New baby chicks and advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Naimaleonard, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Naimaleonard

    Naimaleonard Chirping

    17
    86
    54
    Dec 1, 2018
    Somaliland
    I am somewhat new to chickens and raising baby chicks. I am in Africa and there are no commercial type products here so things have to be done the old beautiful fashion way. Anyway, the chicks hatched yesterday and mama is sitting and keeping them warm. I provided them with a shallow dish of apple cider vinegar diluted in water, scrambled eggs and ground grain feed. Now, the scrambled eggs I saw mama hen eating and am hoping that she'll regurgitate it later ? I didn't see her feed it to the chicks and we've already lost 3 batches of chicks all for different reasons so we've readjusted things everytime. I am really hoping these will fare well and grow strong.
    -The first batch we lost to a cat and at that time I only had one hen and rooster. She herself was unable to protect them and the cat took advantage of that.
    -2nd batch was due to poor egg quality and we have since replaced the male as most eggs were no fertilized and we had really weak few chicks.
    -3rd batch was a mistake I think with the nesting box...I am still not sure what happened. Everything seemed to be going well but on the third day they all died. We did handle them more than we have ever before checking on them individually several times a day.
    Today is the second day for the current batch and they appear to be healthy and strong plus this time I am providing acv water and scrambled eggs in addition to their regular feed. We are also not handling them and giving mama space. The same hen is mothering them as the last batch and I believe this is her 2nd experience overall. She is separated from the other hens and I have not had any issues with predators since the first time. She has plenty of hay to keep warm in these chillier days. The nights can reach 0 to -2 degrees but days are consistently sunny and warm with windy periods in the afternoon. Hopefully all goes well. I am though concerned that she's eating up the scrambled eggs and that the chicks aren't getting a sufficient amount. I've also counted 7 chicks. Any insights, tips, additional suggestions, words of encouragement ?

    I will take a pic once they pass the three-day mark.

    Thanks in advance
     
    Melky, LlamaGirl4 and HuffleClaw like this.
  2. BarnhartChickens98

    BarnhartChickens98 Crowing

    1,212
    3,403
    292
    Oct 28, 2018
    Manhiem, Pennnsylvania
    A hen will not regurgitate food for her chicks but she will show them where the food is. What type of food do you have available for them? Crumble would be the best
     
    [email protected] and Melky like this.
  3. Naimaleonard

    Naimaleonard Chirping

    17
    86
    54
    Dec 1, 2018
    Somaliland
    Here, they eat mainly sorghum. I feed a mixture of cracked corn, sorghum, wheat, and oats.
     
  4. BarnhartChickens98

    BarnhartChickens98 Crowing

    1,212
    3,403
    292
    Oct 28, 2018
    Manhiem, Pennnsylvania
    That is good just so it is small enough that the chicks can eat it.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    59,599
    47,810
    1,327
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Plain water should always be available.
    ACV is not necessary and if used should only be 1 tablespoon ACV in 1 gallon water.
     
    [email protected] likes this.
  6. Naimaleonard

    Naimaleonard Chirping

    17
    86
    54
    Dec 1, 2018
    Somaliland
    I think the mama hen is horrible. I was suspicious that she killed her babies last time and didn't want to let her sit on eggs again, my children convinced me because she was 'sad' and so here we go again. I have watched her alot and I can't handle watching her. She is taking dust baths on top of her babies and literally kicking them around, stepping on them. Out of the 7, 3 have survived their mama and if they don't stay out of her way she'll trample them. I am traumatized.
    -Are all mama hens like this and only the toughest survive ?
    -should I sperarate them from her, keep them warm in a cardboard box with sheets and feed them are certain times ?
     
  7. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

    3,782
    18,237
    872
    Jul 23, 2018
    Edgewood, KY
    My Coop
    They are too young too early scrambled egg. Let the mama have the protein. She will let them eat it if she thinks it’s ok but most baby chicks only eat starter grower crumble 20% first couple weeks of life and water. If you provide ACV make sure they get fresh water some time in the week. I only put ACV in mine once a week per bottle directions and fresh water rest of week. I put sav a chick electrolytes and vitamins in the water the first 5 days then once a week till 18 weeks. If you have this this would good for in the water. At 3-4 weeks they will need chick grit.
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    4,209
    6,652
    452
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    This hen doesn't sound like a suitable mother. She should NOT be trampling them and eating food instead of encouraging the chicks to eat. She should NOT be allowed to brood chicks again.

    Do you have a way of keeping the chicks consistently warm (a blanket is not enough unless it's pretty hot where you are)? The chicks should be raised by you/your family instead of the hen.
     
  9. Naimaleonard

    Naimaleonard Chirping

    17
    86
    54
    Dec 1, 2018
    Somaliland
    I don't have the proper setup at the moment to place them infront of a heating lamp. The sun here is pretty strong with consistent clear bright skies, but it's the coldest season with windy afternoons and chilly nights and early mornings. There are two left this morning and they have learned to keep out of her way. Sad that when she calls them to feed they are hesitant and come once out of the ten that she'll call, but that's what's helping them stay alive to this point. They know that it's risky. They are also eating well without her. This is for sure her last time brooding. I think the scrambled eggs helps them be stronger and they sure need all the strength that they can get to survive this. I don't have access to commercial feed here and I have stopped with giving them acv in their water. They cuddle up to one another to help keep warm. I cupped my hands to try and help but it's not the same. She won't sit for them to cuddle upto until SHE is done with her foraging, dust bathing and things. The morning is the worst for them and then couple hours later she finally settled back in with them. So they rely on the sun though it is chilly in the morning. We made a mistake too with having chicks in the coldest season (though it only ever may dip to 0 or -2 degrees at the most). We are also expecting a new clutch with another broody hen this coming Friday and will be talking to the locals today on how they raise chicks themselves to prepare to take over, if need be with this other hen. Our first hen was an amazing mama and her chicks thrived and grew with absolutely no assistance from us. A cat would snatch one by one and she couldn't protect them herself without a flock. The male rooster at the time didn't even lift his head to see what's going on and help, instead he just went on foraging while we were trying to chase the cat down. We have not had cat or predator issues since and we've since added more chickens, replaced the male with two newer more zealous roosters. That hen was also stolen from us. She was our favourite and the best mama hen.
    If these fail we will wait until the next season to try again and going through whatever may need readjusting, in addition to having a proper setup to possibly raise chicks ourselves.

    Thanks so much everyone
     
  10. JudysMuscovy

    JudysMuscovy Songster

    816
    1,003
    227
    Dec 26, 2015
    Texas
    I feel so bad that you are having such issues with your hen. Some hens are not able to raise chicks. Can you put the 2 that are left in the house. In a box and give them a heating pad or some type of heat source?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: