What type of bedding for a Mama and her chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by clairabean, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    We are due in a few days, but I am not sure what type of bedding for the 'nursery'.
    -Mama and hopefully 8 chicks.
    -Insulated coop, with heat lamp.
    -Area sectioned/walled off from other chickens.
    -Currently has pine shavings on floor.

    And do I need to provide any other types of food for Mama or is just chick starter ok?

  2. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    I feed all my birds both scratch grains and Layer feed.

    The chicks get just Layer feed, but crush into crumbles, as the pellets are too big for them too eat.....

    I use hay in my nest boxes, which my birds seem to like.

    My coop is on an open bottom, so it's a dirt floor.....

    Hope that helps!
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:This is a problem. Layer should not be fed to baby chicks. The amount of calcium in it can damage their kidneys, even cause them to shut down. Grower, however, is fine for layers. A new broody mama will not lay for the weeks she is raising her chicks, so doesn't need the calcium right then anyway. I offer my laying hens grower as well, only I also offer them oyster shell separately.

    I hang the layer feeder a good deal higher than the grower feeder, so as the chicks grow, they can only reach the grower. True, mama gives them a bit of layer, but at least they are primarily eating grower this way. They seem to ignore the oyster shell completely.

    Bedding can be hay, straw, pine shavings, or whatever else you use anyway. The paper towels we put down over the pine shavings for brooded chicks are not necessary when a mama raises chicks, as she teaches them what to eat. One of the many advantages of having broodies raise chicks; mama does all the work!

    I also have a dirt floor coop, but hay and pine shavings are scattered around, and added as needed to cover poop.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2011
  4. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area

    Never had an issue yet, but my next hatch I will be using different feed. I'm going thru way too much Layer feed with the flock and these guys.

    I have access to (I recently discovered) chick starter feed. The farm store did some re-arranging and Viola! Starter feed magically appeared in a spot that is convenient. [​IMG]

    I have been augmenting their feed lately with scraps once a week, mainly veggies and some bread.....

    I was thinking of giving the chicks some scratch grains, but I don't think they're big enough yet.....

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