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Raising chicks in the main coop

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My broody hatched 4 chicks in her nest box in the big coop. I place the dog crate around her and when they were 5 days old I moved the Broody with chicks into a screened off area still inside the coop ( size 7 x 8) The Broody leaves the pen now, but stays in the coop - not sure why she hasn't figured out that she can fly in, so I have to pick her up to put her back.

My question: If the chicks are integrated into the flock by the Broody, won't they still be eating the scratch grains that is on the floor of the coop and in the run? I know that I should hang the layer food higher, and provide starter food and water separately for the chicks.

Do I also have to change the layer food to starter or grower food? Wouldn't the chicks find some of the layer feed that falls?

So many questions!
post #2 of 6

You can change the entire flock over to non medicated starter crumbles if you want. Or have two feeders with the one with layer feed hanging higher like you thought. Personally I prefer to have everyone on same feed to make life simple. You can keep oyster shell in separate dish for the layers calcium intake. The broody, cock bird and chicks wont eat the oyster shell.

 

The broody will protect and integrate the chicks into the flock quite nicely. When I have broodies raising chicks they are with the flock from day one. Again, I like life simple. The cock bird should brood them as well and help the mother put in line any misbehaved hens. 

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

This is wonderful advice! Thank you.

 

There is a step up for the girls to get to the pop door - about 6 inches. Do I have to worry about making a ramp for the chicks?

post #4 of 6

Well, if the chicks are going outside in first week you'll probably have to catch and put in coop without some sort of ramp. They'll jump/fall out of the coop no problem. Geesh, my first brooded chicks I assumed would stay in the coop for awhile. Only had a four foot ladder from ground to pop door and didn't think anything of it. Two days old and found them in the run chirping and pecking about with the rest of the flock. Taking breaks now and then to huddle under mom. Yup, they'd just stand on the edge of pop door chirp to mom in run, look around then plop! Hit the ground then run to mom. It took me a day and half of that to get a ramp with cleats in place for them and they'd still jump to the side of it anyway but could walk back up on their own after first week.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

:celebrateso funny!

 

I just got back from taking down the pen. They are happily scratching around with Mom.

 

I do have a ramp with cleats going down from the pop door into the run, but didn't need one inside because the girls were already 3 months old when we put up the coop! Bigger issue is that the outer run needs to have smaller screening at the bottom to keep the little critters in!

 

Thanks for the tips! I'll keep you posted!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Forgot to tell you that my enormous Bielefelder hen manages to get herself under the step in front of the pop door to lay her eggs! Plenty of nest boxes. Go figure!

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