New chicks are eating laying food


9 Years
Jun 1, 2010
We raised 7 chickens last year and this year have very carefully introduced 3 new chicks to the group. The chicks are now about 15 weeks old and just a couple days ago were completely merged, full time, with the older chickens. The older chickens are eating the chick food and vice versa. Is there a problem with the chicks eating laying food at this age? We are giving them non-medicated starter food so the older chickens won't lay medicated eggs, but I am worried about egg binding if laying food is given too early. Should I be concerned and if so, how do I keep them from eating each other's food?
No idea how to keep them separated, if they aren't cordoned off from the others.

Good luck.
Last edited:
Hi & welcome to BYC,

It is not a good idea to feed layer to chicks because it is high in calcium and can be hard on the kidneys. But at 15 weeks your chicks are getting close to laying probably.

Some people feed Flock Raiser(or some other non calcium enriched food) to all of them. And offer oyster shell seperately to the hens.

Imp- FYI some people have had chicks not start laying for 30+ weeks.
At 15 weeks I would not worry unless you have a very slow maturing breed. Many switch all their chickens to laying food at 16-20weeks whether they are laying yet or not because many if not most breeds start laying in that time period.
Thanks so much for the info. I would hate to separate the chicks again since it's taken us since February to get them to this point. Since the older chickens seem to eat only at the end of the day, was thinking of taking the laying food out and leaving the starter food for the chicks to eat during the day. Any thoughts? I hadn't heard about possible kidney problems. Yikes! Thank you again!

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