Hi, I've been thinking about raising chickens for awhile now, and I'm one of those people who like to research something thoroughly before I start. So this is something that I'm not going to have to worry about for awhile, but I'd like to know in case I need to take this into consideration when building my coop. So from what I've learned so far I know that the chicks I buy will need to be eat a medicated starter feed. After that they are switched to a high protein grower feed, and then to a slightly lower protein and higher calcium layer feed after about 18 months. This seems simple enough, but I'm thinking that I may like to have some hens hatch their own eggs (I'm thinking about getting a broody breed). After the eggs are hatched in the brooder both the non-egg laying mother and chicks can have starter feed, but after they get old enough I would like to reintroduce them to the flock since I'm planning on free ranging my chickens. When I do they will still be below the 18 month requirement to eat the layer feed. So what should I do? If I just have the (more expensive) flock feed that they sell at TSC can I put out oyster shells on the side without the younger birds eating them and getting too much calcium? Or will the fact that the egg layers are free ranging in (what I hope to be) a large area give them enough nutrients on their own so that their eggs are not going to suffer? If I put starter feed crumbles in a place where only the chicks can reach (such as in a box with a small hole) will they be more likely to eat that than to eat a lot of the pelleted layer feed? Or are they going to eat what mamma eats?