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Broody feed question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by crooked stripe, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I hope I will have chicks coming from under a broody hen in 14 days. What should I be feeding them? The broody is still eating layer pellets, if she is eating at all. Is medicated starter going to hurt the mature hen? How would you separate the different feeds from the brood? Please fill me in. John
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    John, when my hens have hatched out chicks I let them eat the same feed as the chicks ... it's medicated chick starter and hasn't hurt them any....having layer feed out is not good for the chicks to get into.. they need the protein and vits. in the starter/grower...your hen will be fine...
     
  3. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    No, she will be fine to eat the starter after the chicks are born, it's good for them.... when mine go broody and hatch eggs I feed them layer pellets and then they eat the starter and layer pellets when the chicks hatch. Good luck !!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    There are a whole bunch of it depends.

    If your chickens are outdoor birds that run around in the dirt and weeds then you could probably forgo the medicated starter and use unmedicated starter. Their immune systems should kick in pretty fast and they will build up a natural immunity.

    It is better for the chicks to eat starter than layer feed. The few weeks your hen is eating starter shouldn't be a problem, especially since she has been almost starving for 3 weeks. The extra protein I think would do her good.

    I didn't really keep them separate except for the first week or so. After that I put the chick feed in the part of the coop where they slept and the layer feed in the other part of the coop. During the day they all ranged.
     
  5. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    846
    3
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    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    You still have to keep the chicks and hen separated from the rest of the flock don't you? I had problems in the past with introducing chicks to the adult hens. Pecking was a great problem. I finely separated the chicks for a few weeks till things calmed down. I would like to know how much protection the broody hen will protect them and for how long. John
     
  6. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    It all depends on how your older hens and roosters will act with the chicks, I dont separate my silkies when they hatch chicks. everyone gets along pretty good and mama hen will take care of anyone getting out of line !!!!
     
  7. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    This is what worked for me.

    My coop has three sections. One section for the "adults" or laying hens, one section for the youngsters, and a section usually for feed and other supplies. All the sections can be kept closed off or I can leave everything open and the birds have access to all of it. The adult section has a covered run and the youngster section has a covered run. This arrangement does make for a messy supply section when the birds have access to it.

    Right now all the birds have access to the whole coop and both runs. I turn the hens loose at about noon and the other birds depending on how easy it is to keep the hens in.

    When a hen went broody I moved her and a nest box to the supply room and kept the other birds out of it. About a week or two after the hatch I would allow her and the chicks access to the adult section and to the outside world.

    Momma hens protected their young and there weren't any real problems. The chicks stayed with the moms until about 4 weeks old and then they started venturing off on their own. At about 6 weeks the process was pretty much done. Integration this way was really pretty smooth. The moms are all different. I had one that taught her chicks how to get on the roost. The other two didn't do anything except leave the kids when the kids got bigger.

    When the cockerels start going through puberty things start to get interesting. They aren't chicks anymore. That's when you have to start thinking about what to do with them if they haven't taken up residence in the freezer by then.
     

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