What to feed mommy?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Pasha1, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    1
    101
    Mar 17, 2011
    South Geaorgia
    I have 39 newly hatched chicks. They are out of the brooder... well in the coop with a heat lamp. I have 5 hens in with them. The hens are the mothers but the chicks were hatched in an incubator. My question is How do I feed everybody properly? The mommies are eating the chick starter. Is this bad? Hens are still laying. Can there be problems if they aren't eating the layer food? I don't want the chicks eating the layer food and am not sure how to work out feeding? On a positive note the hens took to the babies amazingly. Everybody seems happy and healthy. Please help. Thanks
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The hens can eat the chick feed without doing them any harm, but chicks shouldn't eat layer feed until 18 weeks of age. It has extra calcium that isn't good for their little developing kidneys. And you can supplement the calcium the laying hens will need by setting out a dish of oyster shell grit the hens can help themselves to free-choice.

    You say the hens didn't incubate these eggs but they still are acting motherly towards the chicks? They're clucking to them, showing them where the food is, allowing the chicks to cuddle under their feathers? Or are they just tolerating their existence in the pen? Whatever the case, I'm glad everyone is getting along so nicely.
     
  3. Pasha1

    Pasha1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    1
    101
    Mar 17, 2011
    South Geaorgia
    Quote:Thanks. Was worried the hens would have problems. They are being really nice to the little chicks. I am getting scared going into the coop. lol They puff up now when I come in. . They are standing watch. Not helping but definitely watching. They usher them outside into the yard and usher them back in. But they roost at night. They do cluck to them. They chicks are a couple of weeks old and were just introduced to the hens this week. I kept them inside as long as I could. There are 39 of them!!! I made it 2 weeks. lol
     
  4. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    Careful and keep a close eye on the chicks! I had a bantam cochin hen that hatched out 5 or so babies. I hatched out 20 or so more with my incubator. Thinking to myself that I could save space and since the bantam cochin was being such a good mommy to her 5 I stuck the other 20 in there with her. It went fine at first but within 2 days she had scalped 3 of them when I wasnt around. One was her own chick.

    I always feed my broodys chick starter and a little scratch.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by