new chicks into old flock feed?

ffibyar

Chirping
Oct 28, 2015
102
14
66
lorain county, Ohio
I have 3, 11 week girls I want to put into a group of girls that are 26 weeks. Right now they are being introduced in their separate pen/cage by sharing the water. Seems to be going OK so far. They have meet a few time before when I let them out in their own little run while the older ones were free ranging.

My question is lets say everything goes well with them getting together when I put them together. ( I will be sure the 3, have ways and places to run to hide ) What about the feed?

Right now my 3, 11 week old are on Pullet feed and the 14 big girls are eating Layers crumbles. They go out in the run everyday for several hours and then the last 2 hours of day light I turn them out to have at the yard, woods and field when I can be there also.

I am new to this and am really have a great time raising chickens. I also have seen they will just about eat anything at any age if they get the chance. BUT then there are the article's that say it should be done a curtain way or it will get bad kidney's or something.

Am I make to big of a deal about it?
Thank you

 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,509
20,789
907
Southeast Louisiana
There is plenty of proof that growing chickens eating Layer can harm them, not just to organs but to their skeleton, due to the excess calcium. I don’t know what age exactly it is OK for chicks to start eating Layer. What else they eat besides Layer and how much calcium is in that makes a difference too. You are not over-reacting. It’s good practice to be careful about this.

A traditional way to feed a mixed age flock is to feed them all the same thing, Grower, Flock Raiser, or something else with about 1% calcium content and offer oyster shell in a separate container. The chickens that are laying and need the extra calcium for their egg shells generally know to eat the oyster shell. The ones that don’t need the excess calcium might eat a bite or two but don’t eat enough to harm themselves.

Since I practically always have younger chicks in the flock I never feed Layer. It might be a starter/grower or a grower with oyster shell on the side. The chickens do fine on this.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,167
38,183
1,096
southern Michigan
I only feed layer when all the birds are in lay; otherwise it's Flock Raiser, and always oyster shell on the side. This year the young bantams aren't mature yet, and by spring there will be chicks, so probably no layer feed will happen. Mary
 

ffibyar

Chirping
Oct 28, 2015
102
14
66
lorain county, Ohio
OK, I do thank you 2!!
I just checked Meyers, Grower feed and they say there grower feed has .8% to 1.3% max calcium.
This should work out good with what feed I have in my feed box. Once the 11 week girls start to lay I will finish up what layer feed I have left and start leaning towards grower a little while because about then I have a big bunch that I will be doing the same thing.
I do have the oyster shell on the side even with the layer feed.

I always enjoy going to Meyers to get my feed because ya never know what else I come home with!!

Really enjoy being able to ask questions and all the feed back and so far all the girls are pretty happy!!!
 

triplepurpose

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 13, 2008
1,018
265
289
i wouldnt sweat it too much. calcium is a water soluable mineral, so birds that are getting too much should be able to excrete the excess, up to a point. sometimes especially before stores here started carrying OG feeds, i had to use whatever they had on the shelf at the time--and lo, it was fine. and over all, id say Ive had more trouble over the years with layers not getting enough than the other way round, personally.

not that the nutritional issues raised arent at all valid--just offering my perspective. would i recommend raising chicks only on layer? not really. Would feeding them layer sonetimes for a while really hurt them? id say no...
 
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