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Hen is raising chicks. Do I need to do ?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

We had a hen hatch out 3 chicks and we have just left them with her.
We weren't sure at first if they would hatch as she wasn't the one who laid the eggs, but kicked that hen off the nest after about 1 1/2 weeks. She ended up accidently killing 2 by stepping on one egg (to early to servive) and must have laid on the other right after birth.
They are 2 weeks old and she has already introduced them to the other hens without any problems, though she and the chicks aren't sleeping in the coop right now. She was able to get into a playhouse where I store my hay and feed and nested there.
Do I need to do anything special for these chicks? I've always raised them myself and not let them out until they were a couple months old.
I've watched her and she is really good with them, feeding them and such. So other than putting out starter feed (they eat everything) and trying to keep them from drowing in the water(it's deep) What else should I do? I've looked all over the site for anwsers, but most have to do with us/people raising the chicks.
I know that hens have been raising chicks alot longer than I have so most likely worrying for not.
thanks.
Ruth idunno

post #2 of 23

I have the exact same questions.  I just realized the date of your post and I'm wondering if anyone ever responded, or if you've learned anything since then that you pass on to me?  Thank you for any help you can offer.

Debbie

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

No sorry I just posted recently and haven't had any replys.
I hope to hear something soon before I loose the 3 chicks. They are so cute will have to post pictures.
Ruth

post #4 of 23

i am also curious.  i am getting a broody hen today from my husband's boss.  have not seen much on here about letting hens raise chicks on their own!

joy
Breeding Black Javas...Tending a constantly changing group of Ameracaunas, Olive Eggers, EEs, FCBMs & Brown Leghorns
See a slideshow of my Black Javas here: https://picasaweb.google.com/113255570967966561169/BlackJavas#slideshow/5450581670922747458

My chicken keeping blog! http://charmed-life-chickens.blogspot.com/2012/01/olive-eggs-at-long-last.html

 

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joy
Breeding Black Javas...Tending a constantly changing group of Ameracaunas, Olive Eggers, EEs, FCBMs & Brown Leghorns
See a slideshow of my Black Javas here: https://picasaweb.google.com/113255570967966561169/BlackJavas#slideshow/5450581670922747458

My chicken keeping blog! http://charmed-life-chickens.blogspot.com/2012/01/olive-eggs-at-long-last.html

 

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post #5 of 23

I have the same thing going on except I went to the store and got 6 baby chicks to put under a broody hen. She killed 3 of them but the other 3 are doing just fine I have never done this befor but I have family that has and everyone keeps telling me to just leave her alone she knows what to do. As long as there is food and water they will be just fine and so far they seem so happy I have raised them myself but have never seen happier chicks they make the greatest sounds and are always snuggling up to mom and climbing all over her. She is a first time mom so I expected to have some problems. My dad said they used to put baby ducks under a hen and she would raise whatever you put under her. He said it is quite a site when the ducks would get into the water and the old hen would be running up and down the bank making quite a fuss. Any way I have been reading on it and it sounds like the best thing to do is keep her is a smaller pen just to keep them together at first and so you can keep an eye on them and  keep preditors at bay. Then let the hen do the rest. Mother knows best and if not I gess I will try later or next year. When ever I get  a broody hen. So far I have high hopes.

post #6 of 23

She'll do fine with them - it's good that she has somewhere away from the flock to take them and to introduce them on her time.  I would continue to let her do her chicken thing and not intervene.  It sounds like she's a good mom - congratulations!

post #7 of 23

Sounds like she's doing a good job with them. The only thing I'd worry about is that the chicks shouldn't be eating layer feed as it has too much calcium and not enough protien. I solve this problem by putting my whole flock on 22% gamebird (flockraiser is good too) and putting out oyster shell free choice so the layers can meet their calcium needs.

ETA: If her chosen nesting spot is not pred. proof you'll probably want to address that as well.


Edited by Kittymomma - 3/9/10 at 8:58am
post #8 of 23

Sounds like she's doing just fine with them!

I would make sure there is chick starter crumbles and water in a shallow dish available, and that her chosen nesting spot is predator proof, and let her do her thing.  I've had a couple of good broodies (and more not-so-good broodies!), and the good ones make life so easy!

post #9 of 23

I would just let the hen do her thing.  I have had several hens hatch babies, and they all did fine.   I would however, get a different water source for them, something more shallow till they are a little bigger. Other than that just enjoy watching them!  Good Luck!smile

mother to a wonderful 14 yr old boy,2 step children, 2 dogs-1 corgi, 1 red heeler,  1 cat and a bunch of chickens. Married to a wonderful man who puts up with my love of chickens!
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mother to a wonderful 14 yr old boy,2 step children, 2 dogs-1 corgi, 1 red heeler,  1 cat and a bunch of chickens. Married to a wonderful man who puts up with my love of chickens!
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post #10 of 23

I'm really glad someone asked this question.  I had a broody hen and none of the eggs hatched unfortunately, bummer.  I'm not sure why but I did get a few baby chicks from our Feed company and she wouldn't have anything to do with them.  I thought she might "take them under her wing" so to speak, but she pecked at them hard.  I lost one, can anyone shed light for me in regards to why you lose them within the first 3 days to a week?  I had this one since Friday and she seemed to be doing great.  Last night when I got home I checked on them, I got two light Brahmas and 2 black alstralopes and they were doing great.  I check on them frequently.  I went downstairs and within the time it took to watch a movie, she died.  When I went up to go to bed, she was gone.  I feel bad but I learned not to name them until I'm pretty sure they are going to make it. 

To get back to the post, I was kind of wondering if hens managed to raise chicks the old fashioned way so I'm really glad to hear that you have had success with this.  My broody hen just took over the nest that every body else was laying in so she would have had a variety of chicks if any of the eggs had hatched.

"Started with 3 chicks, now I have over 100, with the addition of over 50 ducks and 16 geese" Many breeds to include Dominque, Silkies, Banty Cochin, Standard Cochin, Wyandottes, Alstralorps, Orpinton, Frizzle, Polish, Houdan, Easter Eggers.  Embden, Chinese & Sebastapol Geese. Runners, Magpie, Mallard, Swedish, Buff, Khaki and Pekin ducks.  Needless to say, we are building a new chicken barn.
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"Started with 3 chicks, now I have over 100, with the addition of over 50 ducks and 16 geese" Many breeds to include Dominque, Silkies, Banty Cochin, Standard Cochin, Wyandottes, Alstralorps, Orpinton, Frizzle, Polish, Houdan, Easter Eggers.  Embden, Chinese & Sebastapol Geese. Runners, Magpie, Mallard, Swedish, Buff, Khaki and Pekin ducks.  Needless to say, we are building a new chicken barn.
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