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Mixing old and knew chickens?

(7 Posts)
onfriday Thu 09-Jun-11 12:08:15

We had one old chicken left on its own but last night we got 4 new little ones - not sure how old - maybe 18 or 20 wks? Anyway, we have put them side by side so they can see each other through the run but when can we put them together. Gamekeeper we got them from said the old one is unlikely to attack them since it's on its own but what about the food? He gave us some pellet food which is much smaller than the layers pellets the old one has. Will the little ones know not to eat the big food or could they choke? Would welcome advice from you experts...

mummymeister Thu 09-Jun-11 17:13:58

We use chick crumb to start with when we get any new chickens because they are always a bit disorientated and something like the crumb is easy for them. All you need to do is put some of the pellets in your blender to make them into crumb rather than buying a specific bag. Chickens will peck at the food anyway but to reduce stress (there's and yours ) start on the crumb, then 50/50 and so on for the first few days. As for the old chicken attacking we always just put all of ours together and let them sort out the pecking order and we havent lost any yet! Hope this helps

nickelbabe Thu 09-Jun-11 17:16:29

at 18/20 weeks, they should have combs and wattles already developing, if not ready.
they should be on layer's pellets now, too if they're that age.

If you're worried, maybe you could swap them all to layer's mash for a while?

but I wouldn't worry - the size of the pellets doesn't matter- their jaws can stretch really quite far (i have seen a hen eat a mouse whole)

onfriday Thu 09-Jun-11 17:25:08

Thanks for the replies. They seem quite happy with the food we were given - in fact I've just refilled it for the third time today! I think we are just going to go for it and put them all in together good to hear you haven't actually lost any this way mummymeister.
Interesting about the combs and wattles thing nickelbabe, they all have wee combs but just one with wattles. They are a sort of Blackrock but our first lot were quite old before they started to lay - about 26 weeks I think.

nickelbabe Sat 11-Jun-11 11:55:53

it does depend on breed, of course.
Sounds about right, if they're later to go into lay - at least you can see their combs are coming out.
smile

Debs41 Mon 25-Jul-11 11:24:54

You can also give them mixed corn to eat, they really like that but not too much. Apple cider vinegar in their drinking water is also really good for keeping them nice and healthy

lindasones Thu 28-Jul-11 09:07:15

Ooh like the idea of apple cider vinegar I hadn't heard of that!

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