OK to put 7-weekers in with hens for the weekend?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sarafrog, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. sarafrog

    sarafrog Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2009
    I'm new to chickens and have 2 Australorp hens (about 1.5 years old) and 3 chicks (7 weeks old, 2 pullets, 1 cockerel). So far, I've been putting the chicks out in a small enclosure during the day and bringing them in at night. I am going to be gone for the weekend and am wondering if it might be OK to put the chicks in with the hens to make the housesitter's job easier.

    I can try it for a short period tomorrow and watch them to see how they all get along but I'm also worried about the feed. The hens are on layer feed and the chicks are on start/grow feed and if I put them all together, the chicks will have access to the layer feed. Is this too great a risk? Any advice is appreciated. [​IMG]
  2. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    If the hens do not hurt the chicks, there should not be a problem. As for the food, I would mix them together and feed it to all of them. I know others will have different opinions, but this is what I would do to make sure the chicks got what they need and the hens as well. Plus you are only going to give it to them over the weekend.[​IMG]
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've read here that layer feed has too much calcium for baby chicks and is harmful to them. I would feed all of them starter/grower for the weekend.
  4. mschickychick

    mschickychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2009
    I have done this. The chicks were scared of the hens and the hens would pick at the chicks. Have places for your chicks to escape and for them to get feed and water.

    I used the top of one of those rabbit pens with the plastic bottoms and sat it in the corner of the coop on some bricks so the chicks could go under but not the hens. I secured it to the wall so it wouldn't fall if the hens were to jump on it. I fed and watered the chicks in there. It was easy since the top had a door. They stayed there most of the time rarely venturing out unless the hens were in the run. My hens feed was suspended in the air so the chicks couldn't reach it. In the run I put a ring of wire near the corner so they could run into the wire or behind it for safety.

    Your chicks will be exposed to things they have not been so could pick something up from being on the ground where the older ones are. Watch very closely for bloody poop indicating cocci, or them standing around with ruffled feathers. Search this forum for cocci and have meds available because you need to treat immediately or you could loose them.

    Good luck.
  5. Belgian Lady

    Belgian Lady Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2009
    White, Ga
    I put some pullets in with my other chickens and all seemed well. I watched for over an hour and everyone was fine.
    I got home from work the next day and found 5 of them dead. The others pecked them to death.
    I wouldn't put babies in with the older hens unless you could be there to supervise. Maybe a neighbor could take care of them for you for the weekend.

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