New babies sharing the coop

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In the Brooder
8 Years
May 16, 2011
Morning all! I have some new chicks that my hens have hatched. We have one coop and I am just leaving them in there with their mothers. A few questions, I do have chick starter but the big chickens devour it, and also, I have 3 hens hatching babies...will they work together or will they beat up the other chicks that are not theirs? I haven't noticed much of that but for the hens that are still sitting will peck (not hard) at a young one not their own to maybe just back away? None of the other chickens are bothering the babies at all. Seem to be accepting them just fine. The coop is too small for me to build anything separate to keep the others away from the chick food. Should I just deal with it?
My adults tend to devour anything extra I set out for the chicks, even if it is the exact same feed they are getting. I guess they think it is a treat or something. Birdbrains! Anyway, I built this to set over the chicks’ feed. It needs some repair but the chicks can go in through the ends and the adults can’t get their heads in there.


In a week or two you’ll see the chicks eating the adult food. My 2 week old chicks fly up to the adult feeder and walk around inside. Since the growing chicks should not have excess calcium in Layer, I feed all mine the same, Starter or Grower, and offer oyster shell on the side so the ones that need it for the egg shells get it and the ones that don’t need it won’t eat enough to harm themselves.

I can’t tell you what will happen with all those broodies. Sometimes broodies bond with their own chicks and just take care of them, sometimes broodies will work together to raise the chicks, sometimes one broody will try to kill the other hen’s chicks, sometimes the broodies will fight to see which one takes over raising all the chicks. Whether they all hatch at the same time or if the hatch dates are spread out probably has some effect but sometimes not really. They are living animals. I can’t tell you what yours will do. It could be about anything.

Them pecking the chicks like that is not unusual. Your hens that are not broody will do that too if the chick invades their private space. It’s usually more of a discipline “Go back to your Mama and quit bothering me” type of thing, though occasionally a hen will try to kill a chick. When that happens my broodies get really mean and nasty. The other hen doesn’t have a chance.

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