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Feeding mother hen and new chicks

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi, a question from a newbie

What do you feed a hen and her chicks?  Chick starter or Layer?  Does it really matter?  Why, I would really like to learn the reasons.  They would eat the same as the hen when free ranging?  Of course they would be much older than because of the weather.  Thanks in advance.  I love this group.

Hmmm - 1 Amazing DH, DD, DS DGS, 1 Palomino paint, 1 Bichon Frise, 5 BOs, 15 EEs, 2 BAs, 8 Ameraucanas, 14 BCMs and more to come!
Working on a palette of rainbow eggs
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Hmmm - 1 Amazing DH, DD, DS DGS, 1 Palomino paint, 1 Bichon Frise, 5 BOs, 15 EEs, 2 BAs, 8 Ameraucanas, 14 BCMs and more to come!
Working on a palette of rainbow eggs
Reply
post #2 of 5

I feed chick starter to my hens with babies.  One reason is that I generally feed layer pellets, and the pellets are too big for baby chicks.  Also, chicks don't need the extra calcium that is in layer rations, and for that matter, neither does momma, because she won't start laying again for at least 4 weeks.  I believe that chick starter also has extra protein in it. 

I currently have 2 broodies with babies in the regular chicken yard with the laying flock and a rooster.  So everybody is eating chick starter.  And loving it.  I'm not sure what the attraction is, but they all go nuts for the starter crumbles.

post #3 of 5

I feed mine Chick Starter if there's no momma hen involved, Flock Raiser if there is. When free ranging, they'll eat whatever they find. But you should never, ever feed chicks Layer feed... it has far too much calcium in it and can cause kidney damage.

The momma hen doesn't need layer feed until she's through raising the babies and has started laying again.

Kathy, Bellville TX
www.ChickenTrackin.com

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauralou 

I feed chick starter to my hens with babies.  One reason is that I generally feed layer pellets, and the pellets are too big for baby chicks.  Also, chicks don't need the extra calcium that is in layer rations, and for that matter, neither does momma, because she won't start laying again for at least 4 weeks.  I believe that chick starter also has extra protein in it. 

I currently have 2 broodies with babies in the regular chicken yard with the laying flock and a rooster.  So everybody is eating chick starter.  And loving it.  I'm not sure what the attraction is, but they all go nuts for the starter crumbles.


My hens won't eat the pellets, regardless of their size or age, and several people at the feed store have said the same. So we all buy Layena crumbles, which look just like chick starter.

Kathy, Bellville TX
www.ChickenTrackin.com

post #5 of 5

Please don't forget chick grit.  Very important so they can digest the goodies mom finds for them.  You don't want to risk an impacted or sour crop.

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