A Broody's eggs are hatching, now what???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Scoutmedic, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Scoutmedic

    Scoutmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    South-Central Texas
    I've got a broody hen whose eggs are hatching. This is my first year with chickens, my first broody, and first hatch. The eggs are in an old Oakley nest box with an open back in the middle row about two feet off the ground. Ok, this may seem dumb, but what do I do next? Do I need to supply feed/water near the nest, or will the chick take care of itself? Will the hen provide for the chick?

    Also, I have eggs in my incubator due in 9 days. Will they be close enough in age to put together in a brooder, or should I leave the hatching chicks to the hen?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would leave the chicks hatching now with their mother. Probably she will keep them under her for a day or so, then take them to food and water. Don't let them eat layer feed. The mama (actually your whole flock) will be fine eating chick starter feed. If you leave the mama and chicks where they are, when the chicks jump down from the nest, the mama will follow, and then make a new nest at ground level.

    You can usually mix chicks of different ages in a brooder as long as they are all under a month old. However, I would let the mother raise hers, and in with the flock, myself -- well, this is what I have done, several times. I believe the chicks are healthier and grow better. It also avoids the problem of having to integrate the new chickens with the flock, as the mama does that.

    Here is a great article all about broodies, from setting to raising chicks, and some of the reasons they do better this way:

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/broody-hens-1.html
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Scoutmedic

    Scoutmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    South-Central Texas
    Thanks for the help. This evening, I moved her to a brooding box at ground level with access to a small grow out pen for her and the chicks. Two chicks have hatched so far and another is pipping.

    Should I go ahead and feed medicated chick starter to the chicks and her, or will unmedicated be fine?
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Un-medicated is fine, as chicks with mom are picking up immunity on the ground with her.
     
  5. Scoutmedic

    Scoutmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    South-Central Texas
    Thanks again. We now have three chicks and a bunch of eggs still under her. I dunno if some other hens got in and left some eggs after the first few started or if they are duds. Only have one roo in with about 15 hens, so duds they may be, but maybe not.

    There is feed and water within reach of the hen when she is sitting on the eggs. Wtill she show the chicks what to do while she still has eggs?

    Also, when my incubator chicks hatch in a week, do you think I can graft them to her, or should I keep them separate?

    Sorry for all the questions, just a newbie.
     

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