Question about feeding Brooder raised babies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TheRidingLibrarian, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. TheRidingLibrarian

    TheRidingLibrarian In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Fellsmere, FL
    I'm sure this is a familiar story.....on a lark I gave my broody Cochin a few EE eggs. She abandonded them after a couple of weeks and one of the EEs took over. I really wasn't expecting anything as my rooster is a BIG Cochin and I thought I read that they have fertilization issues. I guess he doesn't since all three hatched last night/early morning. Now I feel like the dog who caught the car. I've already gleaned some of the info I need from other posts, but what about feeding? My 19 hens and one rooster eat a Layer Pellet. How do you feed the chicks that are in the same coop with the others? Do I need to worry about them eating the Grown-Up food and getting sick? If I throw out extra crumbles, will it be bad if some of the Grown-Ups eat it too?

    FYI my guys have a coop that they are locked in at night, but they free range during the day.

    I'd like to go au natural with this set, let Momma do what she needs to do. I told my son that if these don't "work out" I promise that in the Spring we'll buy an incubator and raise the babies inside just like we did all of the grown-ups we got from the Hatchery. But right now time, finances, etc do not allow for me to build a seperate coop for the momma a/o babies. I thought for sure there are some of you who let their Hens raise babies themselves amongst the rest of the flock.

    Any words of wisdom?

    This is my son and the oldest chick this morning.

    Here is the Daddy.

    The Momma is either one of my "Hawk" (sorry, don't know the proper wording) colored EEs or my white one. It is one of the "Hawk" colored ones who has hatched them.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  2. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    Congratulation on the new fuzzy butts!!! Don't you just love them? I'm not sure who is cuter....your son or the chick. Love his smile.

    Mom will do all the work but you do need to get the babies starter/grower crumbles and a small feed holder for them. I put my chick feeder and waterer in a little partially enclosed area my hen and her babies occupy. This way they have access to water and feed without having to compete with the big girls. Take my advice and put some starter/grower in a pan for the big girls to eat also. It won't hurt them and it will keep them from trying to eat all of the babies food.

    Make sure you also sprinkle chick grit on top of their food ASAP. Mom will bring them outside to forage within days and they need that grit to grind up all the goodies mom finds for them. My chicks are 2 1/2 weeks old and they already eat the tiny bits of scratch that the other chickens won't eat.

    Layer pellets have a lot of calcium in them and are not good for the chicks until they are approx 4 months old. The calcium will damage their kidneys. Hope this helps.
  3. poupoule

    poupoule Songster

    Dec 9, 2008
    I agree with Purpletree and did similar with my chicks. I first had them separate (chicks and mum) from the rest of the flock, just by partitioning the coop ith some shade cloth. This for about 2 weeks. Then I put them with the rest of the flock as I now have another broody hen an the chicks are about to hatch. I had chick strater and water in what I called the nursery and was also putting kitchen scraps adn greens. Mum did all the teaching job. Now with the rest of the flock, there is still chick starter, water and greens. Everyone seems to eat some starter (rich in protein), but I don't think it will hurt the adults. The layer mix is up too high for the chicks to get. I also give them some cooked eggs. Good luck with your new babies. I know I am enjoying watching mine growing! [​IMG]
  4. TheRidingLibrarian

    TheRidingLibrarian In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Fellsmere, FL
    Thanks guys! I ended up taking a couple fo the partitions out of the nest boxes and set up their own food and water in there.
    Babies are eating and drinking. [​IMG]

    Interesting new of the other EEs has moved in with them. She's not being at all agressive (to the chicks or other hen)...but clearly trying to get the babies to sit under her. She sits as close to the other hen as possible and appears to be trying to "help."
    Anyone else ever have this happen? Since she's not fighting with the other hen over it, I figure it is ok. Now the chicks have two hens willing to protect them from the others a/o predators.
    I took 2-3 hens to hatch the eggs, I guess they are going to share the raising duties as well. [​IMG]

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