Newbie here! Question about food and baby introduction

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lolita117, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    Okay, I know these questions have probably been asked by numerous people but I'm looking for answers of my own plus I need to boost my number of posts.

    I have 5 Black Australorps (20 weeks old) and 3 EE's (15 weeks old). Also I have 27 babies of various breeds -Brown Egg Layers special from McMurray- that are 7 weeks old

    I have ~2 topics to answer:

    1. I've just started the Black Australorps and the EE's on Layer Crumbles because they all run together and one of my Austras has started laying. My little babies are still on Starter/ Grower of course. Here's my problem, the space I have for the small babies isn't too big and I will have to put them in with the big ones maybe in 4-5 more weeks, maybe less. But at that time they will only be 11-12 weeks old and will need to be fed Grower/Finisher (correct? I will start feeding them this at 10 weeks until 18 weeks). So here is my question : What is the earliest I can start feeding Layers Crumbles to chickens? Or do I offer the choice of Finisher/ Grower and Layer and hope the right chickens make the right choice once I put them all together?

    2. What is the earliest I can introduce my babies? Right now they are in a room in my chicken coop separated by wire from the big ones. So they been seeing each other for almost 4 weeks now. But anytime one of the babies gets into the big ones' part of the chicken coop or a big chicken (usually the ee roo) slip into the small part while I've left the door open for a sec, they peck the crap out of the little ones! [​IMG] It makes me so MAD!!!!!! I want to get rid of that roo, but that's a different topic. So anyways, What is the earliest I can introduce the babies with the large ones permanently without risking there lives? Will it be okay at 11-12 weeks?

    Thanks so much for any replies in advance. I'm new to chickens and fairly new to BYC, but I can say I love both! My Black Australorps were the first chickens I've successfully raised and I got them at 2-3 days olds, along with all my chickens. They were all no more than 2-3 days old when I got them and I only lost 1 to a dog (the chicken got in the dog pen). So I think I'm doing pretty good so far [​IMG]
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Good luck


    btw- don't worry about asking questions, and there are lots of ways to boost your post count.
  3. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    I agree with Imp on both counts.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Imp is right. When my broodies hatch chicks, they all get starter grower, and calcium on the side.

    I've introduced chicks to the flock at 11-12 weeks. The most important thing to me is making sure there are alot of hiding places and obstacles to hid behind and run to. And several places to eat or drink. Things settle down after a while.
  5. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 10, 2007
    We've had such hot weather here this summer. I got my chicks when they were a week old. I think I waited 2-3 weeks and then I put them outside in pet fencing that I got at a pet store. I have a nice tree and I put them in the shade with food and water. That way, they were exposed to the grown hens all day. Did this for a couple of weeks. They are now 7 weeks old and have been free ranging with the other hens with no problems. I then put them in the coop in the top of our fire pit. It has a metal screen and a was perfect for the two chicks. Kept them in there for about a week and now they are sharing the roost with the rest of them. I put a saw horse in the coop for them to use but they are determined to be with the big girls.
    I've been told to wait until they are as big as the grown hens, like 4 months to introduce them, and I've followed that rule all these years. But, it seems when I introduce them younger, they do better. Just make sure they can get away from the older hens if need be. Before I put netting on top of the fencing for the chicks, some of the hens would jump in and eat with them and then jump out again, never hurting them. Just be sure to keep an eye on the chicks for a few days to be sure things will go smoothly. Good Luck!
    Also, I've kept the fire pit top in the coop and just crack the door open just far enough for the chicks to get in and get to there chick feed. Brace the door. They know where to find their food. I just raise smart chicks. lol
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  6. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    Thank you so much for your replies. I will finish the bag of layer that I just bought and go back to feeding grower/finisher. I was already feeding calcium on the side. And as for the introduction of the babies I will at least wait 4 more weeks, and I will put up some boards and make little places so they can get away from the big ones when I do truly introduce them. Ultimately I will be getting rid of that roo (either dinner table or give away). Because he gets picked on by my bigger roo and I think that's why he picks on the smaller ones so bad (had the same problem with a couple of my dogs). Thanks again.

    And anybody else want to contribute please do so. Thanks.

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