a few (probably stupid!) questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stargirl, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm expanding my coop & run this summer, & this means I'll be able to get a few more birds. I currently only have two hens, who are the very best of friends. What I'd really really like is to wait until one of my girl next turns broody, and get her some babies [​IMG] I live in an urban setting so I definitely cannot have a roo.

    Here are my total newby questions!

    1) Is it better to get foster eggs or foster chicks?
    2) Is it ever possible to guarantee girl babies?
    3) Would she accept a different breed, e.g. some sort of bantam?
    4) How would the other hen react? Would I need to separate them?
    5) How would the chicks integrate into the flock as they grew?
    6) Probably the most important of them all - my hens have both had a respiratory infection (I think from a garden bird) and so are presumably carriers. Is it just too dangerous to introduce chicks?

    And anything else you think I should know!
    Thanks in advance! x
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  2. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:1. You can give a broody hen more eggs and she will do fine, if you try to give her already hatched chicks she will not accept them.

    2. From eggs no. If you buy them from a hatchery yes.

    3. If she sits on the eggs and hatches them she will accept anything you give her.

    4. It depends on who is the dominant hen of the two. The momma hen will protect her babies but if the other hen is way more dominant then you may have to separate them.

    5. The chicks will inherit their mom's standing in the flock until they get old enough to establish their own spot.

    6. I don't know.
     
  3. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jasper
    Quote:I just wanted to let you know that these were awesome questions!! [​IMG]
     
  4. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jasper
    Quote:1. You can give a broody hen more eggs and she will do fine, if you try to give her already hatched chicks she will not accept them.

    2. From eggs no. If you buy them from a hatchery yes.

    3. If she sits on the eggs and hatches them she will accept anything you give her.

    4. It depends on who is the dominant hen of the two. The momma hen will protect her babies but if the other hen is way more dominant then you may have to separate them.

    5. The chicks will inherit their mom's standing in the flock until they get old enough to establish their own spot.

    6. I don't know.

    Equally good answers!! [​IMG]
     
  5. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe the answer to #6 would be that if you order chix from a hatchery, you can ask that they be vaccinated, and pay for that. And yes, she will accept chicks put under her at night after she's set on her wooden eggs for about 3 weeks! They have to be very new, so they'll be as thrilled to have a mommy as she will be to have babies. They can be any breed you want her to raise.

    I once had a hen hatch out ducks for me. They actually take a week longer, but she did the job, and raised the ducks. She thought they were crazy, though - kept jumping into the water!
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Either, if the chicks are day olds, or 2 or 3 days. They'll accept the eggs without a problem if they are broody; usually they'll accept chicks placed under them well after dark, but not always.
    2. no
    3. sure
    4. I wouldn't, but I'd watch how it went. They may even share setting and mothering.
    5. I've had mamas raise 5 or 6 sets of chicks in with the flock. Only way to go, for me. She stops mothering around 4-5 weeks (more or less) and the chicks are accepted -- at the lower end of the pecking order, but they do fine.
    6. Personal choice. The chicks will most likely catch it. The more experienced folks on here would most likely cull the two you have, disinfect and start over. You could have them tested and find out what exactly you are dealing with.
     
  7. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for all the responses. Glad they weren't too stupid questions to ask! Definitely given me lots to think about (and to try & not get too excited about! ) I really would love to see my girls get to be Mums, and it seems like the most natural way to introduce new birds into their existing little family.

    I think even if I culled my current birds, the infection would probably return from the garden birds. I've seen them sneezing! I'm happy to keep a closed flock, as they're really just productive pets to me, but obviously don't want to endanger any potential chicks. Finding out the specific infection and vaccinating sounds promising though, so thanks for all the help!

    & i LOVE the idea of a confused mama hen watching her duck babies swim [​IMG] <3
     

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