HELP need info quick!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Haulinbass02, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Haulinbass02

    Haulinbass02 Out Of The Brooder

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    So long story short, we inherited a flock of chickens from our neighbors when they moved. 12 adult, laying hens and 1 rooster. One of the hens was brooding when we got her. We have had chickens in the past but they were given to us as adults. Never had to raise any chicks. We JUST got done building our coop and run and brought them down to our house. With the advice of a friend who grew up with his grandpa raising chickens, we made a separate portion of the coop into a brooding, chick rearing pen. The broody hen has been in there sitting on her eggs with feed and water and just now hatched a chick. She has continued sitting on the rest of the clutch of eggs so hopefully we will get a decent hatch. I think we have 7 more left under her.

    Questions:
    It's cool and rainy here right now, as long as the hen is sitting and taking care of the chicks, do I need to put a heat lamp in there with the chicks?
    As far as food goes, do I just set a separate chick feeder in there?
    Do I need to keep the regular layer feed the hen eats up and away from the chicks?
    Medicated or non-medicated feed for the chicks?
    Any other special things that I need to know before I hit the feed store after I get off of work?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  2. ultimatecluck

    ultimatecluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Go safe with medicated food, if the chicks are always trying to wiggle under your broody hen they must be cold. Add a separate feeder for the medicated food or in morning and at night separate the chicks so they can eat their speculation food and the adults don't. Probably best ;) plus good luck :D
     
  3. Haulinbass02

    Haulinbass02 Out Of The Brooder

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    .......and then there were two. Second chick is pipping and should be out any time now. Mama is helping a little bit. This is her second brood and she seems to be doing better this time around. But then again the neighbor wasn't as attentive to her as I am now.


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  4. ultimatecluck

    ultimatecluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aww what breed is the mother? :D
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    It's cool and rainy here right now, as long as the hen is sitting and taking care of the chicks, do I need to put a heat lamp in there with the chicks?

    You do not need a heat lamp when you have a broody hen. Do not put a heat lamp in there, now or later.

    As far as food goes, do I just set a separate chick feeder in there? Do I need to keep the regular layer feed the hen eats up and away from the chicks?

    You will find it impossible to keep the baby chicks out of Layer if you try to feed both. The broody hen will pick it up and feed it to them if they can’t get at it. In a surprisingly short time the chick swill fly up there to eat it themselves. Mine regularly do that before two weeks of age. A standard way of feeding a mixed age flock like that is to feed them all what the chicks can eat and offer oyster shell on the side. The ones that need it for egg shells usually know they need it. The ones that don’t need it don’t eat enough to harm themselves.

    Medicated or non-medicated feed for the chicks?

    Purely personal choice. I’ll copy something I wrote on another post about this. It’s kind of long but may help you make an informed choice.

    First you need to know what the "medicated" is in the medicated feed. It should be on the label. Usually it is Amprolium, Amprol, some such product, but until you read the label, you really don't know. Every "medicated' feed I'm aware of from major brands for chicks that will be layers uses Amprolium, but people on this forum that I trust have posted hat some feeds for broilers have things other than Amprolium. I'll assume it is an Amprolium product, but if it is not, then realize everything I say about it may not apply. And it is possible that the "medicated" is Amprolium AND something else.

    Amprol is not an antibiotic. It does not kill anything. It inhibits the protozoa that cause coccidiosis (often called Cocci on this forum) from multiplying in the chicken's system. It does not prevent the protozoa from multiplying; it just slows that multiplication down. There are several different strains of protozoa that can cause Cocci, some more severe than others. Chickens can develop immunity to a specific strain of the protozoa, but that does not give them immunity to all protozoa that cause Cocci. Little bitty tiny baby chicks can develop that immunity easier than older chickens.

    It is not a big deal for the chicken’s intestines to contain some of the protozoa that cause Cocci. The problem comes in when the number of those protozoa gets huge. The protozoa can multiply in the chicken’s intestines but also in wet manure. Different protozoa strains have different strengths, but for almost all cases, if you keep the brooder dry, you will not have a problem.

    To develop immunity to a specific strain, that protozoa needs to be in the chicks intestines for two or three weeks. The normal sequence is that a chick has the protozoa. It poops and some of the cysts that develop the protozoa come out in the poop. If the poop is slightly damp, those cysts develop and will then develop in the chick's intestines when the chicks eat that poop. This cycle needs go on for a few weeks so all chicks are exposed and they are exposed long enough to develop immunity. A couple of important points here. You do need to watch them to see if they are getting sick. And the key is to keep the brooder dry yet allow some of the poop to stay damp. Not soaking wet, just barely damp. Wet poop can lead to serious problems.

    What sometimes happens is that people keep chicks in a brooder and feed them medicated feed while they are in the brooder. Those chicks are never exposed to the Cocci protozoa that lives in the dirt in their run, so they never develop the immunity to it. Then, they are switched to non-medicated feed and put on the ground where they are for the first time exposed to the protozoa. They do not have immunity, they do not have the protection of the medicated feed, so they get sick. Feeding medicated feed while in the brooder was a complete waste.

    I do not feed medicated feed. I keep the brooder dry to not allow the protozoa to breed uncontrollably. The third day that they are in the brooder, I take a scoop of dirt from the run and feed it to them so I can introduce the protozoa and they can develop the immunity they need to the strain they need to develop an immunity to. To provide a place for that slightly damp poop, I keep a square of plywood in the dry brooder and let the poop build up on that. I don't lose chicks to Cocci when they hit the ground.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding medicated feed to chicks, whether the protozoa are present or not. It will not hurt them. They can still develop the immunity they need. But unless the protozoa are present, it also does no good.

    If you get your chicks vaccinated for Cocci, do not feed medicated feed. It can negate the vaccinations
    .

    Any other special things that I need to know before I hit the feed store after I get off of work
    ?

    I understand it’s your first broody and you are excited. You want everything to go perfectly. One thing I’ve learned about broody hens is to leave them alone. Stay out of their way. Don’t try to micromanage them, they know a lot more about it than I do. I know it’s hard but try to not interfere too much. If you put food and water where the chicks can get to it, the hen will do everything else.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I'm in complete agreement with Ridge. sticking a heat lamp in with the broody and chicks is totally unnecessary, and even dangerous, and a complete waste.

    Broodies have all the heat chicks require, and the chicks are only going to be under her, no matter how cold it is, even freezing, when they begin to chill and need a quick warm-up. Don't mistake brooding chicks with incubating eggs - two different things.

    As for providing feed, most of us old timers have dispensed with layer feed all together, and we feed all flock/grower feed to everyone in the flock. That way there's no danger the chicks will get into layer and get too much calcium. Also, you need to provide the broody and chicks with a chick starter and water. In fact, it does no harm for the entire flock to eat chick starter while the chicks are growing up.

    Ignore the manufacturer's "helpful recommendations" on feeding starter, grow-out and finisher, or whatever fancy marketing labels they've stuck onto the bags. In fact, if all you can find is all-flock feed, the chicks will do just fine on it.
     
  7. Haulinbass02

    Haulinbass02 Out Of The Brooder

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    She is a Cuckoo Marans
     
  8. Haulinbass02

    Haulinbass02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well I put a heat lamp in there last night. I placed it away from the hen so it wouldn't warm her up too much but I'll take it out of there. I couldn't find a smaller bag of medicated chick starter so I got unmedicated and will just keep it that way. I plan on keeping the broody and chick separate for a while and then introduce them later so at this time I can keep feed separate.


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  9. Haulinbass02

    Haulinbass02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well #2 didn't make it. It seemed to be taking a long time to unzip and get out once she pipped through the outside. We kept checking on her and the progress seemed awful slow but I decided to give it time since this is my first time having a broody and hatching chicks. Hopefully the others will do better.
    I'm going to candle the other 7 tomorrow and check progress on them since the eggs were all layed under this hen over a one week period before we were able to manage what was going on.


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  10. Haulinbass02

    Haulinbass02 Out Of The Brooder

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    This morning my son ran in the house to call me at work and announce that one of our green eggs hatched! I'm pretty sure it's one of the original ones my broody cuckoo marans layed herself! This chick has a dark stripe on its head running down its neck. Only 5 left, still hopeful for a good hatch out!


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