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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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My broody bantams eggs are due to hatch this weekend, and i was feeding her layer crumble and scratch mix mixed together, then about 2 days i left it just to the crumble as i thought it was going to be better for her and her health, is this true? or should i stay with using both, also how much space does a mother bantam and her chicks need if all eggs hatch it will be 9 chicks.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Chick starter crumble is fine for the broody hen. The extra protein will help her get condition back after all that time sitting. She'll feed the chicks first once she takes them out to 'forage', but she will also eat for herself once she's taken care of them.

Can't help you with the space required.

Winglet


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Golden Brush Turkey
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chickstarter is fine for mother hen to eat, as winglet has outlined it will boost her protein levels and help recover condition lost while sitting. as for the space, at least 1m squared, but that wouldn't be much room fro long as the chicks grow. i'd start with a minimum of 2 m squared depending on the breed that mother hen is. ahhhhh i see it is a bantam, 2m2will probably be enough room, but remember, teh chicks will grow too.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:22 am 
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Dapper Duck
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oh im so excited, last night after 2 work there were 2 chicks that have hatched :P :P :P :P and this morning theres one thats nearly out, and one thats just pipping, so today when i finish work im hoping to have 4 chicks hatched :D


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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so i have had 5 that have hatched and are healthy, 1 was dead when it was out of the shell, and another that she had abondned on the nest so i have removed ther rest of the eggs and dead chicks, and theres 5 happy little chicks.
i know one is an australorp, and not sure of the rest.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:05 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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congratulations!!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Golden Brush Turkey
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wonderful news!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:56 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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:claps:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:31 pm 
i am too late to answer this but to all those who read this:

it is best just to feed your broody hen while on eggs a minimal diet preferably grains. if you read the old books where people were experts in keeping broodies in the days, before the ordinary person could afford incubators or have the electricity to run them, food was kept to a minimum to the brooding hen.

i have found if a hen is too fit when she comes off a nest then she is too active,. the best hen to come off with her chickens is one that has lost weight and is slow then her chickens will keep up with her, she is not overly active as she wears out quickly.

grains also keeps a hens droppings solid and a minimal diet along with this reduces the chances of her fouling the nest. i would especially avoid a high protien diet of chicken starter until the chickens are hatched.

if on the other hand you are removing the chickens at hatch to set the hen again then it is good to keep the hen fit but avoid the high protien diet.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:57 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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ruff,

Good point re: feeding whilst the hen is still incubating the eggs. My chick starter & chick waterer were set up at about the time the due hatching date came around.

Do you think that the hen should be on something other than chick starter whilst raising the chicks? If so, what setup can you use to avoid the chicks getting the hen's feed ?

Winglet


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:06 pm 
unfortunatly the hen has to eat what the chickens eat. she teaches the chickens what to eat. if she does not like something her chickens are not going to eat it. i often wander the damage starter crumbs must do to a hen in making her over weight or recieving the medications however apart from fat hens (who usually work it off once i start full free range). my indians can get terribly fat if confined. however i have not noticed any major problems with mum having to eat the stuff her babies do but mum can be excellent in encouraging babies to eat food that you want them too like certain species of grasses, seeds etc even avoiding certain insects and fungi.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Thanks ruff. :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:27 pm 
just to encourage a bit of though:

a hen in the wild eats very minimal, she does not have time to eat as she needs to be on her eggs if not keeping them warm but protecting them. the rooster does not feed her and i do not know if the wild jungle fowl or the other species help with brooding (bit some rooster behaviour suggests he might) so she would loose quite a bit of condition (depending on how much heat she needs to generate). if a hen got off with her chickens all hyped up then she will push them too hard and they will tire and die.

i spend a lot of time watching my broodies and asking myself why. one of the main questions is why can one hen have so many chicken survive and are healthy and another not in exactly the same conditions. the answers are not always simple, neither can it all be explained by behaviour of the hen alone.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:49 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Mine just get regular food until hatch. I still throw a bit of whole wheat/cracked corn into the broodies little pen after the hatch. The chicks aren't going to eat it, but it gives the mom something other than crumble. She still scratches around for it and encourages young to forage.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:26 pm 
it makes me smile when a hen tries to entice her babies to eat a whole kernal of corn.


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