New chicks in coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrkep, May 5, 2016.

  1. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    I got 6 Buckeye chicks on 4/12 and didn't have room to raise them anywhere but the big girls coop. So I divided the coop with cardboard & wire and put the little ones in. There is a heat lamp and their food & water. So now the weather is warming and the chicks are 5 weeks old and I would like to think about letting them out into the world. But how do I ensure that they eat only the chick grower and not the layer food, and how do I keep the big girls (4 Buckeyes & 6 Orps) from eating the chick food? I read here that chicks should be 18 weeks before eating the layer food because of the added calcium.
     
  2. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in the same boat as you.

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    My new girls have been outside for almost a week now. I'm putting away the layer ration for a few weeks and feeding a grow ration with oyster shell as the calcium supplement. The calcium is in a pan that hooks into the fence in the run. The big girls see it, they know where it is and I see them picking in the oyster shell often. The new girls walk right under the pan and don't even seem to notice it.

    The older birds will eat the chick ration, no harm there. The chicks will eat the grow ration, and at 5 weeks the grow ration would probably be better for them.

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    When ever we use the eggs in cooking, I call the big girls over and give them the egg shells. The little ones ignore the shells, and they are a bit intimidated by the older birds.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    You can use an all flock/flock raiser feed for all ages. Just offer oyster shell free choice for the girls that are laying.
    A few of the chicks may peck at the oyster shell when exploring but they generally won't consume it until they need the extra calcium.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Colorado Rockies
    If you are going to be getting chicks every year or two, as I have over the nine years I've had chickens, you just may join the club and do away with layer feed and just feed grower all the time with oyster shell on the side. When I switched over for good, I discovered my hens far preferred the grower over layer. It's certainly not affected egg production adversely in the least.

    With that issue out of the way, integrating chicks with adults is very simple and easy if you use the panic room method. It involves setting up a safe area that the chicks access through 5 x 7 inch portals, and their food and water is kept inside this refuge. That way, there's never any danger that the older chickens will chase and bully the chicks away from their food and run the risk of them becoming malnourished. I integrate my chicks at three weeks using this method and it's safe and reliable. I advocate brooding chicks alongside adult chickens to make integration even easier.

    The 5 x 7 inch portals accommodate the chicks until they reach three months, and by that time, they're more than holding their own against the adults and no longer need a refuge.

    You can read about it and see pics by clicking on the second link below my post, the article on brooding outdoors.
     
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