Emergency Help Please!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 10_is_enough, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. 10_is_enough

    10_is_enough In the Brooder

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    May 16, 2011
    My hens have hatched 3 chicks and there are more on the way. The lady at the TS told us we had to separate them because if they eat the adult food or the older chickens eat the baby food that they could die??? This makes no sense to me because chickens have been raising their own for how long before humans? I'm not sure what to do. I have been told to just let momma do her job and they will be just fine. PLEASE, if anyone can help me out with this let me know asap. I certainly don't want to lose any!
     
  2. gabrielle32

    gabrielle32 In the Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2012
    [​IMG]it's fine for the mama hen to eat the chicks food but not the other way round,so remove the adult food and just give them all chick food for now. i had my girl hatch her first clutch (and ours!) in a pen in my kitchen and once the chicks were over a week or so old she loved to hop up onto our kitchen table for some treats! it was nice for her to have some variety from chick crumb i guess and a chance to stretch her wings!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  3. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    The best thing to do is take the "adult" food out and replace it with flock grower or non-medicated chick starter - everybody can safely eat it... It'll be alright [​IMG]

    Congrats!
     
  4. ButchGood

    ButchGood Songster

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    Let the Mama hen do her job...They will be just fine. Who ever told you your chickens will die is full of it. Its been going on in my back yard all spring and no fatalities.
     
  5. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Portia

    Portia Songster

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    Chick feed has slightly different nutrients & contains some form of grit. Layer feed is formulated for optimum health in terms of egg production.
    That being said, there is no one better equipped to raise chicks than a hen; just let her do her job & give her & her chicks full access to outside as well as in. She will teach her chicks how to scratch & take in the proper amount of grit for digestion. I haven't bought grower in years & my hens raise chicks every year. Of course, my chickens are 100% free range, so mama hen has a wealth of things to teach her babies about. When I have a young hen that is hatching out for the first time, I frequently have to employ the 'nursery' for the first few days if she can't quite figure out her job & can't figure out how to bond with the chicks vs sit on the remaining eggs. So I stick her outside in a 'nursery' (see picture below). In this manner I can get my broodies to bond to any kind of day old chick & raise them as her own. Right now I have a hen raising a bunch of turkeys & will soon give another 4 broodies a bunch of bobwhite quail to mother.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    Oh my gosh! How cute is that! I guess I have to watch my new broodies and make sure they figure things out.... Next Friday is hatch day!
     
  8. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

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    A year ago, because we seem to constantly have a mixed age flock, I started feeding the whole flock grower, which is high enough protein for all involved, but not too much calcium for the younger birds. But since the layers require the extra calcium usually found in layer feed, I provide free choice oyster shell.

    I've read that the extra calcium in layer feed can damage the liver (or some other organs) of younger birds. I've also read that it might not kill them early, but the damage done can shorten their lives by years. I have no personal experience with this happening, so I can't attest to it. But since our birds are laying great (except for one), I've found it was a good strategy for us.
     
  9. 10_is_enough

    10_is_enough In the Brooder

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    I can't thank you enough for your help. I will just let momma(s) do their job. I have more chicks coming since I can feel movement in the eggs. And bonding is going great between 2 mommies. I think poor Chloe wants to be a momma so bad that she snuggled up to Phyllis and the eggs in hopes of something happening! Poor girl. Anyway, I moved the layer feed farther away for now and have the baby food right by them with their water. They aren't traveling too far from the cage. We are in the process of building a coop so right now I put them in a cat carrier with nice clean litter and such. I have a heat lamp near by, but certainly not on them since moms are so warm. Wow they get hot!! I'm really hoping to hatch more than just silkies!! If I may ask, when IS it safe to not worry so much about the layer food?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    Cute baby! - Yes, I placed my hand on the eggs one day when the girls were taking a break, and I couldn't believe how warm - almost hot the eggs were........
     

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