Mixing chicks with older birds

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SusieB

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Mixing chicks with older birds
« on: August 17, 2013, 16:20 »
I have two ex-batts, which I have had since March this year.  I have ordered 2 x 8 week old chicks.  Having read some posts about integrating chickens I don't think I have thought this through.

When can I put them together?  I have walk -in run and a Eglu Go (with run) for quarantine.  I was hoping to do 2-3 weeks quarantine, then another week or two in sight of each other, before putting them all in the walk-in run by October.  Now I have read that they need to be kept separate because of the different food requirements.

Can anybody give me a bit of advice?  Many thanks.

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Sparkyrog

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 16:25 »
in theory you should keep them apart till they start laying ,as the chicks will need growers crumbs and the exbatts want layers pellets  :)
I cook therefore I grow

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SusieB

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 16:40 »
If they are 8 weeks now, from what I've read, it might be next spring when they start to lay. I don't think I can keep them separate all winter.  Am I better to cancel the new chicks, or this there a magic solution I haven't thought about?

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ANHBUC

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 17:24 »
Is there any way you can section some of the walk in run off for your new chicks? 

I have had some of my 8 week old chicks in with my big girls today while I was cleaning out their run.  They had eaten plenty of growers this morning so I was not worried about them stealing a little bit of layers pellets.  They were more than happy to go back in their own run.   :lol:

You could keep them in the eglu go and run for the morning and let them free range with your ex-batts in the afternoon.
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
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SusieB

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 21:02 »
Thanks for the advice.  I can section of the run.  I'm thinking this would be easier next spring, when there's time for them to free range after I get home from work.  Splitting them up through the winter is going to be difficult (and not much fun for the chooks).

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Helenaj

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 15:45 »
Thanks for the advice.  I can section of the run.  I'm thinking this would be easier next spring, when there's time for them to free range after I get home from work.  Splitting them up through the winter is going to be difficult (and not much fun for the chooks).

It's inconvenient, but the best thing for your chicks. Layers pellets, beauase they contain so much added calcium is not ideal for growing chicks because it can cause liver problems. Also feeding growers pellets to laying hens is not recommended as the feed does not contain enough of the minerals required by a laying hen and some growers feed is medicated - a definate no no when you have laying hens and either eat the eggs yourself or sell them on.

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Prod

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 08:38 »
What if they free range and the chicks are with their mother??

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Helenaj

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 16:00 »
What if they free range and the chicks are with their mother??

At growers stage they should not still be with the mother, hence they can be separated, especially if they are on medicated feed. With new chicks, yes mum will tell them what to eat and may allow them to eat small quantities of layers, but having the wrong diet at a young age can cause long term effects.

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ANHBUC

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Re: Mixing chicks with older birds
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2013, 23:16 »
I let my broodies and chicks free range for short periods and usually later afternoon so they have had a good intake of chick crumb or growers pellets (neither medicated).  I usually leave mums with the chicks until she leaves them of her own accord or starts to lay again.  This year I have taken them away from the chicks early to give them time to recover and build themselves up for winter.



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