Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - feeding layers chick starter/ pullet grower - what happens?

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:42 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:14 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne
I know the different feeds have different amounts of protein and chick starter and pullet grower also contain meds for the young ones to protect them from cocci etc. If I put my hen with her 4-5 week old chicks in with the 2 Pekins who don't lay very often, what would happen? Could we just feed all of them the right food for the young ones and not eat the eggs of the Pekins? Or would it be detrimental to the adult hens?

I just told my husband this afternoon that they all needed to be kept separate because of the different feeding requirements and he wanted to know why... He always does. He said "How does it work in the wild then?' So here I am asking those who may know.

While we're about it, what age to I switch them from chick starter to pullet grower?

Thanking you all in advance! :-P

_________________
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a Bantam Plymouth Rock, a Bantam Brahma, a Bantam Australorp, a hive of bees and a family of boys.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:33 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6756
Location: ACT area
It won't do the older ones any harm - if any thing the protein boost is good but give them access to shell grit for calcium. The little ones don't need it, the older ones will help themselves as needed.
The other reason why it is better to keep them separately until they are ready for grown up food is that their immune systems are still developing and they are at greater risk of catching disease from the older birds (even if the older birds are not ill, they can be carriers of Mareks disease and some respiratory diseases) and can increase the risk of Coccidiosis - medicated starter/grower helps the chicks develop resistance to Cocci but only if the challenge is not too great.
Feed starter for 6-8 weeks (or until the bag is empty) and grower until 18 weeks (or the bag is empty) I feed it for much longer but my breeds are late layers.

Hi MrChickenBoots,
Domestic poultry are many generations and much controlled breeding away from their wild ancestors. The wild birds only layed and hatched small clutches on a short seasonal basis. As such their nutritional needs were vastly different to modern domestic chooks who have been developed for high output or meaty bodies. Many wild birds are also migratory and travel to distant food sources as local stocks deplete. If conditions are poor, breeding success is poor and their lifespan may be affected. Domestic poultry have a completely different lifestyle, we have different expectations of them and we are therefore responsible for their well being.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 181
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
What Sue said.
Mr Okaru also asked me the same question as Mr Chickenboots. I didn't have as eloquent a reply at the time.
At our place, everyone has access to pullet grower, no matter who is in the coop. Chicks can easily access a tray of starter with an oregano derivative as coccidiostat. I don't know if this works, but all seem well. The tray of starter is easier for the chicks to get to than the adults, but usually, everyone goes and has a taste...... There's calcium available as free choice.
It seems the aim is integration of mum and chicks back to the coop? We have not had to do this because we keep the broodies in the same coop as everyone else. (we only remove boisterous cockerels..)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:13 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 181
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Sorry, pressed send.....
I was only going to add that if it was possible to put mum and chicks into the coop in some kind of containment, e.g. Dog crate, where the others can see the newbies and get used to them for a week or so before letting them be fully together, it might work out better. (less stress for you, anyway..) Sounds like the chicks are a few weeks old already. I think they will probably be fine. Just keep an eye on things.
You will see whether they are feeding successfully or not and will also know whether they are thriving. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:05 am 
Offline
Wise Wyandotte
Wise Wyandotte

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:44 pm
Posts: 4428
Location: table top
if you all bother to read the bags chick starter and chick grower has chemicals in them that must not be fed to laying birds. the eggs from birds fed these feed are not suitable for human consummation in the long term you will make your self very sick. layers just need 16 to 18% protein and if you buy a top quality layer your older birds will do fine.
It is very bad management and a wast of money to feed laying birds grower of starter as it is bad management to run growers with layers. This can increase disease risk, canabelisiun and many medications shuch as coxi mediscation is poisonous to humans if eaten via the hens eggs,. I base my information on 40 years of poultry keeping breeding showing and running a commercial egg farm and mini hatchery. JUST READ THE BAG AND SEE WHAT YOU ARE injesting through the eggs
feeding your growers on chemically wise eg D.O.T, vaccines for growing birds are not for adult. etc. happy bird keeping auctioneer'

_________________
Breeder of pure bred poultry since 1977. seller of point of lay Isa brown pullets. *** Specialist poultry auctioneer.*** Have gavel will travel


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:23 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne
Hi there. Thanks everyone and Happy New Year. And thanks for the info about wild versus domestic birds Sue55.

Hi Auctioneer2. I am aware of the medications, (as I mentioned in my question, perhaps not clearly enough), and I know I couldn't eat the eggs of any layers that are able to access medicated feed. I just wondered if it would detrimentally affect the adult birds' health at all. The 2 Pekins are not young and lay pretty infrequently, so we could happily sacrifice their few eggs for a while and follow the withholding period instructions too.

Okaru and Sue55, we don't have to integrate them back with the other adults yet. But they are currently in a much smaller enclosure within the Pekin's run and it would be nice to give them all a bit more room to run around now that they are getting so frisky. (Oh, and I forgot the other motivator. The hens are all crowing in the mornings, and I'm hoping that bringing the Boss Hen back in with them will shut them up... but it mightn't work as until she stops being clucky... if at all...) So I was just sussing out the situation. They are able to see and indeed touch each other if they want to, through the netting, so I imagine the chicks have been well and truly exposed to any Mareks that the others may be carrying, or Coccidiosis on the ground. The chicks at the moment look amazingly healthy, for which I am truly thankful! I know they have a bit of a way to go yet so fingers crossed.

I probably wouldn't have dared to think about putting them together in case of the older ones attacking the babies, but a few days ago, the whole lot escaped into the Pekins' enclosure through an incorrectly closed gateway and were there for a couple of hours before I found them. All were happily together with no bloodshed. The 2 Pekins are not aggressive, and the mother of the chicks is a bantam Light Sussex; larger and also the boss hen, so I don't think they'd dare to try anything. Not sure what happens though after Vita herself (the mum) decides she has had enough of the babies... This is all new to me.

The other issue would be the Grandpa Feeder which would have to be left open in case of killing the chicks. But I think I'll just wait and see for a week or so longer... the chicks are 5 weeks old tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone! :-)

_________________
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a Bantam Plymouth Rock, a Bantam Brahma, a Bantam Australorp, a hive of bees and a family of boys.


Last edited by ChickenBoots on Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:25 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne
Woohoo! I'm a showy hen! :nuts

_________________
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a Bantam Plymouth Rock, a Bantam Brahma, a Bantam Australorp, a hive of bees and a family of boys.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:02 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6756
Location: ACT area
If you are happy to let them mix, let the chicks escape for a few hours late afternoon when everyone has done most of their eating. They will probably go home to sleep and mum will move back in with the big girls when she is ready. (and resume her role as the 'Grumpy Old Man') This way, the chicks will also learn to roost if they follow mum. You could the find a way to make their food accessible to them but not to the larger birds if necessary.
The Grandpa feeders are reasonably safe for chicks of that age. Some of mine are using front flap treadles by about this age although I have large breeds. The top flap ones are the most risky as the chicks jump in and can get trapped.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:44 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne
sue55 wrote:
If you are happy to let them mix, let the chicks escape for a few hours late afternoon when everyone has done most of their eating. They will probably go home to sleep and mum will move back in with the big girls when she is ready. (and resume her role as the 'Grumpy Old Man') This way, the chicks will also learn to roost if they follow mum. You could the find a way to make their food accessible to them but not to the larger birds if necessary.
The Grandpa feeders are reasonably safe for chicks of that age. Some of mine are using front flap treadles by about this age although I have large breeds. The top flap ones are the most risky as the chicks jump in and can get trapped.



Thanks Sue. Very helpful. Ours is a top flap treadle. I can leave it open (hello rats)... I'm interested in your idea of making their food accessible to them but not the larger birds, but I can't quite picture that. Is there a thread you could suggest that might give me some ideas?

_________________
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a Bantam Plymouth Rock, a Bantam Brahma, a Bantam Australorp, a hive of bees and a family of boys.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:05 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6756
Location: ACT area
Can you just put a chick sized entrance to their small enclosure so that only they have access to it during the day. Open it fully late afternoon so mum can get in if she wants. They are old enough not to need her now - they will cuddle up together to keep warm or will follow her up to bed in the other pen.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:03 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 181
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Hi all, happy new year!
chickenboots, good to hear all seems well at your place... :) I hope mr C is OK with explanations provided by Sue....

Auctioneer2, thanks for your input. Could you let me know which chemicals are so bad in the chick starter? The product I am using has a coccidiostat based on oregano and clearly states no with-holding period for both eggs and meat. 20% protein, 6% fat, 1% calcium, 6% fibre. Agreed it is probably too expensive for long term feeding, but while the little ones are in there and who also eat the bulk of this, what are we risking? Interested in your further comments?

Thanks, :oops:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:41 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne
Thanks Okaru. Mr Chickenboots remains skeptical about generally everything, and in particular he is now on about disease and immune systems and how separating flocks won't make any positive difference. He is even skeptical that young birds are more susceptible to the diseases mentioned. He gets a certain obstinate expression on his face...

But all new information helps. :-D

_________________
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a Bantam Plymouth Rock, a Bantam Brahma, a Bantam Australorp, a hive of bees and a family of boys.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:39 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 181
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Ahhhhh, so many parallels amongst the skeptical other halfs...... :-)
Does yours also come up with journal articles relating to things like the negative effects of overcrowding and intensive farming? ... :?:

Meanwhile, i am happy to share with you that in our coops, there are 2 chicks approximately 2 weeks old and another two approx 5 weeks old, two broodies sitting on eggs together with 3 other grown hens, a rooster and half dozen pullets and cockerels from previous hatches. The mum of the 5 week olds just started laying and sleeping on the roost again. One of her chicks sleeps under her feet. The other now snuggles with one of the broodies. Everyone is healthy and harmonious as far as I can tell. The key, I believe, is ensuring all have sufficient space, easy access to food and water and enough time on real grass to find insects and worms as well as relief from boredom.

My biggest problem is not the health of the chooks, but rather snakes and hawks/foxes.... The hawks /foxes are relatively easy to control with net/tree cover and penning. The snakes less easy.

Have a nice evening... :peece


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:07 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne
Okaru wrote:
Ahhhhh, so many parallels amongst the skeptical other halfs...... :-)
Does yours also come up with journal articles relating to things like the negative effects of overcrowding and intensive farming? ... :?:

Meanwhile, i am happy to share with you that in our coops, there are 2 chicks approximately 2 weeks old and another two approx 5 weeks old, two broodies sitting on eggs together with 3 other grown hens, a rooster and half dozen pullets and cockerels from previous hatches. The mum of the 5 week olds just started laying and sleeping on the roost again. One of her chicks sleeps under her feet. The other now snuggles with one of the broodies. Everyone is healthy and harmonious as far as I can tell. The key, I believe, is ensuring all have sufficient space, easy access to food and water and enough time on real grass to find insects and worms as well as relief from boredom.

My biggest problem is not the health of the chooks, but rather snakes and hawks/foxes.... The hawks /foxes are relatively easy to control with net/tree cover and penning. The snakes less easy.

Have a nice evening... :peece


Wow! Your place sounds amazing! We have so many foxes here (our property backing on to a bushy creek reserve) that I quickly found after I moved here that we can't free range our chickens any more unless we are actively herding/guarding them, even in the middle of the day. As they are very much pets rather than livestock, I can't take the risk of murder and mayhem. So they get out onto the grass only every now and then. But the coops and runs are pretty amazing thanks to my skeptical (and perfectionist) husband so at least their imprisonment is reasonably comfortable and pleasant, with fruit trees and climbers and shade and space. Of course they love it when we do let them out. Now I've got 2 teenage dogs that I don't trust with them, they have even less time out, but that will change as the dogs get older and more sensible.

As for my Mr Chickenboots (Scott), he doesn't confine his skepticism to animal husbandry. Far too limiting :rofl: He ran the local Skeptics in the Pub until recently and it can be quite a hard slog to get anything through the Senate here...

Back on topic, the chicks and their Mum are currently sharing the Pekin pen this afternoon as suggested. The poor Pekins are somewhat terrified by the chicks' mum who is very protective, but she's no bully, so as long as they stay well away, she's not going to murder anyone. :-) I've put a brick on the Grandpa Feeder pedal for now and will put everyone back in their own spots later on tonight.

Thank you so much for all your help everyone.

_________________
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a Bantam Plymouth Rock, a Bantam Brahma, a Bantam Australorp, a hive of bees and a family of boys.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:51 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 181
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Hi Chickenboots,
More parallels. We also have a teenage dog, lovable, but still stupid and definitely not allowed to mix with the chickens. Trees and climbers sounds like lots of fun for chooks. Don't need too much grass when there are alternatives....... :-D

Just in explanation of how we got to mixing all ages etc., together......

We had chickens for several years, but didn't get any broody hens until we got the Sussex in 2016. With the first brood, we tried to follow all the sage advice we could gather - separate everyone, feed differently, watch out for aggressive behaviour, take care with reintegrating to the flock etc etc. I had a detailed plan that got negotiated with Mr O (John), but on day two of egg sitting the plan died. Mrs Broody simply didn't want to be separated from the other gals. She was distressed and spent lots of time pacing the enclosure and very little the on the nest. We removed the lid, so she could get out, thinking the chicks would stay there once they were born. 
All good until the one chick that hatched got brought to feed for the first time. It was like the school mothers club. Every hen took turns visiting the baby and sampling the feed. Mum went out and socialised, leaving the baby but that didn't matter because there was always someone in there with
the bub. Even the rooster brought morsels like worms he had gathered, and dropped them into the
enclosure. We tried putting a mesh cover over the cordoned off area, but NADA. Just shrieking andstress. Mr O sat me down and asked what the heck I was trying to achieve with the barrier, etc., trust his logic........ We did some research and found chick starter with no with-holding period. Given that various mashes for meat birds and game birds has high protein, we worked out that the adult birds would not come to harm if they had a bit of time on a higher nutrient diet. So, we also could go back to eating eggs.........

As indicated before, we try to make sure everyone has enough room and no competition for food and water. Approximately 20 birds share 150 square metres of yard/coop. The coop and its enclosed yard (within the 150 m) is about 30 m. This is getting a bit small now for the growing flock.  There is also an enclosed pen of adolescent cockerels, who I would never dream of letting loose with brooding hens and chicks.  The pens are set up so that either the cockerels or the others are accessing the bigger
yard.  The whole yard is fox proof. Today, being so hot, I wanted to make sure all could escape and
find some cool place, so the cockerels are in the dog's fenced yard while the others are in the main
yard. The dog fence is 1.5 m tall, so, not really fox proof, but OK for this circumstance. (the dog is
inside with us and 3 cats). :oomm

At the moment, this is working for us. I guess if we went into breeding and egg production in a big way, we would have to reconsider how things are and also look at quarantining measures... But, while there are a bunch of docile cooperative birds at our place, I don't see any need to do things
differently.

I think Scott deserves to have his handiwork shown off. How about sharing your coop pics with the forum? I have an ulterior motive....... Need ideas for the coop expansion!!! :biggrin:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone