Questions about Chicks raised by Mama hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ZaneyMama, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. ZaneyMama

    ZaneyMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 2 chicks hatch under my broody Polly last week. They are 12 days old today, and out in the run and our large yard with the flock of 10 adult hens.

    Polly is doing a good job of taking care of them and they still sleep under her wings at night. I don't see them under her much during the day and it's about 50 or less in the morning. Will they be okay? It's also going to be down to the 30's at night this week. Should I heat the coop up for them, or will they be alright under her wings?

    Also, when they're all together like this, how do I make sure they eat their food and not the adult layer food? I give them cooked eggs, worms, greens, and milk or yogurt every day, but they also have access to the layer food that the other hens are eating.

    Should I just stop worrying since they look and act healthy?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:A good broody is worth more than her weight in gold in my yard! She can raise chicks in any temp and I do not have to worry at all. The chicks feather quicker and seem to grow faster/stronger than house raised chicks.
     
  3. ZaneyMama

    ZaneyMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Good idea - I'll raise the layer feed up higher and hopefully they'll just eat their chick feed.

    I'll stop worrying now. [​IMG] It's so cute watching the mama with them.
     
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like Horsefeatherz said, the broody takes care of everything. I have had momma hens with chicks outside when there have been frosts and they have thrived.

    Momma hen will carefully break up food for her chicks to eat, but make chick starter available too.

    Good Luck, Sandie
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Plus, it doesn't hurt for Momma to be eating chick starter - she's been deprived a lot during her isolation / broody period. She can use the extra protein and calories.
     
  6. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Quote:If the nest is such that chicks won't be able to get out of it (and especially back in) will mama hen feed them? I mean, would she bring food in her beak like small wild birds do?
     
  7. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If the nest is such that chicks won't be able to get out of it (and especially back in) will mama hen feed them? I mean, would she bring food in her beak like small wild birds do?

    I don't think so. It's not good if chicks can't get back up in the nest- they can chill quickly and die. And if the nest is up too high, they could fall out trying to follow mama and injure themselves. The best solution would be moving them/the nest so they can get in and out.
     
  8. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! If we have chicks, I'll probably move them and mama to the floor tomorrow, after I make sure no more eggs would hatch.

    It is not way too high - it is two shoe boxes on top of each other.
     
  9. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That doesn't sound too high to get out. Just make sure they can get back in. In 2 weeks they may be able to hop-fly that distance, but not now.
     
  10. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I switch to Flock Raise when I have chicks. It is higher in protein, if you have oyster shell available to hens ,chicks will leave it alone and you don't have to worry about chicks eating the layer feed. Mom will keep them warm.
     

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