How do chicks eat when free rangeing w/flock / not put ting out feeders like old days

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kingsfarm, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    want to raise like old days, no special feeders only water containers chicks survival rate decrease drasticly. old days they just learned to survive with mama hen finding something for them to eat (right).feed hen layer pellets on ground (not for chicks) what do

  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    It depends what the mother hens might be able to find for the chicks. For example, hens used to pick through the poop of cattle/horses, to find the undigested seeds, but if they don't have access to that type of manure, it will make it difficult for them to find those same undigested seeds. In summer they eat a lot of greenery and bugs, but what about in winter? Depending on your climate, if the ground is frozen and/or covered in snow most of the time and they don't have access to a barn where they can forage from the dropped feed of other animals, they will starve if you don't feed them. You can't find something that isn't there to find.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    It is possible your views are a bit skewed when it comes to "the old days". Chickens have been domesticated for several thousand years. Feral chickens, in warm climates, scratch by, if they are the right breed. Many modern birds are extremely dependent upon the keepers for much of their very existence.
  4. quintinp

    quintinp Songster

    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    I agree with Fred's Hens. Even in "the old days" people gave the chickens LOTS of scraps.

    I mean, the pellets can be eaten by the chicks, if they are willing. After the others are done eating the mama can go up there, and there are just little crumbs for the chicks left behind.

    I do think that you should rethink your views of Free Ranging your hen and chicks.
  5. evhammond1200

    evhammond1200 In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    Canaan, NH
    I have one chicken who will disappear lay eggs and hatch out chicks. She reappears with them I put several stakes in a 2 foot circle only a couple inches between each stake put your chick feed in the center. Chicks can go in and out but not older free range hens. Cuts down on feed. Don't worry they will find it! As long as you don't have a predator issue I have had a high rate of survival. Doing the method of free range chick rearing. Don't know if this helps or not? I didn't plan to hatch out chicks this way but the hen decided she wanted to.
    PS the hen who does this is a bantam chicken in a flock of both heavy breed and bantams. She is little but when she has chicks no one pushes her around........not even our black lab/pit bull cross!

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