Trusting Mother Hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Biddieacres, May 15, 2009.

  1. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mother hen has been pacing at the enclosure so much that her 4 day old babies were starting to do it too. I know she is eager to get outside and teach the little ones. I let her out and she is out with one other hen. The thing is now they are eating scratch and other things they are finding in the dirt. Is this OK? Also, since I took down the enclosure two hens are eating the medicated food. It is cold out and the chicks are in the run. I know she will warm them but I am used to raising them in a brooder with 90 degree heat lamp at all times. Do I need to trust mother will protect them, keep them warm and get them back up the ramp somehow to drink eat etc...... Thanks.
     
  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Yes, trust mama. I let mama raise chicks all winter in my unheated coop and I was amazed to see these little fuzzies out and about in the freezing weather. They'll tuck under mama when they need to. It's hard letting go of that heat lamp, but they'll be fine, really!
     
  3. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Thank you southernbelle. I just saw two of them eat small worms. Should I go buy chick grit or will they get that from the soil?
     
  4. shaggy

    shaggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Orange, Texas
    yeah --- mama chicken always knows what is best for her chicks -- the instinct has been there for 1,000 years+

    mama is their portable warmer, field guide, teacher, and nurse all wrapped up in a nice neat little package

    here is a very good article --- i read all 5 pages of it
    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

    (describes how her week old chicks are out in the pasture with mama in 45 degree weather with 20 mile-per-hour winds and doing fine)
     
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I usually did sprinkle grit on their chick starter from the beginning. When I'd try to give Mama some scratch she would call the babies over to have some, so I just gave up and gave them grit.
     

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