Chicks Aren't Eating

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Silver Bantam, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. So I have a Pekin Bantam hen that recently hatched her first batch of chicks, four in total.

    I bought some chick crumble for them, the same brand I usually give broodys with chicks- but they won't eat it! The poor wee hen is so thin after incubating them, and now it seems as though she is intent on starving herself by completely ignoring any crumble or soaked crumble I offer her. Which of course, means the babies won't eat it either.

    Any suggestions? So far they've survived off bugs and chick weed, which I've collected for them, but it's only so long before my supply of both is gone. And I can't really be digging around for ages every day!
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    How long has it been since the chicks hatched? Was your broody eating anything at all during the time she was sitting on the eggs? Is she off the nest and actively caring for her chicks? Does she take them outside and scratch around for things to eat for the chicks?

    I'm wondering if she may be too weak to eat and care for the chicks. If this is only the first day after hatch, though, I would give her time to get with the program.

    If it's been three days or longer, then you need to offer this little family some minced boiled egg, maybe some cooked oatmeal, and I would get some Poultry Nutri-drench and put it in their water so they're all getting a shot of extra nutrients.
     
  3. Hi @azygous, thanks for you reply :)

    The chicks are currently six days old, and are living (temporarily) in a large dog crate in my rabbit shed.

    The Pekin hen was only actually sitting on them for about a week before they hatched, as I had a different (and larger) hen on the eggs until that point. I've had bad experiences with big hens crushing newly hatched chicks though, so as soon as I was absolutely sure the Pekin hen was broody I swapped them.
    So pretty sure she would have been eating, probably just not all that much.

    She's a great mother so far in most aspects, and is off the nest and feeding the babies almost anything other then the crumble! Which is really what I need them to be eating. Just not sure why she isn't interested in the proper food at all [​IMG]

    So the egg and oats will be the next best thing to the crumble then? And I guess the Nutri-Drench would just be at a feed store or something?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you live in the US, you will find the Nutri-drench at most feed stores. Even Walmart has it, I believe having seen it.

    Try sprinkling the dry chick crumbles over the ground. I've found that it's easier for a new broody mom to teach her chicks how to eat by scratching and pecking at the food on the ground.

    Now that you've reassured me that the hen isn't malnourished, this ought to do the trick. Have the crumbles available in the feeder down low so the chicks can access it, and I would bet the broody will have them eating out of it in a couple of days.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Try just feeding the Starter....Toss some scratch also and provide grit.....She will not starve herself or her Chicks.....

    Fresh water at all times.....My Broody hens never starve their Chicks.....


    Best wishes....:)


    Cheers!
     

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