Feeding babies when with others/mom, and other raising questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rojororeo, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did some searching of the threads hoping for an answer, but don't seem to be finding what I am looking for.

    I am letting a broody have her way and see if she can raise up some babies for us (obviously we have a rooster, lol, so hopefully some of the eggs I gave her are fertile).
    Right now she is in a nest box in the main coop.

    This weekend I plan to pull out our giant dog crate and move her and her eggs in there until they hatch. She will have food and water. I am contemplating giving her a little fenced in area as well.

    My questions:
    1) Feeding the babies.
    Do I put out both adult layer and chick starter? Or do I only give chick starter and mom will eat that and be okay? The layer feed I give is a cracked grain style, not crumble or what not. I plan to buy a bag of chick starter crumble for the babies.

    2) Appropriate housing/separating from the flock.
    I have a flock of 14 hens and a rooster. They are in a large yard of chicken wire over goat fence, no overhead fence coverage. I was thinking of putting her in the giant dog crate, and fashioning a little fenced yard with overhead coverage inside the existing chicken yard, to protect the babies better from overhead (along with from my cats, though my hope is that the hen(s and rooster) would protect the babies from the cats, if there was an issue. The cats don't treat the adults as food. But I probably shouldn't chance this one. lol)
    ---Should I make the baby fence area in such a way that mom and babies can leave it to go with general population, but can run back under it if needed? I know this won't stop a cat, as the cat can just waltz in the opening, but I was thinking for overhead predators.
    ---Or should I keep the babies and mom away from the flock until they are a certain age (which would be___?). Does this separation cause the babies to have an issue integrating when they are big enough to go with the flock?

    I think that is it for now. :)
    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    As far as feeding goes do not feed them layer feed as this will damage their kidneys. Give all the chickens the chick feed. Once the chicks are 18 weeks you can feed them all the layer again.

    Cats sometimes may not be interested in adults but are all about chicks. So, yes, consider a pen or crate of some sort to house the chicks and their mama until the chicks are bigger. But they should still be "within" the flock so they aren't treated as newbies when they are old enough.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That does help! Pretty much everything I was thinking, but I wanted confirmed by more knowledgeable people. They will definitely be penned in within the confines of the regular flock's fencing. How long is the old enough to be let loose?
    I didn't remember the reason for the feed change, but that makes sense. :)
    And is a roosting bar necessary during her brooding and raising time? I will have a hard time fitting that in there with the nest box. :)
    Thanks!
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    I'd say once they are 3-4 weeks they can come out. You want them to be as big as possible so the cats don't get them.

    No roosting bar necessary until about week 2.
     
  5. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks again. :) So I should still figure out how to get a bar in there. Darn it. lol That part was a pain the last time I separated someone. But I will get it. :)
    What are your thoughts on medicated versus non-medicated chick starter?
    All of my birds came from feed stores as chicks originally, if that helps. :)
     
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Medicated feed is good to help fight diseases such as cocci, etc. However, as the chicks age, they can develop immunity to cocci as their immune systems grow. Tiny exposures to small amounts of these parasites actually allows them to become immune without the use of coccistats. (the medication amprolium in medicated feed) Medicated feed does allow for some immunity to develop, but not as much as growing immunity naturally thru exposure.
     
  7. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry it took me a bit to reply back. A storm knocked out our power on Saturday and it only came back last night... fun fun fun!
    I had a coupon for free feed from Purina, and wasn't sure what to get, but needed to buy it already, and just got the medicated since I wasn't sure.. Hopefully it won't kill them either way. :p
    Now I just need to get my butt out there and build the separation pen...

    Thanks for the help again!
     
  8. rojororeo

    rojororeo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Updating!!!
    Copying this from my other thread regarding this clutch.
    3 are hatching right now!! Woohoo!
    I just got the dog crate up finally last night and was putting her in it this morning. we candled the eggs last night, saw 3 of 4 were definitely going to hatch, but I was unsure of #4, so I put it back until I could do more research. I go get them this morning to candle in the house in the dark bathroom.... walking in to get the flashlight, can't figure out why I hear bird chirps when no windows are open.... realize they ae baby chirps.. wait what?! I look down in my basket, 3 of my 4 eggs are pipping!
    Crud!! So I ran them back out and put them in the nest in the dog crate and grabbed momma and parked her on them again.
    If she stays with this clutch, she will be worth her weight in gold, all the moving and pestering she has had to put up with!
    Fairly certain #4 is a dead in progression type of egg, so I need to go pester her again to get it back... poor girl.

    Anyhoo! Thanks everyone for the help! Fingers crossed they aren't too traumatized by my overly rough handling!
     

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