Baby Chicks with Free Range Flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wild chick, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. wild chick

    wild chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm expecting chicks to hatch this weekend around June 10th. The hens nest is on the floor in the coop under the laying nests, and that small building also is where the roosts are. There are 8 hens and 1 rooster, including the broody (gold and silver wyandottes). Question is, I was planning to just let her introduce the chicks on her on and see how it all goes, and I have put the layer feeder which is free choice 24/7 on a block so the adults can reach it but baby chicks can't. But I toss a bit of scratch in the morning when I open the run and in the evening to reward them for coming into the run, I feed them a treat of a boiled egg chopped up with shell/sunflower chips/oatmeal mush (made to paste with either water or sometimes organic plain yogurt, no sugar). The mush amounts to about 1 or 2 tablespoons per chicken. If Wynona (the broody) is back doing flock stuff a few days after hatching chicks, do I need to change what I toss on the ground for everyone? If Wynona teaches them what they can & can't eat out in the yard, will that apply to treats as well? Will she keep them close to the chick feeder & waterer that's down on chick level? I know, lots of questions. All my old-timer friends say she will take care of everything and not to worry. This is my first year of chickens and my first broody! Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    She will take care of everything. You can sit back and just watch them grow.
     
  3. IZZYBELLA

    IZZYBELLA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally separate my broody when the hatch date nears. I put a dog kennel in the coop with cardboard high enough that they can't jump through the wire. I do this because the first hatch I had under a broody ended up with the first hatched chick getting eaten by the other hens, since the broody wouldn't leave her nest to protect it while there were still eggs. Also, depending on how many chicks your broody has, she may not be able to protect them all. If you can, I would separate them for a few weeks while she trains them. I am sure plenty of people leave them integrated and do fine... I am just hesitant given that first experience!

    Otherwise it is true that a broody does all the work...it is such an awesome thing to watch and so much better than dealing with chicks in a brooder!
     
  4. wild chick

    wild chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks - That's why I asked - I'm thinking both ways!!! P1150263.JPG Here's the "privacy fence" that I put in. Wynona just goes around and out. But then I wonder if the babies will not find the opening at the end and just stand on the other side looking in at the nest. It's got chicken wire attached on the inside so they won't be going through the holes without momma being able to keep up.
     
  5. IZZYBELLA

    IZZYBELLA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My concern would be the other chickens going around and bothering the chicks, though. Cute set up!
     
  6. wild chick

    wild chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not one of the others has ventured around the fence that I've ever seen. I think Wynona must have passed a message to the group. She originally set a nest box above, so I made a nesty pile of straw below, added the eggs & fence and pointed her to it and she stayed.
     
  7. IZZYBELLA

    IZZYBELLA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's good! Sometimes they know not to mess with mama! :)
     
  8. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a feed that's low in calcium and high in protein (20%, like starter feed) for the whole flock. I think it's called All Flock, or something like that. That way the chicks can eat it with no harm from too much calcium like in layer feed. The mama picks food out of the feeder and puts it on the ground for the chicks to eat when they're away from their own feeder (that the others poach from when they're not there).
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  9. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    btw, my chicks are 3-4 days old and mingle with the flock like they've always been a part of it. No problems from the others. They just ignore the peeps.
     
  10. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd be careful with the chicken wire. I saw one of my chicks get stuck in it. She was able to free herself before I could get to her.
     

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