Baby chick diet different when being raised by a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bawkbawkbawk, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I raised my first chicks in a cardboard box and fed them chick starter, then introduced yogurt and oatmeal. Switched over to grower ration at the appropriate time.

    But this is a whole new ball game with my broody BO raising the five new babies. I have starter ration next to them (and that's what Mom is eating, too, because I figure I'm not supposed to let them have her food) but a couple of things happened today that made me realize it's a different situation than before.

    First of all, my four-day-old Silkie scarfed up a spider, so I posted to ask about whether they should have access to grit. An hour ago, we tried to give Mama hen a few meal worms since she's working so hard and not moving from her spot where she cares for the chicks. As soon as she took a meal worm in her beak she turned around and fed it to one of the chicks!

    So does this mean the babies can eat anything and everything in addition to their starter ration as long as they have access to dirt/sand/grit? Because if they're being raised in the coop - and I imagine she will eventually take them out of the coop into the pen - they're going to find more bugs, scratch, BOSS, etc., especially if Mama continues to indulge them with her treats!

    This is the little Black Copper Marans who scored the mealworm:

  2. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    When we raise peeps in a box with a light, we are poor substitutes for a broody mama who knows what she is doing. You seem to have an exceptionally good broody mama. I would expect her to give the babies the treats. She is a good, good mama. The chicks are lucky to have her. They will do fine.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:What she said. Let them have grit or coarse sand. Keep that broody to raise more babies!
  4. chickmama320

    chickmama320 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    Back Swamp NC
    That is such a sweet/beautiful picture!
  5. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awww. thanks, guys. I am SO proud of my sweet Hope! [​IMG] She has driven us nuts for the past month with her broody "trance", but she has completely made up for it the past two days with these baby chicks.

    To think I almost didn't give them to her - I thought, oh, I'll just raise them in a cardboard box like I did with her. What a mistake that would have been!!!

    By the way, she is hatchery stock, so any concerns about hatchery birds not being good mamas goes out the window!
  6. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    My first broody was a RIR/LEGHORN cross. [​IMG] Both parents were hatchery stock. She is a very good mama and did the same thing yours did. A BROODY ALWAYS KNOWS BEST. [​IMG]

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