Raising chicks with the flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sdwhippets, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. sdwhippets

    sdwhippets Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2013
    I have a hen sitting on eggs, they are due to hatch about this weekend (guessing Saturday is the 21st day). She started out with 12, I candled them a few times and we have 6 that are fertile and growing. My question, is once they hatch and she starts moving about with them, how do I feed them? I know I can put some chick feeders down with chick food, but I worry about the adults eating it all up? They have a large feeder with their food and I throw scratch feed out for them every day as well as an assortment of veggie leftovers/scraps. Do they tend to leave the chick food alone or do you think they will be very interested in it and eat it up before the chicks can? This is our first time having a broody hen raise chicks with the flock and I have been able to look up just about everything except how to feed the chicks without the adults eating all their food. I'm probably worrying about it more than I should but was curious if there are any tips :)

    Krys
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    If all the chickens are together then you have to feed them all the same thing. Since layer feed will damage chicks' kidneys you should either feed just chick feed or just flock raiser. The chick feed will not harm the adults. You'll need to put plenty out since that's the only food the adults will have.

    When the babies hatch put them and the mother in a crate of some sort for the first 3 days to week. (You may want to move them in now before the hatch.) This "in the crate" time will be a bonding experience for hen and babies. It also insures that the chicks don't get bullied at first.

    Good luck with this fun experience!!
     
  3. sdwhippets

    sdwhippets Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, so I'll look into get some flock raiser. I'm not to worried about them getting bullied to much, the hen that is sitting on them/going to be raising them, is about the only chicken that nobody messes with. She's very sweet with people but does not tolerate other chickens messing with her. I had 2 large roosters that were tearing the feathers out of my chickens when they were breeding them so we got rid of them, she was the only one they did not bother, so now I only have 3 bantams (so the chicks will be crosses with bantams). I will be monitoring them closely though and if there is any bullying at all, I will remove the chicks and the hen until they are older, but I've read that a lot of people have successfully had a hen raise chicks within the flock, just couldn't find anything about feeding. Also, the adults feeder is raised up off the ground, the chicks wouldn't be able to reach it for a while so could I leave the adults food in there and put a smaller feeder down for the chicks with their food or just go ahead and switch everyone?
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    It would be safer to switch them all as chicks grow super fast and can get up on things easily. But you can start with them eating separate foods.
     
  5. sdwhippets

    sdwhippets Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, thanks a bunch. They are about out of their regular food so we'll just get flock raiser next time :)
     

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