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Broody hen / successful hatches question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
our first ever broody hen has successfully hatched 3 chicks, 2 yesterday and one today...

My wife brought the 2 in yesterday out of fear they would not be able to get back in the milk crate with mom over night.
I have moved everything now, and the chick today has access to mom, do you think we could move the other 2 chicks back in with her? Would she remember them or whatever? Or should we leave well enough alone and leave the 2 inside?
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyxxBoy View Post

our first ever broody hen has successfully hatched 3 chicks, 2 yesterday and one today...

My wife brought the 2 in yesterday out of fear they would not be able to get back in the milk crate with mom over night.
I have moved everything now, and the chick today has access to mom, do you think we could move the other 2 chicks back in with her? Would she remember them or whatever? Or should we leave well enough alone and leave the 2 inside?

You should be able to give them back to the hen; you will know quickly.  Put the chicks a bit away from the hen. When they cheep loudly the hen will call them to her.  Watch closely as the chicks run to her.  If the hen pecks at them remove the chicks and back to the house.  Most likely she will accept them back readily.

 

Please post the results.


Edited by nchls school - 10/6/15 at 12:22pm
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's good, thank you... Will update you here shortly
post #4 of 9

II were you, I'd put them back asap but monitor the situation for a few hours to make sure all goes smoothly. You have taken them away at a crucial bonding time and they may not recognise her, especially if you have had them under a heat lamp. The better option would have been to make the sides of the milk crate high enough so that they couldn't fall/climb out. Cardboard wedged in the sides would have been enough to secure it if you felt the crate sides in themselves were not high enough.

 

Broody hens are amazing and tolerate a lot of interference from us with remarkably good grace (or minor protest). I've got two first timers on the go at the moment. One hatched 6 but one chick took ill and after 24 hrs intensive care I had to cull it, so she now has 5. The other hatched 8 and they are now just over 3 weeks old and roosting on the highest roost 5 ft off the ground. It's amazing how quickly they grow up! All fully integrated into a completely free range mixed flock with several roosters without any aggravation thanks to their broody Mams. So much easier than rearing them yourself.  

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok. All is well 30 minutes into the reunion. There is one more black hen I assume hidden under mom... I am going to try to get better pictures but she does not like the paparazzi around her and her babies and is proving a tough shot to get ha
Edited by NyxxBoy - 10/6/15 at 2:55pm
post #6 of 9
Super! I was sure the hen would accept the chicks.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebrascora View Post

II were you, I'd put them back asap but monitor the situation for a few hours to make sure all goes smoothly. You have taken them away at a crucial bonding time and they may not recognise her, especially if you have had them under a heat lamp. The better option would have been to make the sides of the milk crate high enough so that they couldn't fall/climb out. Cardboard wedged in the sides would have been enough to secure it if you felt the crate sides in themselves were not high enough.

Broody hens are amazing and tolerate a lot of interference from us with remarkably good grace (or minor protest). I've got two first timers on the go at the moment. One hatched 6 but one chick took ill and after 24 hrs intensive care I had to cull it, so she now has 5. The other hatched 8 and they are now just over 3 weeks old and roosting on the highest roost 5 ft off the ground. It's amazing how quickly they grow up! All fully integrated into a completely free range mixed flock with several roosters without any aggravation thanks to their broody Mams. So much easier than rearing them yourself.  

We were shocked at how quickly they were dry and puffy outside with mom. We have hatched before in an incubator and they stand there all goofy looking for a day or two not even looking like they are going to live, or ours have anyway... But outside with her they are moving sooooo much better so much more quickly.
This is a 3 year old Rhode Island Red who went broody as a complete shock to us. But I sure do prefer it this way!
Someone on another thread told me that silkies were a good broody breed, any other opinions?
Also, will this hen be broody for life now? Like next spring when we look to hatch again? Or was it just luck this time that she did so for us?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyxxBoy View Post


We were shocked at how quickly they were dry and puffy outside with mom. We have hatched before in an incubator and they stand there all goofy looking for a day or two not even looking like they are going to live, or ours have anyway... But outside with her they are moving sooooo much better so much more quickly.
This is a 3 year old Rhode Island Red who went broody as a complete shock to us. But I sure do prefer it this way!
Someone on another thread told me that silkies were a good broody breed, any other opinions?
Also, will this hen be broody for life now? Like next spring when we look to hatch again? Or was it just luck this time that she did so for us?

I have silkies and they are great broodies; even with very small eggs and chicks. They are very protective and gentle.

 

She may go broody again in the spring, but don't count on it.


Edited by nchls school - 10/7/15 at 5:53am
post #9 of 9

Congratulations. So pleased it has gone well and she has accepted them back.

 

It is likely that she will go broody next year but not guaranteed. You may also find that she favours late summer again rather than spring. You may also find that if she has any biological daughters they might inherit the broody trait.

 

I have a bantam silkie/cochin cross and she is a good broody but my favourite one (Tasha) is a supposed araucana that I bought at auction for a fiver because no one would bid on her. She's actually a scruffy little mutt although there is some araucana blood in there I think. The great thing about her is that she lays eggs all winter when the others knock off and then raises chicks in the summer when the others are producing plenty of eggs. If I knew how she was bred I'd have half a flock of them. Her first brood, she set and hatched 14/14 of her own eggs and safely chaperoned them all till they were 7 weeks and that was free ranging amongst a multitude of hazards! And she had to put up with me fussing and interfering which in itself qualifies her for a gold star (it was my first experience of a broody and I faffed a lot!!)

One of my new broodies which is currently raising chicks, is one of her daughters from that first clutch.

 

I hope it continues to go smoothly with your broody and chicks and you get as much pleasure from watching them as I have mine. 

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