broody hen with chicks..... input/ advice needed please

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bloom chicks, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
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    I have a broody hen, she has 10 chicks that hatched on the 29th.... She has been great with them...........They have been free ranging yesterday and today..... The flock is great with them.... both roosters are great with them as well, no problem with the rest of the flock........ It has truly been a blessing.......

    Today she was great, the only thing I am concerned about is that she tried to feed them from the layers food. I have chick starter for them I have it in the crate and when she is out and about foraging I put the starter in front of them. They eat it then she makes them forage. Will they get enough of their food or should I keep them crated for a few day.

    Another question is......I live in North FL and it it going to be in the 20's on Tuesday Should I keep them crated with the heat on. The highs will be 50. I also have to go back to work..... I don't want to take any chances of losing my babies. Thank you for any input or advice.
     
  2. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody raised chicks free range with mom, and she feeds them while they are out. I do keep chick starter for them, and try to keep them in for the first half of the day. That way they get the starter first thing, and aren't (hopefully) as hungry while they are out foraging with mom. They also get starter when they return in the evening, before they go to bed.

    As long as mom is able to cover the chicks, with her wings and feathers, I wouldn't worry about providing heat for them. My chicks were hatched a week before Christmas, and have done great with no heat, just mom. We've had lots of nights dip into the twenties, and they were fine.
     
  3. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for responding! I really appreciate it very much!
     
  4. Me & Jack

    Me & Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I guess the first thing that comes to my mind is the fact that momma hen knows better than we do about how to raise chicks. So, let her be your guide. However, if you're a worry-wart like me you'll still be wondering what you should do to ensure everyone's okay. I liked the other poster's idea about keeping them penned up for the first half of the day to make sure they eat. At the same time, it sounds like things are going great the way you've been doing it. As for the cold temps that are coming, you could add a brooder lamp to the farthest corner of your brooder so that if any chicks did get separated from her they'd still have a place to go -- truth is, she's not likely to let any of them out of her sight, and if one wanders away there'll be a good reason why she doesn't go after it.

    There -- that's all I know. Nothing! [​IMG]
     
  5. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I think I am going to take your advice. They are in the coop which is 12 x 24 and in a large dog crate inside the coop. The mama puts the babies in there when it is getting dusk and I close the door to the dog crate so nobody bothers them. And when my big chickens (they like to linger outside as long as possible) are in the coop I close the door. In the morning I let everyone out. I will keep her in the crate in the morning (that is if she doesn't have a cow lol). Thank you so much!
     
  6. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is better if they eat the chick starter and not layer food. Can you put the layer food high enough that the chicks can't get to it? The bigger issue is the hens eating chick starter. they will get a small dose of coccidiostat when they do.
     
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Quote:Only if it is medicated starter.

    Eating a little bit of layer feed won't hurt chicks.
     
  8. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Only if it is medicated starter.

    Eating a little bit of layer feed won't hurt chicks.

    So, it's not dangerously high in calcium?
     
  9. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Only if it is medicated starter.

    Eating a little bit of layer feed won't hurt chicks.

    So, it's not dangerously high in calcium?

    I have the chick starter food out it is organic soy free feed. The layer food is up high but lily will go to the feeder and get some for the chicks to eat. She will call them over. It is also organic soy free.


    Today was not a good day! [​IMG]
    I lost a chick today! I was in the coop 12x24 with the babies and the mama toward the back of the coop, sitting down with the babies right in front of me and a hawk flew in the coop and took a baby. I wanted to up load some pictures but it won't let me. I wanted to show you guys what I did so the hawk won't come in, the chickens can come in but I don't think the hawk will. I hung a black clothe, like a long curtain so the hawk can't see in. I hung it from the top of the door way until about a foot off the the ground do you think that will work!
     
  10. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no [​IMG] , that is horrible. Now that it knows they are there, it will come back. Is there anyway you could cover your run?
     

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