Several of my hens had chicks recently. One hen had two chicks whilst the other had ten. A friend of mine was keen to raise some chicks with her children and I gave her three. My chickens are free range – including the hens with chicks. They sleep outside and the mother hens keep them warm by sitting on them. They feed on grubs and worms and their mother clucks for them when she finds a treat to eat. I also give them some seeds to supplement their diet.
In contrast, my friend’s chicks have grown up without their mother. They were raised indoors in a box with a heat lamp to keep them warm. They were fed chick crumble for the first few weeks before moving on to pellets. The difference in size between the two sets of chicks, from the same batch, was quite significant.