Originally Posted by mlm Mike
Originally Posted by NotAFarm
I'm sure I'll be joining that one....I should say, I'm sure some of the girls will be joining!!
Great! I'm hoping some of my girls do too, but I'm starting eggs in the incubator anyways.
Around here, the "broody bug" is contagious. Once the two current broodies have chicks, the others will think they need chicks and the next thing you know....no eggs, just pullets/hens sitting everywhere! I like when they hatch close together, then when the hens wean the chicks (varies but usually 5 to 6 weeks old), I can put the weanlings in a separate coop to bond with each other and let them "get over momma". I let them out each evening when the main flock has gone to roost and give them special treats. After a four or five days, I let them out in the morning with the flock and see how things go. The separation, while not necessary, is helpful to keep the chicks safe while they realize that momma doesn't want them around anymore. I have barn cats that never mess with chicks that have a momma but might take advantage of a chick that is scurrying around acting desperate and peeping in a frightened way. This is especially helpful when there is a singleton and it is so focused on being with momma because they have not had siblings to bond with. Once the chicks are accustomed to being in "their own mini flock", when they are out, they stay together and watch out for danger in the way their mommas taught them. Typing this, I just made myself even more anxious for some chicks! With a full moon on Wednesday, I'm thinking early hatchers for sure!!