Chicken Help

Help Me! OR: Search by Category

Q: How do we make sure that our older laying hens don't eat our younger chickens' starter feed, and vice versa, since the two age groups are meant to have different feeds?


Good question! Typically, you don't want your chicks to eat layer feed since it has too much calcium for them, and you don't want your hens to eat medicated chick starter, because the medication can be transmitted to you through their eggs. However, if your birds are kept in the same area, it's virtually impossible to guarantee your birds will eat the right feed (and with typical perversity, they are usually drawn to the feed you don't want them to eat!)

If you have birds of different ages that may have different dietary needs, there is a way to manage, however. You may want to switch your whole flock to a grower developer feed temporarily. Since grower/developer feed is unmedicated—check your brand, of course, to make sure—the eggs your girls lay while eating this feed can be eaten (chick starter often has medication). Grower/developer doesn't have all the calcium in layer feed, so will not cause problems with too much calcium being consumed by growing birds who are not using it to produce egg shells. For your layers, though, you will want to make sure you are also offering oyster shell free choice (separate from your feed) in case they need the supplementation for producing good, hard egg shells. Using grower/developer and offering free choice oyster shell is a good compromise that will meet the needs of chickens who are at different levels of maturity and with different nutritional needs.

Related Items:

Craftsman Coop (12-15 chickens)Craftsman Coop (12-15 chickens)

Craftsman Coop (12-15 chickens)

Made To Order
Octagon 40 ECO with Auto - Turn CradleOctagon 40 ECO with Auto - Turn Cradle

Octagon 40 ECO with Auto - Turn Cradle

In Stock
 Chicken Treat Ball Chicken Treat Ball

Chicken Treat Ball

In Stock
Chicken Diaper, Washable LinerChicken Diaper, Washable Liner

Chicken Diaper, Washable Liner

In Stock
Mealworm Frenzy, 3.5 ozMealworm Frenzy, 3.5 oz

Mealworm Frenzy, 3.5 oz

In Stock
Wooden EggsWooden Eggs

Wooden Eggs

In Stock
 Chicken Fun Toy Chicken Fun Toy

Chicken Fun Toy

In Stock
Octagon 20 Advance IncubatorOctagon 20 Advance Incubator

Octagon 20 Advance Incubator

Limited Availability
Chicken Crossing SignChicken Crossing Sign

Chicken Crossing Sign

In Stock