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Hen and chicks questions

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Do you keep your mama hen and her chicks with your flock or separate? 

 

I would like to keep them with the flock as I'm sure the mama will protect the babies, but I'm concerned about a few things. First of all, how do I feed everyone? The chicks will need starter feed. How do you keep the others from eating it? Also, my chickens have 2 dishpans and one cat litter pan for waterers. They love to stand in them in the heat. I'm afraid the chicks would jump up on the edge and may fall in and drown. Is this a reasonable concern? 

 

TIA for any advice!

Our flock: Jasper, the rooster (EE), and the hens: 8 Buff Orpington, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Silver Sebrights Bantam, 1 Golden Sebright Bantam, 6 RIRs.
2 Hens setting on 10 eggs each....hoping for lots of babies soon!

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Our flock: Jasper, the rooster (EE), and the hens: 8 Buff Orpington, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Silver Sebrights Bantam, 1 Golden Sebright Bantam, 6 RIRs.
2 Hens setting on 10 eggs each....hoping for lots of babies soon!

Reply
post #2 of 3

Yes, definitely worry about chicks drowning. I'd put out something chick-safe until they are grown.

 

You can feed the whole flock "flockraiser" if you wish, as it is 20% protein and give oyster shells to the layers on the side.

 

Chick starter is fine, too, but I don't like to eat medicated chick starter in my eggs. The chick starter I buy is organic/nonmedicated and would be fine in that situation for everyone (again, oyster shell for the layers).

 

I keep my broody hens in with the flock until the first one hatches and then I move them to a hutch by themselves and their babies for about a week until the chicks are able to move around easily and follow mama.

 

Then I put mama back into the coop on the floor in a nestbox. Some mamas are better than others at protection and there are no guarantees that she will defend them.

 

A lot of people just leave the mama and chicks alone from the beginning. Make sure the little ones can reach the water and food, and get back onto the nest (some nestboxes are really high up). You can use a cardboard box on the floor or covered kitty litter pan (with a brick in front of it for the chicks to step up).


Edited by ChickensAreSweet - 7/9/12 at 8:08pm

Small flock of Black Australorps, EEs, and Nankins.

"The love of heaven makes one heavenly." - William Shakespeare

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Small flock of Black Australorps, EEs, and Nankins.

"The love of heaven makes one heavenly." - William Shakespeare

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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you! That was helpful. :)

Our flock: Jasper, the rooster (EE), and the hens: 8 Buff Orpington, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Silver Sebrights Bantam, 1 Golden Sebright Bantam, 6 RIRs.
2 Hens setting on 10 eggs each....hoping for lots of babies soon!

Reply

Our flock: Jasper, the rooster (EE), and the hens: 8 Buff Orpington, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Silver Sebrights Bantam, 1 Golden Sebright Bantam, 6 RIRs.
2 Hens setting on 10 eggs each....hoping for lots of babies soon!

Reply
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