feed to be accessible to the chicks (AND consequently any other interested older birds too...). So, my questions are: Is it harmful if a layer bird eats occasional grower feed? And is it harmful if the chicks/pullets scavenge occasional layer feed? Or is there a feed that both ages could consume, considering we prefer that they live together? Or must I keep these birds completely separate until the pullets come into lay and everyone can eat layer feed? Thank you (and please be specific with your answers).

  2. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Well I know an adult bird eating chick grower won't do any harm because when I have hens hatching out babies they eat the chick starter and the chick grower that they teach their babies to eat. I would say in my opinion you should keep them seperate. It would probably be best for all but of course a bigger pain for you. They feeding situation would be a mess. Plus the young birds might be too small to fend for themselves against the larger ones. Hope this helps.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by