Babies have hatched from brooding hens, what do I do now? please help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by andrew4661, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. andrew4661

    andrew4661 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Oct 13, 2012
    Hello,

    We have four silkie bantam hens and one silkie rooster. Two of the girls "charcoal" and "lady" have been broody for a while and have hatched two little babies today.

    I'm not sure what to do now. Can I let the girls raise there own babies? Should I modify the water set up so the babies can get to it and what sort of food do I need to put out there? Should I change it from the normal feed that's out there at the moment. I currently have a water dispenser that is off the ground a little so I guess I should lower it so the chicks can get access?

    I will watch the rooster and see what he does. he seems very protective of his brooding hens and he hasn't been aggressive so far.

    "Charcoal" has the two babies tucked under wing.

    All the chickens have free range of the whole yard with access to their coop where the water and extra food is. Ideally I would like the hens to raise there own young as this seems the most natural thing to do. Will the hens protect the babies when the leave the coop and venture out and will the help them with feeding and all that stuff?

    Thanks,

    Andrew
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    3,382
    118
    208
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    You can let them raise the chicks. Mother Nature hardwired them for it. I would lower the water and not feed layer feed and offer oyster shell free choice. The chicks will not eat the oyster shell until the reach POL. I feed my whole flock starter/grower and offer oyster shell free choice as when I get a broody and let her hatch out some chick they will grow up with everyone else. Momma should protect them. Have a brooder on standby just in case for the first few weeks.
     
  3. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    3,382
    118
    208
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    And welcome to BYC
     
  4. andrew4661

    andrew4661 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Oct 13, 2012
    Thank you very much Turtle Power Trav for the speedy and helpful response. I will set up the water so the little ones can get to it and change the feed to starter/grower for the whole flock. Thanks for the info on the oyster shells, I'll make sure they have a shell free feed until they are older. I'll set up the brooder just in case also.

    Thanks again, I'll put some pics up of the little ones soon hopefully.
     
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,519
    70
    201
    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    I would hold off on the oyster shell. The babies don't need it and the extra calcium can harm their systems. The hens won't lay eggs again until the babies are 6-8 weeks old anyway, so no one really needs the calcium. Just put the food and water where the babies can get it and just let the Mamas raise their babies. I have 2 hens that love to share a nest and are still raising their last batch of 5 chicks. They share all the mothering duties. Your chicks will be fine and no one else in the flock will mess with them. You're gonna love this!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. andrew4661

    andrew4661 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Oct 13, 2012
    Thanks for the great advice and lovely photo's

    here is charcoal and her little one. we couldn't get a picture of her other baby, its hiding under her other wing.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,519
    70
    201
    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    She's gonna do such a great job!
     
  8. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    3,382
    118
    208
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    The chicks won't show any interest in the oyster shell. One, the pieces are too big, and my girls have had access since week 16 but did not start eating it until after their first egg. Now if it was layer feed then yes that would be a concern. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by