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Getting ready to place 3 day old chicks under broody hen...advice?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been reading lots of threads about this topic. If the hen will 'adopt' the new chicks etc. I seem ready to put the 3 day old chicks under broody Buff tonight.

 

I have a question about post-chick placement. Do I need to make sure the chicks get to food and water or will momma chicken guide the chicks to the food source? Should I place a heat lamp in coop or will the momma heat the chicks ok? What about the older chickens in the coop. My broody Buff is sister to three other hens. All get along well. I have read the new momma chicken will protect the chicks from the other hens. I've also read they'll be in danger. I have no idea what to believe/do/figure out on that end.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 7

How long has your hen been broody? Has she been on a nest with eggs for at least a couple of weeks? I've had the best luck putting chicks under a broody at night, and taking the eggs out from under her. If she's truly in Mama Mode, she will make sure they learn to eat and drink, keep them warm, and will protect them from the other hens. Has she been in with the flock the whole time she's been on the nest? That can help. Those broody hormones also help. She will not let the other hens hurt her babies. She will not care that three of the other hens are her sisters. Chickens do not have a sense of family loyalty. If they harass her or her babies, she will let them have it. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #3 of 7
I would recommend placing chick-sized obstacles and hides around the run. You don't need to keep the bigger birds out (could be dangerous if the mother is the one who can't get in), but something to slow them down and stop them cornering the chicks will be good.

There's not really enough information to say whether the good or bad things you've read will be more accurate. How much space do you have? Four adult chickens who get along quite well can cosy up together, but three adult chickens plus one angry mother with chicks will need more room to move about each other.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I popped two chicks under broody BO last night. All is well this morning. I've read you should separate mom and chicks for a week or so to get used to each other. So I segregated the coop and run for mom and chicks. I have a huge run and coop so space is not an issue. My question now is re integration. I've read horror stories! I'm nervous!
post #5 of 7

If the others can see the chicks and mom during the isolation time it will go easier later.  If the adults can see the chicks you can watch how they react to them.  If they are ignoring them after a initial curiosity, then you can lift the isolation.  I would do it while I could watch for a while, there really shouldn't be any problems though.  The others may peck if a chick gets too adventurous.  But if the adult gets to aggressive, that is where hides and the mothers protection comes in.  Truth is the only time I saw a adult in my flocks give a too aggressive peck is when a chick was running and bumped into the rooster, startling him.  The rooster reacted to the bump and knocked the chick senseless and just walked away and the chick after a second got up and wobbled away.   That was the first clutch of chicks he had seen.  Since then he hasn't done anything to the scooting chicks under his feet.  Generaly chicks know to get away from an adult who is pecking.

Den
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Den
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den in Penn View Post
 

If the others can see the chicks and mom during the isolation time it will go easier later.  If the adults can see the chicks you can watch how they react to them.  If they are ignoring them after a initial curiosity, then you can lift the isolation.  I would do it while I could watch for a while, there really shouldn't be any problems though.  The others may peck if a chick gets too adventurous.  But if the adult gets to aggressive, that is where hides and the mothers protection comes in.  Truth is the only time I saw a adult in my flocks give a too aggressive peck is when a chick was running and bumped into the rooster, startling him.  The rooster reacted to the bump and knocked the chick senseless and just walked away and the chick after a second got up and wobbled away.   That was the first clutch of chicks he had seen.  Since then he hasn't done anything to the scooting chicks under his feet.  Generaly chicks know to get away from an adult who is pecking.

Ditto Dat^^^

 

Broody mama might get in some scuffles if she's been isolated awhile.....just keep a close eye the first few days after lifting segregation.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Great feedback thank you! Tonight ends day 2 new chicks. Tomorrow I will move the chicks and momma into the coop in pen (the 3 other hens can see through the wire on bottom of coop). I'll let them hang out in there for a full day. Then the day after open all the chutes and allow the flick to mingle. Fingers crossed!
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