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Hatching chicks with my broody hens. - Page 4

post #31 of 38

I have had two hens go broody this Spring. I put each one in a large dog kennel right from the first. I put food and water in the kennel but I don't think she ate or drank anything the whole 22 days. She hatched all seven eggs. After 3 days, I put her back in the main yard and put a light in the kennel to keep the babies warm. They are 3 weeks old now. The hen was skin & bones but started back eating and drinking as soon as I put chick starter in the kennel. Back in the yard, she is still clucking some but doing fine and regaining her weight.

 

The second little hen just started, day 4 now. She too has not been off the nest to ear. I didn't know they could go 22 days without food or water but they can. They seem to minimize energy by being perfectly still. They will “growl” and fluff their feathers and peck at you when you get close to them but that is all.

 

This is my second try at letting them hatch their eggs. So far, 100% hatch rate. However, my first hatch, a rooster, decided he didn't like the others chasing him when I put him with the flock, and I forgot to clip his wings, so he flew over the fence into my neighbors yard and was quickly caught by their bird dog! Seems the hardest part is introducing the young ones back into the main flock. I have 3 Guineas that run with the chickens and they are mean to the young ones as well as one of my prized little bantam roosters. He has no tail feathers at all. The Guineas pulled them all out.

post #32 of 38
What is "broody poo"? Never mind, I just found threads on it. Does it have any thing to do with the time frame of the hatching of the eggs? I didn't see that any where. I have a few hens sitting. I get the biggest kick out of them when they puff up at me when I get close to them. They look like the angry birds characters. If they hatch it will be the first time for me.
Edited by driftergal - 5/26/16 at 9:26am
post #33 of 38
I have a question maybe someone can help me with. I let my silkie sit on a clutch of eggs & she hatched 2 chicks. We ended up buying more chicks & put them with her. She now has 16 chicks & they are all about 6-7 weeks old. I've had the silkie & chicks together in a small kennel (like the kind you'd see a beagle in) and they are just about out of space. I have a larger coop with a larger run that I have 4 hens & a rooster in. My question is how do I integrate the babies with the older hens? Everyone says that the mama will protect the babies, but I'm worried that she has too many. I'm also worried about the fact that she has always been on the bottom of the pecking order with the other hens. Any advice?
post #34 of 38
I should also add that the chicks & older chickens have been able to see each other from about 5 feet away since they were put in the kennel on day one.
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by season1223 View Post

Do u let them free range? I just had 3 hens hatch babies... 10 each for 2 that were in nesting boxes off the ground and 7 from one that decided to make her nest in my burn pile! The 2 in the boxes I just set a cardboard box over the top of them when I heard peeps and left them overnight then picked them all up the next day & put them in pet carriers and moved em to an outside pen away from everyone else for a week or so! The burn pile mama hatched hers and brought them straight in the coop! She's done a great job of protecting them from all the other chickens and ducks! I set a box inside the coop for her but she's chosen my big bird hut as her new home which is fine cuz my ducks have abandoned it since I got more ducks...they sleep on the ground now! Best advice is to make sure they have access to food & water but no water dishes that r too deep...I accidentally made the mistake of leaving a bowl of water out that I have for my adults and one baby drown in it! Now it's just the small water containers that have the screw on tops...kinda like a hummingbird feeder! Mamas r good about taking care of the babies tho...just keep an eye out when they first hatch and if the rooster acts like he will mess with em then make arrangements to separate em! I let mine free range so it gives mama a little time alone with her babies during the day! Another thing to know is babies can fly when they r born so make sure u cover the nest when u start to hear peeps if they r off the ground...I had one fall out with the first batch too! Luckily I was in the coop cuz it couldn't get bk up to the nest and mama was freaking out! The baby was fine...I just had to grab him and give him bk to mama but it might've been bad if I hadn't been in there when it happened! U can use anything for her to hide in once they're hatched too...Cardboard box, pet carrier, dog cage, someone even said 5 gallon bucket turned on its side...just throw some bedding in whatever u choose to use and she will go inside and tuck her babies underneath her! Good luck!
thank you. A baby has hatched and she won't take care of it,it seems healthy, I did try to board off a section around her nesting box while she was still sitting but on day 20 I came home to her off the nest and today ( day 21) the baby hatched and she is up on the roost not keeping the baby warm or protected. Do I have to raise this lone chick?
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftergal View Post

What is "broody poo"? Never mind, I just found threads on it. Does it have any thing to do with the time frame of the hatching of the eggs? I didn't see that any where. I have a few hens sitting. I get the biggest kick out of them when they puff up at me when I get close to them. They look like the angry birds characters. If they hatch it will be the first time for me.


broody poo is that nasty horrific smelling poo that is only delivered by the broody hen. It's compact and stinky and ginormous!!!
post #37 of 38
This is our first try at letting our hens hatch any eggs. Three hens, three eggs. They all hatched on memorial weekend then yesterday one of the hens killed one of the chicks that another hen hatched. Then, while I was in the coop checking on their food and water the chickless hen was attacking the chick that another hen hatched. I threw her into the other side of the coop so she wouldn't have access to the chicks. I'm guessing that the only way to prevent this is to separate them some how which means a feeder and waterer for each one? Nature can really be brutal, poor little chick.

Edited a day later to include the disheartening fact that the two remaining chicks were killed some time early this morning. Not sure it's worth even trying.
Edited by driftergal - 6/2/16 at 8:08am
post #38 of 38

Background:

We have two hens who were proven layers when I got them last September. I have done a great deal of learning about chickens and their care, and most of it has been on this site! Thank you to all who contribute.

Now, one has gone broody. I got her 6 fertilized eggs and she's happy to sit on them.

When we got the eggs from the old farmer, he told me to sneak the eggs under her while she was sleeping and not allow other hens in her nest or she'd walk away and not sit the eggs any more.

Wrong on both counts.

  

(Picture is of my girls at the gate to their coop - the taller one is the currently broody one)

I brought home the eggs, lifted Momma off the nest because she wouldn't get off on her own, put the eggs in and she ate, drank and sat on her new eggs, as happy as if she had laid them all herself. Every day, her sister hops into her nest, lays an egg and leaves. Momma tucks in the new egg and continues to sit happily.

Twice a day, I lift her off the nest and sit her in front of the water dish. She eats, drinks, poops, plays for a bit if it's nice out and hightails it back to the nest. In the evening, I steal her sister's unfertilized egg while she's off the nest. We are currently less than a week away from babies!

Here I go, researching again! The babies will need baby food. I found recipes for baby food. I'm ready, right? Not quite.  I was on another thread - one about raising hatchlings - and there was some talk about vaccinations.

Momma and her sister are RIR / Leghorn cross. The eggs are: 2 black and 4 tawny Australorp. No chickens are allowed in the people house unless they are very sick, so I want the babies outside in the coop, which is mostly an insulated-canvas, 10x15x6 foot tent lined with chicken wire

(picture of their 'hotel') When they are not broody, they sleep on top of the hotel and only use the nest to lay their eggs.

Question:

Do I need to get the chicks vaccinated? if so, how quickly after they hatch? If I need to get them vaccinated on the day they hatch, I need to make an appointment with the vet by the weekend...

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