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Another stupid broody hen question...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by brandislee, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So she's taken to the chicks just fine- I introduced them last night and she took them right away. I checked on them when they got up this morning and several times since and she's sitting on them and pecking anyone who comes near. BUT she hasn't gotten up yet and the chicks haven't come out from under her (that I've seen). It's really cold out- should I worry that she'll keep them under her for warmth and starve them/dehydrate them to death? Am I worrying too much? They aren't freshly hatched chicks- they were four days old, so they can't go 24 hours before she lets them out to eat/drink (I read that once they eat for the first time it starts their metabolism up and they can't do that) and since it was 7:30 when I stuck them under last night they haven't had a drink since then or eatten since before then. And I'm kind of waiting for her to let them out from under her and then let them back in before I move them to the safer isolation pen.

    Once a broody takes some chicks does she always do a good job? Reassurance (or not) would be helpful!
     
  2. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It might make you feel better if you lifted her up and set her right by the water/feed, but be careful not to trap chicks between her and your hands and be prepared to be pecked. Once she is up near the feed and water she might take care of business and feed/water herself and little ones....
    then back off quickly to avoid the flying into your legs....
     
  3. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    I'm having the same worry with my first broody. She is just staying on them. She's in a separated spot from the other hens. I'm not too worried about them eating yet..they hatched yesterday, indoors, but I am hoping she will get up and show them the food and water soon! I'm worried, she's not. There is heat in the coop.
     
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are literally RIGHT NEXT to food and water I set up just for them. Twice this morning I have moved the chicks out from under her to show them the food and water. They run right back under mama. And she hasn't pecked me at all (but she has pecked any other chickens that have gotten too close). Is it possible she'll keep setting like she's on eggs and simply tolerate the chicks, but not take care of them? Won't the chicks get hungry and venture out on their own? I assume that at four days old they know what food and water are and can find them when they are six inches away. Should I break down and provide them with heat? I'm of the mind that providing heat (to adult chickens) does more harm than good, and I'm afraid that the older chickens will get too accustomed to the heat if I introduce it.
     
  5. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would let momma take care of her crew, and just keep an eye on her. Don't worry about the heat....she is doing a fine job of keeping them warm...when my broody was on babies, i put the food RIGHT next to her.
     
  6. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Not sure about providing them with heat... prob not, let mom take care of the heat for the babies. I would think at 4 days old and being so close to food/water they will know what it is and go for it as needed, but maybe spread some crumbles near the hen's feet so if the chicks venture out they see it right there on the ground and might be enticed to nibble?
    keep an eye on her and keep us posted!
     
  7. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As an aside...you rehab bobcats? How awesome!

    I am going to just watch them and check on the chicks a few more times- if they start to seem weak or listless then I'll take over. But I trust mama so far.

    I plan to move the chicks into a separate pen with my three bantams (mama included, of course- the other two are for heat and because they are the only ones the mama is okay with). They'll have an insulated dog house for shelter with lots of bedding, and be totally sheltered from the wind on all sides. It's been pretty cold here- teens and 20's overnight- they should all be warm enough, right? None of them have any significant combs to worry about.
     
  8. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Quote:Not sure about providing them with heat... prob not, let mom take care of the heat for the babies. I would think at 4 days old and being so close to food/water they will know what it is and go for it as needed, but maybe spread some crumbles near the hen's feet so if the chicks venture out they see it right there on the ground and might be enticed to nibble?
    keep an eye on her and keep us posted!

    I like this idea..will put a bit of crumbles out today. Thanks!
     
  9. Jewels1935

    Jewels1935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pics please! [​IMG]
     
  10. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Quote:You want pics of my broody girl and her babies..I can do that..I was just out there, and had them out for a bit, but not for long, they scooted right back under mom..will give them a while..check back..I'll get some pictures. In fact, glad you asked, because I have to get pictures of my first broody girl with her babies.
     

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