Do I need to use chick feed for a naturally hatched chick?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by usanewfie, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. usanewfie

    usanewfie New Egg

    Aug 3, 2012
    I have my first broody hen sitting on her eggs and we are about 2 weeks in. I'm planning to let this play out naturally as the flock appears to be getting along well and still laying eggs in the coop. My question is regarding food. Assuming the chicks make it through the hatching phase, do I need to put out chick feed for them to develop correctly? If so, how should I separate that food from the usual pellets for the other layers? They are free ranging chickens so if I have to isolate the chicks, I'll likely have to treat them like store-bought peeps and bring them inside under the lamp... something I'm trying to avoid.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2014
    Pacific Northwest
    We feed crumbles and the big chickens fling the food and the littles pick it up, but for the first week or two with broodies and babies we lock them in somewhere so they can develop more so we put food and water in there but heat isnt necessary since we have the broody :)
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    I would provide a "flock raiser" or "all flock" for your whole flock and put oyster shell on the side for the layers. Too much calcium in layer feed can cause kidney damage for the non layers, including chicks, broody, and roo's. And not enough protein for the littles will slow their growth. Also, definitely crumbles as pellets will be to big for babies.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016

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