baby chicks - what do they eat? can they get up steep ramps?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sisterchicken, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. sisterchicken

    sisterchicken Just Hatched

    May 23, 2016
    Expecting first hatching any day.
    Our free range chickens sleep and nest in a coop about 30" off ground with a fairly steep ramp. I read on other threads that we should block new chicks from exiting the coop for several days. Did I interpret this correctly? If so, what do they eat/drink during this time?
    Should I build a bigger/wider ramp for babies?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicks are a-hatching Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I generally put a fence around my newly hatched chicks on the floor of the coop to keep them and mom confined for a week or two until the chicks become stronger and can keep up with mom and get away from other birds. They also can bond better. You may need to help chicks up to the coop initially, but a good broody should be able to lure them in.
  3. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    When my girls had their babies (the 2 of them teamed up), I put a budgie feeder and waterer in the nest box with them (you can see it in the avatar, it's just one of those little plastic silo feeders) I also put another feeder and waterer in the coop for the mums. When the littlies learnt how to jump the front of the nest box, they started using that one and I took the budgie things out.

    When they got a bit bigger, the girls got them down the ramp, but they didn't go back up for quite a while. One of the girls would sleep down in the run with the babies. After a while, they learned how to use the ramp to go inside. The girls just looked after them and taught them everything. All I did was add extra food and water to the coop, take out the layer feed (everyone went on starter crumble, with shellgrit for the big girls), and put a saucer in the run for the babies (they couldn't use the bucket feeders that the big girls use).

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