what do you feed chicks to insure they live?

badnek

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 18, 2012
44
0
34
philippines la union
only 4 outta 15 of my chicks survived is their something i should feed them??should i put them and their mother in a different coop away from the other chickens??
 

Masonicflock

Chirping
7 Years
Nov 4, 2012
173
10
83
Springfield, Tn
Medicated chick starter feed, Duramycin 10 for the water and I keep mine separated.. unfortunately had to take her chicks away after a week since 2 died due to possible trampling...
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
515
328
Ohio
With this high a mortality rate, something's wrong. It could be the feed, a pathogen, or even a Mama Hen that just wasn't a very good mother. Check everything.

Did you feed a commercial chick starter?
Did your chicks show signs of disease?
Did the mother not protect her chicks once they hatched?

I feed commercial medicated chick starter and keep Mama Hen in a different area for a couple of weeks. I let her live in my straw in the goat barn, and she takes the lead as to when to take the babies outside and when to introduce them to the flock.

I have had hens just not really take care of the chicks once the hatched. Great at sitting, but didn't defend them at all from hazards like other chickens or the cat, didn't bother to call them back to her to get warm, didn't really show them what to eat and drink. Those hens had their chicks (what was left of them) taken away and put in a brooder and they didn't get to hatch chicks any more. I've found that the meaner the hen, the better mama she'll be. I like it when she hisses at me and tries to bite me when she's sitting on the nest. Dark Cornish are my favorite broody hens for this reason. They are super mean and nasty. You should have seen this Mama Hen take on Socks the Cat. She flew at that cat claws extended, the way a rooster would attack with his spurs.


 

Blue

Songster
9 Years
Apr 6, 2010
912
22
171
Virginia
All they should need is a chick starter (I use medicated) and fresh, clean drinking water in a container that they can't fall and drown in. I also sometimes add apple cider vinegar to the water; it keeps algae from growing in waterers that are in the sun, and it is supposed to be a general preventative for various things like worms, cocci, etc.
 

roostersandhens

Flap Your Wings!
7 Years
Jan 9, 2013
16,528
620
406
Saving Battery Hens at Happy Hen Chicken Rescue in
My Coop
My Coop
You should always seperate the chicks and their mom from the grown chickens. Mediacted chick starter is what I used it's more expensive but is better for them, it keeps them from getting some diseases/sick while they are a chick. Water with acv will be better then normal water, but it's not required. I just started putting acv in all my chickens water.
Good Luck!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,829
10,911
636
western South Dakota
My hens hatch their eggs right in the flock right in the coop. I do have narrow nesting boxes, so once the broody gets established, the layers lay else where. But they are not locked there, or away from the others. The broody hen does not take anything off of anyone else and is established farily high in the pecking order. Mine have always been willing to take my arm off at the elbo. Growl and puff up when approached.

I know when the chicks are suppose to hatch, and I put a nest outside the coop and lock the layers out of the coop for about 24 hours. Then I open the gate and let the layers free range. The broody hen will have left the nest, created a new nest on the floor in the coop, and have the chicks outside, usually staying in the run or close to the run for a few days.

Now the hormones are high those first days, making your broody aggressive towards any other chicken. She will thump any layer that gets too close. The chicks learn to stay away from the layers, and the broody hen stays between them and the layers. I really don't have any trouble with chicks in the flock.

Many people, separate the hen and chicks and then try and reintroduce them to the flock when the chicks are older, what happens is the broody hen has lost her pecking order, and must reestablish herself. Her hormones have started to drop, so she is not so defensive of the chicks, and the laying flock sees the whole groups as intruders. And older hens can be dangerous to undefended chicks.

Mrs K
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,621
31,970
1,092
On the MN prairie.
My hens hatch their eggs right in the flock right in the coop. I do have narrow nesting boxes, so once the broody gets established, the layers lay else where. But they are not locked there, or away from the others. The broody hen does not take anything off of anyone else and is established farily high in the pecking order. Mine have always been willing to take my arm off at the elbo. Growl and puff up when approached.

I know when the chicks are suppose to hatch, and I put a nest outside the coop and lock the layers out of the coop for about 24 hours. Then I open the gate and let the layers free range. The broody hen will have left the nest, created a new nest on the floor in the coop, and have the chicks outside, usually staying in the run or close to the run for a few days.

Now the hormones are high those first days, making your broody aggressive towards any other chicken. She will thump any layer that gets too close. The chicks learn to stay away from the layers, and the broody hen stays between them and the layers. I really don't have any trouble with chicks in the flock.

Many people, separate the hen and chicks and then try and reintroduce them to the flock when the chicks are older, what happens is the broody hen has lost her pecking order, and must reestablish herself. Her hormones have started to drop, so she is not so defensive of the chicks, and the laying flock sees the whole groups as intruders. And older hens can be dangerous to undefended chicks.

Mrs K
I have read before that you do this. I would like to try integrating them right away. I have a broody right now. Maybe I'll try it this time.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,829
10,911
636
western South Dakota
You can't have over crowded conditions, and I do free range my layers.... and I do have some losses..... but it is worth it to me, and I think it keeps my chicks healthy.
 

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