Does the hen feed her new chick while it's still in the nest box?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BluffCountryShepherdess, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. BluffCountryShepherdess

    BluffCountryShepherdess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    Houston, MN
    My first MFC (mille flecur cochin) egg hatched on Tuesday. An Easter Egger is the foster mom and she's still got two more eggs. I suspect that if they haven't hatched by tomorrow, they aren't going to. My question is concerning feeding the baby while it's still in the nest box. I just used a wooden box for a nest box and the mama chicken hops out to eat and drink each day but the baby is too little to get out and in on it's own.


    Do I need to feed it or will the EE hen take care of that? I do have three more eggs in my bator that should hatch in 6 days as well. Do I need to put a heat lamp by the pen the mama hen is in with her baby?


    It's in my basement which is heated (55 degrees). I wonder if that's warm enough for the baby if it's in the pen with the hen...

    As you can probably tell, this is my first time raising chicks this time of year. I had a silkie-cross hen hatch and raise two babies before but that was in the summertime and I didn't worry so much about them...
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    If the baby and mama are together, they don't need additional heat (unless you're in Alaska or something [​IMG] ). Baby will tuck up under mama if he gets cold. I let Silkies raise babies all last winter and never lost one! As for food, he should be fine until the hatch is complete. The mama doesn't bring food to the baby, she finds food and calls the baby over to eat it. But if she's still hatching, she probably hasn't gotten up to find food. If you're really worried about it, you could put a small container of food in the nest area, but that might make mama poop in the nest ( [​IMG] )
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    The hen really should have a larger nest box on the floor. I've used a plastic milk crate turned on its side so the opening is facing forward. I covered it with 3 or 4 old towels to provide Mom with a little insulation so all of her body heat doesn't escape through the holes. I think it makes her feel a little more secure also.

    You will need chick starter crumbles (medicated or non medicated is your choice) a chick water bottle and chick grit. Sprinkle a bit on their crumbles. Mom will take care of everything (she will eat the starter crumbles also and that's fine) but you have to make sure the chicks can get in and out of their nesting box or they could starve or freeze. Even a cardboard box turned on it's side will be better than what you have now and a cardboard box is roomier so the chicks can investigate their surrounding while mom rests.

    Chick grit is very important with chicks that are raised by the hen. She will find them natural foods like grass and tiny pieces of scratch that grit is essential for digesting their food or they will get impacted crops.

    Don't let the chicks eat any layer crumbles or pellets. The extra calcium in them will damage their kidneys.
  4. Chicks lover

    Chicks lover Just Hatched

    Apr 1, 2017
    lancaster california
    Help Please, I have 2 broody chicken and some one said don't let your chicken eat the baby chick food, is the bad for then, any one know.?
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Reverse that. ...don't let chicks eat layer feed(too much calcium and not enough protein), there is no harm to be had in adults eating chick feed though
    Chicks lover likes this.
  6. 1TurkenLover

    1TurkenLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2013
    WASHINGTON state
    * We feed RESCUED chickens " Flock Raiser " in the 30/30 Quarantine: till hens start looking better, get Healthier, Filling out. etc. No Issues. been doing it years now. Chicks should Not Have Calcium yet, till older.
  7. CrazyHenLady386

    CrazyHenLady386 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Canada!
    so the chick will be fine till the next day to eat and drink? Wont it get dehydrated? I am in the same situation with one chick hatched and the rest gonna hatch tomorrow...
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    The chick will be fine, yes

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