newly integrated flock, feeding question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Amastacia, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Amastacia

    Amastacia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks, hatched May 31st, have been in an enclosure in the coop with my year old hens for several weeks. This morning they decided to all be one flock. I went out to find the chicks in the main area and two of my ISAs in the enclosure. Not really sure what happened but everyone looks ok, so I'm going with it. I will of course monitor for any issues.

    Now for my question. How do you keep the chicks from eating the layer crumble and the hens from eating the grower?
     
  2. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    Your chicks are the same exact age as mine - mine have been eating layer feed for a week now. My Leghorns will lay much earlier then my Buff orpingtons, but it was impossible to have them eat different foods, so I took away the grower and fed them layer - they took to it fine and are healthy, it doesn't hurt them to eat it.
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ten weeks is a little young for the extra calcium in the layer. They have no way to expel the calcium like a laying hen does with the egg shell. The extra calcium can build up and do internal damage. It would be best if they were all on grower or an all flock with a calcium supplement for the layers. Another six to eight weeks or till the young ones start to lay. Of course if they free range and get a lot of other food the calcium they get will be diluted.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You don't. You take the layer out and feed everyone the grower. You either feed their shells back, or offer oyster shell to the layers. The chicks may taste it, but they won't ingest enough to effect their little systems. Layer feed has too much calcium for their bodies to handle yet. Plus, layer feed is lower in protein and I like the littles to have more while they're growing.

    I feed my entire flock an all-in-one feed, toss oyster shell to the hens sometimes. This way I have one feed for all ages and genders.
     
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  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with Donrae. Layer is not good for the chicks but there is nothing wrong with Grower for your older hens. Feed everyone a grower, flock raiser or unmedicated starter and keep a bowl of oyster shell separate from the feed for your layers.

    When all of your birds are laying you can switch to a layer or just stick with grower + oyster. I personally never use a layer.
     
  6. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    Oh my goodness I feel stupid now... I put may before april....So I agree with Donrae...
     
  7. Amastacia

    Amastacia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks. i did take away the layer and just feed the starter yesterday and today so far. i guess i will use the bag of starter i just got then get some all flock since i don't think the chicks will be ready to start laying yet.
     

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