Putting the chicks in the big coop

Nov 12, 2018
63
108
101
Brooksville florida
So yesterday I let the babies in the big coop. Now they have been in a separate cage in the coop for about 2 weeks. Yesterday I officially let them out and locked them out of the smaller cage. The hens only messed with them when the chicks came close. They all roosted together last night. Will they be ok now?and is it ok for them to eat the big hens food(layer crumbles)
 
Last edited:

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,272
14,634
727
Southeast Louisiana
So yesterday I let the babies in the big coop. Now they have been in a separate cage in the coop for about 2 weeks. Yesterday I officially let them out and locked them out of the smaller cage. The hens only messed with them when the chicks came close. They all roosted together last night. Will they be ok now?and is it ok for them to eat the big hens food(layer crumbles)
Probably not, how old are they? Growing chicks can be damaged by eating too much calcium. One bite won't kill them, it is a cumulative effect. It's how many grams they eat per day over a time period of several days. If they are eating mostly low calcium food in addition to a bit of the high calcium Layer they are a lot less likely to be damaged than if Layer is all they are eating.

A lot of us solve that problem by feeding them all a low calcium chicken feed like Flock Riser or Grower and offering oyster shell on the side. The ones that need it for the egg shells typically know they need it and eat enough while the ones that don't need as much generally don't eat enough to harm themselves.

Congratulations n a successful integration. :thumbsup
 
Nov 12, 2018
63
108
101
Brooksville florida
Probably not, how old are they? Growing chicks can be damaged by eating too much calcium. One bite won't kill them, it is a cumulative effect. It's how many grams they eat per day over a time period of several days. If they are eating mostly low calcium food in addition to a bit of the high calcium Layer they are a lot less likely to be damaged than if Layer is all they are eating.

A lot of us solve that problem by feeding them all a low calcium chicken feed like Flock Riser or Grower and offering oyster shell on the side. The ones that need it for the egg shells typically know they need it and eat enough while the ones that don't need as much generally don't eat enough to harm themselves.

Congratulations n a successful integration. :thumbsup
Will it hurt the hens if I mix in the starter grower food?
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,272
14,634
727
Southeast Louisiana
As long as they re getting the calcium they need for their egg shells, the starter grower food will not hurt them. That's why I offer oyster shells on the side. Look at the labels. The only significant differences in the analysis is in calcium and probably protein. There will probably be some minor differences in some of the other nutrients but not enough to hurt them.
 

Chick CJ

Songster
10 Years
Dec 27, 2009
454
40
181
I agree with the consensus of feeding grower to all. It just makes sense to take the extra calcium out of the equation in the feed and add the oyster shell free choice. It relieves the stress of worrying about it! We are so blessed these days to have so many options that help us keep a healthy flock but boy can it cause confusion. :)
CJ
 

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