Questions about Chicks raised by Mama hen

ZaneyMama

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
236
0
109
Boulder, Colorado
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!
 

HorseFeatherz NV

Eggink Chickens
10 Years
May 12, 2009
6,565
45
251
Sierra Foothills of Reno, NV
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.
 

ZaneyMama

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
236
0
109
Boulder, Colorado
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.
tongue.png
It's so cute watching the mama with them.
 

pgpoultry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
2,290
45
191
Wales
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
 

Hope119

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
168
0
119
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?
 

AKsmama

Songster
9 Years
Jun 20, 2010
921
9
121
South Carolina
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.
 

Hope119

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
168
0
119
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.
 

AKsmama

Songster
9 Years
Jun 20, 2010
921
9
121
South Carolina
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.
 

snowflake

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 21, 2009
3,116
336
361
Belding Michigan
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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