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Greetings from Brewton, AL!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I recently moved into a house where the previous owner kept many different kinds of Chickens, but left me about 20 of the full sized Polish chickens. My question is, can I let the mothers raise some chicks by themselves? I have heard that the other adult chickens will peck the chicks but from my research I have seen that that isn't as likely to happen with a big enough pen.. and my pen has a few hiding places if that happens. So tell me if its possible, when I should try it as far as seasons go, and any other tips!
post #2 of 15

frow.gif                          welcome-byc.gif     from washington state glad you joinrd us !

post #3 of 15

Hello and welcome to BYC frow.gif It does happen sometimes that adult chickens will kill new chicks, especially just after they hatched, so I prefer separating new moms and chicks for the first 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce them as a group to the rest of the flock. By that time the rooster will have visited the hen and chicks a few times and accepted them and mom will protect the babies from everyone else. But f you have a large run area they should be O.K. Just keep an eye on them for the first few days.

 

Hens tend to go broody more often in Spring and Summer and it is easier then! Though sometimes they'll decide to go broody in the middle of winter, which is not ideal, but I've had hens raise chicks in winter with no losses and no problems.

 

If you get a broody try and keep her separate in her own nest box so the rest of the flock don't lay in her nest. You can also mark her eggs so you can tell which are hers and which are new. Then, when the chicks arrive feed them and mom chick crumbs, never layer food, as the high calcium content of layer food damages their organs. Mom will be fine with chick crumbs though. Offer them water in a shallow dish filled with marbles or small pebbles, so when the chicks fall in the water they won't drown or get soaked. I add a little unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their water to help prevent pasty butt (when their poop clogs up their backside, making it impossible for them to relieve themselves)

 

Here's a long, interesting thread on broody hen hatches that you may find interesting:

 

Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long and Informational Thread

 

Enjoy your chickens!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I want my flock to grow but my parents won't let me invest more time, money, etc... Into it... So I was hoping to let it all happen naturally .. like maybe I forgot to pick up those eggs for a few weeks. *wink wink*
post #5 of 15

A guy I knew used to leave all the eggs his hens laid, hoping to catch a broody. It worked for him! Only problem was by the time the hens got the hint there would be about 24 eggs in the nest. Anything over 12 is pushing it a bit. My MIL's bantams were so hatch crazy... I left a few eggs in their boxes for ONE day and...

 

 

700 6 Broodies!

 

 

 

"Forget" to collect a few eggs, but mark them so you know which ones are bait and which aren't when you collect fresh ones. Hopefully your hens will fall for it smile.png But make sure your parents don't mind!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
To add more to my challenge, my bunch is mostly Polish, and from my research, they aren't exactly know for their motherly instincts o_O
post #7 of 15

I don't know about Polish, but I had battery hens (I free ranged them) and they went broody. People have been breeding the broodiness out of hens for ages, but I've heard of lots of supposedly non-broody breeds going broody and hatching eggs. Personally I prefer letting the hens do it, instead of using an incubator. Broodies and chicks are lovely. I can sit and watch them for hours.

 

If you want a really broody hen get a Silkie. Those hens are legendary broodies!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have 2 silkies! Thanks for that!
post #9 of 15

Greetings from Kansas, Dylon, and welcome-byc.gif!  Great to have you with us!  I know little about hatching so I can't advise.  It sounds like sumi has it covered (listen to sumi  smile.png...she knows her stuff!).  Best of luck to you - and hope you have a successful hatch! 
 

I never considered a difference in opinion, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  - Thomas Jefferson
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.  - Ben Franklin
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.  - Teddy Roosevelt
 

Reply

I never considered a difference in opinion, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  - Thomas Jefferson
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.  - Ben Franklin
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.  - Teddy Roosevelt
 

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post #10 of 15
Welcome to BYC smile.png Glad you joined.
If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
Reply
If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
Reply
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