what to feed when chicks hatch

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickie momma di, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. chickie momma di

    chickie momma di Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2008
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    hi everyone! my bo is due to hatch her eggs next friday. my question is what should i put out for food? [​IMG] i mean i know that the chicks need their chick starter but will gracie (my hen) eat that or should i put her layer pellets too high up on the wall for the babies to get ? cause i'm pretty sure i was told that the layer pellets are very bad for them unless they are 20 weeks old. can i still put out greens? can the chicks have that stuff? I'm sooooo confused. i want to do the right thing for all of them. [​IMG]
    any advise will be greatly appreciated.
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  2. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    i put chick start crumble in front of them.. plus anything else the chickens get.. if the mama hen shows her babies how and what to eat,, they should be OK...
    mine have eaten layer crumble without any ILL effects...
    except for tragic things like being killed by a dog or falling in the water bowl.. all of the babies i have let mama hens raise always "made it"
    i do keep them locked up for a few weeks away from the "real world".. then i turn them loose in the yard with the other birds
     
  3. chickie momma di

    chickie momma di Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2008
    Southeastern, MA
    what do you mean by locked up? i was just planning to let them stay in their house which is draft free except when we open the door to let them out. we only have 2 bo's mr chubbs and gracie mae. we were thinking of seperating their house (which is about 7 ft long and 6ft wide) in to two areas with chicken wire for the 1st week or so to see if he is gonna be ok with them. right now he' s acting like the perfect husband. he always checks on the eggs when we get her up to eat. then he sits in front of the nesting box as long as she is in the run. otherwise if she's out he's not more than a couple of feet away from her
    when (if) they hatch after their all out we will move her nest to the floor which is about 6in thick with hay.
    is this a bad idea? should we bring them in the house? i'm thinking no cause i thought momma would make sure they are as warm and toasty as necessary.
    chubbs will have the part of the house with the chicken door so he can still come and go at will. i'm guessing she's not gonna go far from the babies when they arrive.
    i'm so worried we're gonna do somethin wrong. so...... i'm trying to get as much info as possible. i've found topics in the learning center on raising baby chicks but all without momma. i'm either not looking in the right spot or there isn't much on assisting momma if you want her to take care of business. is this because it's better for us to do it?
    sorry about so many questions.
    thanks for the help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  4. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    if you just section off a corner of the coop, i am sure it would be fine... i keep my new chicks with mama in an old horses waterer,, it is aprox 2 feetX 4 feet.. i keep then in there for a couple weeks then turn them out with the rest,, just to give them a "safe" start in life..
    SHALLOW dish of water.... and chick start crumble with a tiny bit of "treats" (leftovers)
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ID/WA border
    Momma doesn't need layer feed until she begins laying eggs again.

    She will be fine eating the starter feed with the chicks [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  6. chickie momma di

    chickie momma di Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2008
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    o thanks. that sounds alot easier than what i thought i was gonna have to do. [​IMG]
    one more question.
    will momma need some excercise? like does she need to get out and streach or will she just sit to keep them warm? [​IMG]
     
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd probably just leave them. Check frequently to make sure the roo isn't causing problems but with only 2 chickens I see no real need to expend the effort seperating the mom and chicks. Plenty of people let chicks hatch in the coop with dozens of chickens and the hen will take them in the run on day 1. Put out chick feed and leave them. They also make flock raiser and similar feeds that are for feeding a flock of mixed ages but even after she starts laying eggs the hen would probably be fine on nonmedicated chick starter with oyster shell to supplement the calcium.
     
  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Mom will probably have the babies wandering around as much as possible as soon as possible. The one chick that I've had hatch under a broody was scratching and pecking just like mom, and she'd give him little bits of food she'd find (like the blueberries I'd give her). As I recall, mama hen was fine being locked up in a stall for about 2 weeks. After that I'd find her perched on the stall door trying to decide if she wanted to stay with the chick or hop down on the other side of the door and be a free woman again. [​IMG] That's when I started leaving the stall door open for them.
     

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