Advice please: I've got my first broody-hatched chicks; now what do I do?


Aug 22, 2017
Los Angeles (Woodland Hills); gardening zone 9B
I offered my broody a handful of feed and some grit every day as she sat on the nest. I put a small waterer up there in the nesting box for her.

Now there are chicks sticking their adorable little heads out. How do they typically get fed? Should I add a second handful of chick feed and grit? If they get a piece of the adult-sized grit will that be a problem? Are they going to be fouling the water in the reservoir? Should I add some marbles to the reservoir now for their sake?

How long are they all likely to stay up there in the nesting box? I noticed my broody had collected a new egg as recently as a few days ago. Is she going to continue to sit on it until the last egg hatches?


Still learning
Premium Feather Member
Jan 28, 2018
Gower, Wales
there is a lot of advice on the

But if you don't have time to read a few thousand posts ( :p ) this is what I'd do:
1. remove any food and water from the nest box; both mum and chicks need to come out (has she been pooing in there too?).
2. put the chick feed and grit, and waterer with marbles, nearby, and ideally out of reach of any other chickens you've got, or be prepared to keep topping it up because they will devour it.
3. can you move the nesting box down? or make something temporary on the ground? If not, you'll probably have to help the chicks get back up the ramp for a few days at least.
4. your broody will probably abandon any eggs left unhatched by 3 days after the chicks hatched - she needs to get them out and moving about. If she doesn't, I would worry about the health of the existing chicks, and I would remove the remaining eggs. If you want to persist with them, read up on 'staggered hatch'.
5. enjoy your broody and chicks!

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