2 Broody Winter Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RobynsNest, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. RobynsNest

    RobynsNest New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2011
    I have 6 bantam chickens, 2 cochins that have gone broody. I had been hoping they would....in July. Now it's December and this week both will hatch their chicks. They live in an enclosed coop with pine shavings for bedding, 2heat lamps, and a covered outside run. I believe it's possible to let mother nature take over and that the chicks will be fine, but I'm concerned. What else should I do? Do chicks being born with 6 adult chickens need a place they can escape to? It's my first flick, and I don't know what else I can do, any ideas? Suggestions? I live in the Midwest and temps/wind chills can drop below zero.

    Thanks!!
    Robyn
     
  2. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    I, too had some very broody bantams. The first time I let them hatch out babies I was very concerned. Should I move the mamma? Would the others kill the chicks?
    While I was reading up on it here trying to decide whether to would be best to have a brooder pen, 3 more decided to go broody. This almost quadrupled my concerns. Would they get jealous and would there be bloodshed? Would I go in to the coop to find tragedy?
    It seemed from my reading here that it was a split decision- half moved the girls, the other half didn't. Some had chick being killed or trampled- most had a safe and successful hatch.
    In the end, I decided to take my chances and let them be. Chickens have been having babies without human intervention for hundreds of years.
    It was a most amazing experience. The 5 moms each had their own chicks, the 3 not-moms stayed away for fear of being pecked at by the moms, and the rooster stepped in and broke up any fights.

    Of course, you are more worried about the little peabrains for wanting to hatch when it is so cold outside. I believe the mom's will manage to keep the babies warm, but the addition of the heat lamp gives them the option of having a warmer place if need be. The heat lamps will also allow the babies opportunity to run around and play without getting too chilled.
    As for a place to escape and hide- that's what the momma's wings are for [​IMG]
     
  3. Serrin

    Serrin Chillin' With My Peeps

    First things first! Robyn, [​IMG] and we're glad you found us!!

    OK, on the broody girls. Oh, I can so identify! My girls didn't seem to get the memo, either last winter or this. In each case, I removed mama and her eggs about a week before their projected hatch date and moved them into an indoor brooder that the DH built just for the purpose of isolating broody mamas! We are also in one of those climate zones where winter temperatures can be down right lethal to chicks. [-20 without wind chill is not uncommon around here [​IMG] ]

    My flock is also comprised of ages ranging from 8 months to one girl who is nearly 6 years old now. For me, it just made sense to move each mama as her hatch date drew near. I'm far too protective of my babies to take the chance with them. Whether I hatched them or not!

    You'll need to take into account the overall personality of your flock in deciding whether or not to keep the mama's in with them during the first few weeks. This is just my opinion, but if it were me, I think I'd at least have a back up plan in place before the chicks hatch. That way, if there is a problem with the other birds, you can remove mom and chicks to a safe and warm location in a hurry!

    Wishing you the very best of luck with your mama's to be and any chicks they successfully hatch out. Please keep us posted on their progress and don't forget to include pictures if at all possible! We here at BYC can never get enough pictures! [​IMG] Welcome again to BYC! And if nobody else will give you fair warning, well then, I will! Watch out! This place is dang addictive! [​IMG]
     

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