a few questions--putting chicks under a broody tonight

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ky chicks, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. ky chicks

    ky chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I have 5 chicks hatching in the incubator--3 are hatched, 2 pipped. This is my first hatch and I'm so excited!!! Around the time I set the eggs in the incubator, I had a hen go broody. I would like to give her 2 of the chicks to take care of, so I'm planning on sneaking them under her tonight. I want to leave them all in the coop. Can I leave them in the box that my broody has been sitting in, or should I move them into something a little more separate from the regular boxes? I want the hen to do as she pleases--taking care of the chicks and making the decision to take them out to free range with the flock when the time is right. I have a large dog crate I could put her in today, where I could also put chick starter and water for the little ones, but I would like to leave it open. Would the other hens and rooster go in with them and eat the chick food? Or, should I just feed everybody the chick starter and not have a separate feeder? Thanks in advance for any advice, and feel free to address anything I haven't thought of!
     
  2. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a broody hen that we let hatch 4 eggs. They hatched last week and the hen killed the first two that hatched and wounded the third. I grabbed the third and put it in our brooder and when the last hatched I put it in the brooder also. I don't know why the hen did what she did. But at least I was able to save two of the four. As for sneaking them under your hen at night be warned she may not except them and very easily and quickly kill them. Try it if you are willing to take the loss. My scenario didn't work out for me. Good luck.
     
  3. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I "grafted" 4 chicks to two broody's a month ago, in the same box. I will never brood chicks in a box again if I have a broody. I did separate them from the rest of the flock for 2.5 weeks. I did it at night and checked them at first light. absolutly no problem. good luck!!
     
  4. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Upstate NY
    I had the idea to put a few chicks under a broody. I took one out to her- in separate coop- and she stood there bawking for so long and not even looking at the chick- that I brought it back inside! The chick was peeping away and it was like she couldn't even see it... So, I gave up, and she is still trying to hatch that golf ball!!!
     
  5. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At night. while they sleep. take out the golf ball and slip under chicks. wait a couple minutes until everyone settles down. she will wake up and "hey look what I found!"
     
  6. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    When I've given a broody chicks, I do it at night (always). My hen was convinced that she hatched 13 chicks from one golf ball! I've never separated them from the flock, but then again, all of mine are free-range. I've always had really good luck with my broody hens, too. I would leave her in the same box; if you wanted to move her, I would have moved her a few weeks ago. You don't want to stress her out at the same time you're giving her chicks.

    Personally, I would also give her all of the chicks. It will be easier to integrate these chicks into the flock and they will be MUCH easier to raise if the mama is doing it all. That can be a personal decision though; hen-raised chicks are usually not as friendly as ones raised by you.

    I will usually have two feed dishes - one with lay pellet for the big girls and one with chick starter. Yes, many of the hens will eat the chick starter, but it shouldn't really hurt them. If it bothers you, you can put the chick starter in a creep feeder - set up a box so that only the chicks can get in, the adults can't.
     
  7. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I completely agree! I have layer pellets for the hens but everyone eats the chick starter (unmedicated) make sure you have oyster shell available. broody's are amazing.
     
  8. ky chicks

    ky chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice! I would give her all of the chicks, except that I'm giving a few away. To be honest, I don't need any more chickens, and I'm doing my best to resist keeping them all. The incubator I'm using belongs to my kids' school, and when they had 2 failed hatches (using my eggs), I decided to bring it home for the summer and figure out what was going wrong. It's a good thing I DON'T have my own incubator--this is so exciting I think I could get addicted to hatching! Anyway, do you think 2 chicks will be enough for my hen? Do they need more to think they actually did it themselves?
     
  9. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    enough? no such thing...[​IMG]
    you will love watching your hen with chicks. I don't want to even get started hatching.... chicks are bad enough! can't even go to the feed store....
     
  10. ky chicks

    ky chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    So I just took out 2 chicks and put them under her. She puffed up and made some unhappy noises at first, but then quieted down and seemed to be getting them situated how she wanted them. I'm tempted to go out and check again before I go to bed.
     

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