I have baby chicks....now what should I expect?.....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by juleeque, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. juleeque

    juleeque Chirping

    Jul 14, 2014
    My buff was broody for a couple months, and no matter what I did (from ideas on this site) she would not break, so I had a friend give me 5 fertile eggs, all 5 hatched, but 1 died. So now they are 2 weeks old. Mama is a very good mama, and makes sure the other hens keep away. I have the mama and chicks in coop with other 8 hens (And there is still room for about 7-10 more hens, it's a big coop) She takes them outside...is it ok for her to take them outside in 36 degree weather? She makes sure they are fed before herself. So here is my list of questions....
    1. How long will she allow them to snuggle under her? Til they're too big???
    2. How long will she nurture them (food, water, protection, etc)
    3. If she gets another set of fertile eggs that she sits on, will she push these chicks away?
    4. Do mama hens abandon chicks? If so, why and is there a usual age?
    5. When will mama start laying (not fertile) eggs again? (I don't have a roo)
    Um...I think that's all the questions for now. Any info or suggestions would be wonderful! thx again juleeque

    *working towards organic self-sustainability with 9 hens, 4 chicks, 2 dogs.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Mother hens have been raising chicks without our help for maybe a million years so don't worry.

    It's ok to take them out in cold weather. It's good for them. They'll snuggle under her to warm up and then run around in the cold.
    1. till they don't need it any more
    2. as long as they need it
    3. hens brooding chicks don't go broody
    4. frequently but usually not before they're able to fend for themselves. Usually weather dependent.
    5. usually a couple weeks after she quits mothering

    Baby chicks can't eat layer feed. It contains 4% calcium and will eventually kill them due to renal failure.
    Chicks also need much higher protein. 18% at a minimum but 20-22% is better. After about 8 weeks you can cut back to 18% protein and after 12 or so weeks you can cut back to 16%. These numbers aren't set in stone but are ideal.
    If you've been feeding layer feed to your flock, you need to switch them to grower or all flock feed that's only 1% calcium.

    Make sure there are appropriate food and water containers for the chicks to use.
    Otherwise, relax and enjoy the show.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015

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