broody hen hatching question

and-roo

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
2,234
82
211
the Willamette Valley, OR
my buff orpington just went broody and i was thinking of giving her fertile eggs. we only have four hens so i was going to let her raise them with the other hens around. but would i have to put out chick food for them or would they just eat the layer food? this is the first time i've ever done this so any advice would be helpful.
 

kannna

Songster
10 Years
Jul 2, 2010
393
36
166
Martha's Vineyard
Chicks should not eat layer food. The extra calcium can cause problems in their growing bodies.

What I do is switch them all to grower food. It has minimal calcium and extra protein for growing chickens. While providing calcium in a separate dish for the older girls.

There are other methods I'm sure people will share. Just giving you mine.

Good luck with your broody :)
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,057
581
Southern Oregon
Pull the layer food out altogether. Feed everyone chick feed and offer oyster shell on the side for the laying hens to eat if they need it. The chicks might taste the oyster shell but they wont' eat enough to hurt them. Don't feed the layer feed until the new chicks start laying, so about 6 months from now.
 

and-roo

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
2,234
82
211
the Willamette Valley, OR
i plan on selling the chicks when she is done mothering them, so it wouldn't be that long, but i'll try it. maybe if somehow i can hang the layer food in a spot where the hens can get to it, but the chicks can't.
 

and-roo

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
2,234
82
211
the Willamette Valley, OR
the chicks are supposed to hatch friday. i'm down to three eggs, and i hope they all hatch!

i'll try and keep you guys updated if you want.

i also heard somewhere that hens will be fine eating chick food instead of layer food,is this true?
 
Last edited:

and-roo

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2013
2,234
82
211
the Willamette Valley, OR
thank you all!

2/4 chicks hatched and there is a splash chick and a blue chick. they are about six weeks old now (i think) and are getting big. but i'm worried that they're both roos, and i want at least one hen! i think if one of them is a pullet then it would be the blue one because the splash one is slightly bigger, less feathered, and it's comb is bigger. i named them blu and nigel (from rio). they also look a little less feathered than other pictures of six week old chicks i've seen. is this a result of being hatched and raised by a broody hen instead of being hatched and medicated in a hatchery and then raised in a brooder? i'll try to post some pics ASAP. i know that they also may be a little young too tell their gender now but any ideas or opinions are helpful.
 

MANNA-PRO

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