Chicks Eating Layer Feed (Broody Help)

BeanHen

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 28, 2014
92
6
31
Hi BYC,

I have a broody hen, and we're considering getting a few foster chicks for her. I just had a few questions:

1. We really only have one area to keep chickens, so the chicks will have to be in with the layers. What is recommended that we feed all of them? I've heard that grow-out feed works if oyster shell is provided, but what kind/brand should I get?
2. Should I give the chicks a separate, closed off area from the hens? If so, wouldn't they be separated from their momma?

Okay, Thanks!
:)
 

cmlew99

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 5, 2014
329
15
98
Massachusetts
Hello! Definitely don't seperate them from their mama hen. From what I have read, it really is best to have the broody hen and her chicks seperate from the rest of the flock. "The Chicken Chick" (a blog) has some great articles on broodiness and chick raising you should check out. Definitely don't feed the chicks layer feed, too much calcium will hurt them. I know that many people let their broody hen just have the chick starter, as she doesn't need calcium because she ceases to lay eggs while she is raising her babies (but it might be different when they are mixed in with the flock). I hope this helps! Hopefully someone with a little more knowledge and experience than me will tell you more info
 
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Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,913
1,151
291
Georgia
It is best to separate the mama/chicks from the flock for at least a few days.

There are various "all flock feeds" that are suitable for the whole group. If the family is separated I would probably feed chick starter to the momma too, she isn't laying so that should be fine. Another thing you can do is get a feeder and surround it with a wire fence that only lets the chicks in (choose the right size fence).

Introduce the chicks at night and definitely keep the family separated for a few days, also be prepared to raise them yourself if things go wrong (have a brooder, heat source etc....ready to go quick if they need it).

I have a broody in the hen house now with two eggs, I have penned off the area under the poop shelf with wire and some plastic along the bottom so she has her own area for the first week or so, then when she is ready she can take her babies on trips into the run. My broody has raised chicks before so she knows what she is doing, with a new first time broody things can get trickier especially with foster chicks.
 
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