New to this whole back yard chicken thing!


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 22, 2013
Bountiful Utah
Hi! My name is Julie! I live in Bountiful Utah. The city I live in just started to allow people to have hens this year I believe. I just purchased what I thought were 4 hens in July. It's my first time having chickens. The lady I got them from said that the polish hen was 3 1/2 months. She ended up being a rooster so I gave him away. The other 3 are a sikie, road island red and a cochin. I bought 3 gold sex link female chicks in August. They were 3 weeks old when I got them. I just put them in the enclosure with the hens a couple weeks ago. The chicks are in a dog cage so the hens can't beat them up! I let them out with the hens for a little while in the evenings and the silkie has little hen syndrome or something because she's the one picking on them and they are almost as big as she is now. They are 9 weeks old! I am hoping to get them in the coop with the hens soon! I just started the chicks on grower food a week ago. They were eating starter food until then. I am thinking about switching the hens to the grower food until the chicks are old enough for layer food. Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome! Happy you're here!
Hello and welcome, I would think you would be fine feeding them grower food as long as any laying hens have oyster shells or some kind of calcium supplement.
I wouldn't give the chicks layer feed so early, silkies may not lay until 5-7 mos old, and I don't believe many breeds start at 4 mos. I could be wrong. I think you could feed them grower mix even the hens but, as someone else pointed out put out oyster shell or ground egg shell so they can eat that as needed. The younger chicks won't bother with that. They go to layer mix for all once the young'uns are laying also.

I think once the silkie's crest and beard obscure her vision, I think the other chicks will turn the tables on her.
Welcome to BYC!
What DD said. Enjoy the site!
The silkie is one of the adult hens. She's been laying almost every day since it cooled off a little here. She just went broody on me yesterday. I have 3 gold sex link chicks. The cochin and the RIR are also hens.The silkie and the cochin are a little over a year old. The RIR is a little over 3 years old. I think she's still laying once in a while but for the most part it's been the silkie and the cochin laying since I got them. I will start giving everybody the grower food then when I put them in the coop together. You mentioned giving the hens oyster shell for calcium but the chicks don't need the extra calcium yet correct? So should I put the oyster shell somewhere the hens can get at it but not the chicks or what do you suggest for that? Sorry to keep asking questions. How old do you think the chicks should be before I try putting them in the coop with the hens at night? I don't even leave them out with the hens alone yet during the day! I live in Utah and it's fall here now. It's been getting down to the 40's here at night. I'm afraid it's really going to cool off here soon so I would like to get everybody in the coop together before it gets too cold. Right now the chicks are in a big dog cage in the chicken enclosure so they see the hens and vice versa every all day every day but they aren't out with them. The silkie so far has been more aggressive toward the chicks than the other two hens. Sorry for the novel! LOL!

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