Laying hen pellets should never be fed to chicks because there is too much calcium in the ration, and too little protein. (For more about what to feed chicks see this post.) So, now that the little ones are out with the Big Girls, they’re all getting the chick crumbles. (The hens have access to calcium via oyster shell in a dispenser that is out of reach of the chicks.) I’ve put a feeder out in the run because I want the chicks to eat all day, and I didn’t think that they’d go inside to their brooder to find food frequently enough.

What I didn’t realize was how delighted the Old Girls would be at this easy to reach food.


What gluttons they would be.


What total hogs. I’ve never seen them eat so frequently, or so much. Even Betsy, who is not much larger than the chicks, ward offs all newcomers.


But don’t worry about the chicks. They’ve figured out what to do. They found the Old Girls’ feeder.

chicks inside feeder


  1. Smart girls! We see they are loving being free to go outside. Is that watermelon rinds in the outside pen?

  2. Love all the activity in the little barn now! It looks like it has perked up the old girls.

  3. I saw Buffy laying right beside the feeder the other day, in the sun,…just nibbling till her heart was content. <3 She was very good at sharing when the chicks came around. ;)
    Terry, do you ever give the Gems and the old girls their egg shells back for the calcium? Mine devour the crushed up shells.
    I am so enamored with the personalities of my chicks ( less than 2 weeks old). I have one that, when all the other scatter to the corners of the brooder, she comes right up to my hand and pecks at my rings. No fear. Fascinating.
    I am sure you are seeing personalities shine through as well.

  4. Yep. Porker Chow Hounds. I know just how you feel.

    • tee, hee! P.C.H.’s porker chow hounds for certain!

  5. They need protein to build muscle…yeah, right. That’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it.

  6. The chicks are looking so lovely now! It’s great to see them exploring and learning!

  7. Terri,
    How do the old girls take to the new young girls? Do the older ones leave the younger ones alone because they are so young? Can you introduce younger chicks to an established flock?

    • The Old Girls are so slow I knew that they’d accept the little ones. It would have been more difficult with the Gems, but quite doable.

  8. Aha! You’ve solved my worry about how to keep the Big Girl food away from the small fry. Why didn’t I think of converting to 100% grower + oyster shell?! Thanks for sharing this. And I’m wondering if the pullets would even be interested in oyster shell at this age? (Mine are 9 and 10 weeks old and they clearly prefer eating the Big Girl chow over their own crumbles.) But I shall now convert all the feeders. Heck, I’ve got so much of the grower left that I’ll never use it up by the time the pullets start laying.

  9. Thank you for all the advice on yesterday’s post everyone and Terry. I showed it to my mother and we will start working with Lunabelle today. She did finally eat a little bit of dog food after we heated it up for her.
    As for Betsy, I knew she would be like Coco eventually and stare down a a few of the chicks. I am sure for Betsy she enjoys having someone to be the boss over in the flock.

  10. Off topic but you are right! I see Siouxsie trying to stay close to Onyx on the roost! I’ll keep watching to see if this pans out for her hee heee heeee.

    • Looks like Siouxsie and Onyx held their ground on the first row of the roost!

  11. Wow! I was surprised that all the hens and chicks are together already. How did that go? What advice do you have? I am soooooo nervous about doing that step; and I cannot do it until my fence gets built. It is better to put them together when they are younger? Mine will be 6 weeks this Sunday.

    • I have a lot of room, and the chicks can scurry back into the brooder through a door that the Old Girls are too big to enter.

  12. Happy birthday to the 2 Old Girlies and your blog too. I really enjoy reading it although I don’t have chickens!!

  13. Just getting caught up with the goings on at Little Pond- lots of good stuff happening. But most remarkable, I thought, was Buffy going broody. She’s still a spring chicken! Too funny.

  14. Love this cam and blog! Love watching the goats too. I know the baby chicks are a handful right now…but can the goats get a little fun and fame? They seem a bit bored considering how physically capable they are. Thanks for allowing my input from the sidelines. I will now go mind my own business. Always more fun to do virtual chores rather than the real ones. Lol

    • Don’t worry about the boys! They have their stumps and their platform. Off camera there are granite boulders and a field. Caper has a bone chip in his right knee, and can’t do anything that might stress it.

  15. LOL! It’s comfort food! “This is the way feed tasted back when we were young…”