I have an Australorp hen that has been broody for about two weeks. I got some baby chicks from the feed store to give to her, as she has been such a dedicated little momma to her eggs. However, she chose a large flower pot to brood in, and now I'm trying to figure out how to introduce the babies to her. It's too large for the babies to get out of or back into. I gave her the babies this evening by taking one egg out at a time and then giving her the chicks one at a time. She seemed fine at first, but since I understood that the babies needed to have access to food and water 24/7, I moved her and the babies to a brooder. She sat on them at first, then someone came in and turned on a light and opened the garage door, and she freaked out and wanted out. She would not sit back down with the babies. I ended up putting her back in her flower pot with the eggs, with the hopes I could try again tomorrow. She is happily sitting back on her flower pot. Any suggestions? I feel like it needs to happen tomorrow, or I won't happen at all. Thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions!
Can't figure out how to introduce chicks to hen brooding in flower pot
The chicks stayed in the heated brooder over night while "Momma" stayed in her flower pot. As usual, I took her out of her pot this morning so she would eat, drink, and poop. However, this morning, she just sat in one spot and wouldn't move. I picked her up and put her in the brooder with the babies at the opposite end. She just sat there and watched them. Since she wasn't trying to jump out, I put the babies under her one at a time. They have been sitting that way for about two hours. Now, she is "growling" at me if I come up to her in there with her babies! I'm keeping a close eye on them. After they are comfortable with each other, I hope to move them all to a larger brooding area. They are in a large tote that is 43" x 21" x 18" and 54 gallon. The area I had prepared for them is hardware cloth in a 3-1/2' x 3-1/2' x 29" square. It's roomier and they can see out. I just don't want to push it and move them too soon. Any thoughts on when to move them? I was thinking tonight or the morning, but I'm open to suggestions, since I messed it up yesterday. :) Also, I got an extra small dog igloo for them to nest in, as well as a typical nest box that has slanted sides and is open at the top and front. The momma seems to like the enclosed, safer-feeling areas. What do you think on that?