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do I need to separate baby chicks?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am expecting my broody hens eggs to start hatching on Monday. Do I need to move the mom and the eggs? Or do I just take the chicks out and put em the brooder?

tia

post #2 of 12

If you do not have your broody separated, I would do so prior to hatching.  I have found my new mama hen to be a LUXURY.  I know the chicks will be kept warm & fed - no matter what.  I was so impressed with her superior skills that I have put eggs under two other broodies.

I am just geekie that way! 
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I am just geekie that way! 
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post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackenziesmomma 

I am expecting my broody hens eggs to start hatching on Monday. Do I need to move the mom and the eggs? Or do I just take the chicks out and put em the brooder?

tia


Why not let the broody do her thing and raise them for you?
Is there a reason why that cannot be done?

Remember, her reason for being broody in the first place is so she can rear them, not simply hatch them on our whim.

Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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post #4 of 12

I have a large chicken pen with about 5 hens & 1 rooster.  Last year I lost almost all of my new chicks.  Some I found dead, some I never found at all.

This year, I have let the hens go broody in whichever nest box they chose too in the community pen.  I kept an eye on the eggs, and once they began to hatch, I moved them to a smaller, more secure pen.  (I converted an old petstore bird cage into pods.  They were the kind that was stacked and each cage was split up.  I removed the separations, and cut them apart from one another.  Added nest boxes, and placed hay underneath the cage because I suspect that some chicks died from being smothered under straw when the hen scratched.  The neat thing is that since they were bird cages, they already had little areas for food & water dishes, with doors so I could tend to them with out getting myself flogged.)

I first took the eggs and placed them in the new nest, then came back and got the hen.  As soon as she saw the nest, she went straight to it and sat on the nest.

By the next day I had 11 new chicks from two hens!  And they are all still doing well.  I moved all the chicks in with one hen, and put the other back in the community pen.

The hen with all the chicks takes care of them and keeps them warm & teaches them to eat & drink, and the other hen went broody again as soon as she got about 10 eggs.

I try to raise food, but sometimes end up with pets.
A SECRET is the only thing worth taking to the grave.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
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I try to raise food, but sometimes end up with pets.
A SECRET is the only thing worth taking to the grave.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
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post #5 of 12

I thought you weren't supposed to put newly hatched with other adults because other hens or rooster will peck them.  I've read this everywhere and also experienced it with my grandpa.  He put the newly hatched in the coops/run and within a week all were dead, maybe one made it every once in a while.  Never understood why he kept putting newly hatched into a death pit.   Some were incubated and some were hatched by hen.  smile


Edited by lovelychicken - 5/9/09 at 10:44pm
post #6 of 12

I've never had a  problem with any chicks that were hatched by a hen. It may happen with chicks that were incubated and then placed in the coop with the others. But it should be alright! You can keep a watch on them for the first 12 hours and make sure mama hen is keeping tabs on them and no one pecks them. smile

post #7 of 12

I had a broody silkie hatch out 3 SLW chicks 3 weeks back. I gave her her "own" place  once they hatched....and the run of the yard during the day. She is awesome! It has been a pleasure letting her rear them and watch her teach them how to forage etc. I wish the eggs in my incubator had another broody silkie to go under.
They run in & out of the other coop area with no damage done. But Momma makes the other hens keep their distance! Too funny.

 

 

 

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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovelychicken 

I thought you weren't supposed to put newly hatched with other adults because other hens or rooster will peck them.  I've read this everywhere and also experienced it with my grandpa.  He put the newly hatched in the coops/run and within a week all were dead, maybe one made it every once in a while.  Never understood why he kept putting newly hatched into a death pit.   Some were incubated and some were hatched by hen.  smile


There is a tad bit more to add here. Chicks placed with a broody should be kept separate from the rest of the flock and often from the hen herself.
Use a brood coop, with a slatted or cage front and a small attached chick run.
That way the chicks can go in and out of the brood coop, while the brood hen is restricted to it. Keep water before her at all times and once or twice a day, let her out to eat and scratch in the chick run, while you watch her closely. If she seems a careful hen around the chicks, then fine let her out. If not, she must remain in the brood coop except for her daily feeding foray outside of it.
Once you know how she will act around them, you may be able to let her go back and forth from the run with them. Otherwise only they should be allowed to go in and out.

Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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Peace... David
"Poetry often comes in through the window of irrelevance"

 

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post #9 of 12

I used to put my broodies and their chicks in a seperate cage for a week or two so they got to know each other pretty good and then I would put them back with the rest of the flock. As long as they have enough room (I free range) and a good mama to protect them, the other chickens should leave them alone. Watch them close for awhile though to make sure.
  I now have to cage them up for longer. I have a mama cat that leaves the adult chickens alone but just can't seem to resist those little bite-sized morsels. The mama biddie tries to protect them but an OEG bantam is just no match for a adult cat and some still ended up as kitty food.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks for the replies smile

I had quite an interesting morning. When I went to check on the chickens this morning, there were a few chickens in the nest with my broody and they were eating eggs! sad I suspect I had one start to hatch and they jumped on it. Ugh and ew!

I use kitty litter boxes with covers as nests- I carefully removed the eggs, rinsed out the box, put fresh hay in it and put them back. At first, no hen went in the sit on them. After 30 minutes or so, one finally went in and sat down. I watched for about 15 more minutes, and she stayed on them so I moved her and the nest to a smaller cage within the big coop.

Whew, whata morning!

Do you think it would be ok if I moved the eggs into a smaller nest? Will she sit on them? The litter box is quite large for the small cage.


Edited by mackenziesmomma - 5/10/09 at 12:21pm
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