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 Post subject: Changing feed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:46 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Hi all,

I got a bit too excited when I built my incubator and hatched two batches too close. I have some 9 week old pullets living in the coop with the adults, they have access to a box that they used to live in which is where there pullet feed is kept so that only they can fit through to eat it.
I also have some 4 week old chicks that are getting too big and smelly for the laundry! I need to move them into that box in the coop but then the pullets won't have their own food supply :-(

Any suggestions? Are they old enough to eat the layer pellets?

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 Post subject: Re: Changing feed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Golden Swan
Golden Swan
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25035
Location: Albany, Western Australia
Well you could let them have layer pellets, but I'd rather they stayed on grower. You could get some grower with no medication so that it is OK if the laying chooks eat it too. It wont hurt the layers to have grower for a while as long as you have some calcium (shell grit) available too. The youngsters probably wont touch the grit untill they need the extra calcium so they should be fine and the adults will be OK too.

Its a bit of a juggle having several batches, isn't it!

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 Post subject: Re: Changing feed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 5634
Location: ACT area
Ideally your youngsters should be separated from the adults until they are about 20 weeks old and have developed good immunity to any thing which the adults might be carriers for.
If that is not an option then Nelly's suggestion is a good one. Be alert for any sign of Coccidiosis in the young ones and I would have some medication on hand as speedy treatment is essential.
At this time of the year extra the protein in the grower feed will help the layers thru their summer moult.
f you plan to continue breeding, consider a suitable grow out facility ( from 6/8 weeks to 20 weeks (or POL) ie while they are still on a grower diet)


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 Post subject: Re: Changing feed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:00 pm
Posts: 310
I often house birds of varied age, gender, breed and laying status together.
The solution that works for me without any real problems is to allow free choice of a range of feeds. Allow a week or 10 days for the birds to adjust to the transition as they are often reluctant to accept different feed. A simple combination would be Laucke Game Bird Starter (28% protein and unmedicated), wheat or layers pellets and shell grit, all ad lib. Many people disagree with choice feeding and believe that poultry have very little innate nutritional wisdom. This link discusses free choice feeding:
http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd17/4/pous17045.htm
Eggs from layers fed on growers rations will have very pale yolks unless other supplements such as greenfeed are supplied..


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 Post subject: Re: Changing feed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
That is great thanks guys. You've been a big help. I'll move the chicks into the box in the next day or so and let the older birds share both food sources.
Sue, I just had a read on coccidosis, it sounds awful!

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