Bantam hen to hatch and raise large breed chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chameleon, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a bantam hen that's all alone (long story) and I'd like to get her some company. But I also really want to get laying hens and don't have space right now to keep two flocks seperately. She goes broody very often, so I thought I could keep everyone happy and avoid integration issues but just buying her some fertilised eggs from the breeds I want and let her raise them.

    Will they be fine together once the chicks are older or will they bully her? Are there any large laying breeds that might get along better with her than others?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I would get her some fertile eggs to hatch, but I wouldn't give her more than half a dozen or so. I have had a bantam hatch standard eggs and they all got along just fine after the chicks grew up. It was funny watching them try to crawl under her as they got bigger.
     
  3. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I use bantams to do most of my broody hatching----regular full size chicken eggs. Never been a problem---so the next time she goes broody put under her what ever she can cover good. You can make a bowl shaped nest and it will help to cover more with no worried of eggs rolling out the nest.
     
  4. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, I was hoping it would be ok [​IMG] She's been living wild with only a rooster for company for such a long time that she is very agressive towards other chickens. The rooster was killed by a dog this week. I thought giving her eggs to hatch would be the least stressful way to integrate her into a flock.
     
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    She probably want integrate into the flock and if you penned her with the flock when she goes broody----there will be a lot of fighting. If she hatches in the "wild" you will probably loose your chicks she hatches and/or she will keep the chicks that live away from the others as long as she can.
     
  6. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is no flock at the moment. I meant instead of getting other chickens and trying to integrate them all, I would just get her some eggs to hatch. That way she can raise her own flock without having integration issues.

    Sorry, it's actually quite a long story. She used to belong to my neighbor, but they don't like her and don't take care of her. She was living wild with the rooster when I noticed that her chicks kept disappearing. They were always being eaten by wildlife within a day or two of hatching. 4 months ago I rescued 3 of her chicks and built them a coop and covered run. A couple of months later I noticed she was sitting on eggs again. We had a few days of really heavy rain and she was getting soaked so I moved her nest into a section of the coop I fenced off for her. All her eggs hatched and the chicks were thriving, but she was bullying the older chicks quite badly. I was letting the older chicks free range during the day so it wasn't a problem. But I'm going away soon and there will be no-one to give them all the care they need while I'm away. So I sold all the chicks and let her back out with the roo. I wanted to get some laying hens in the coop and build a tractor for her to nest in whenever she goes broody. But now, just before we're about to go away, the neighbors dog killed the rooster, leaving her completely alone.

    I really want to do something for her and that's why I had the idea to get her eggs to hatch instead of buying point of lay hens that she won't get on with. That way I get my layers and she gets a flock (one that she hatched and raised herself). Hopefully a win/win if it works out.

    But I'm also open to any other ideas. That was just the best I could think of so far.
     
  7. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    That will work, I feel. If she hatches the eggs in the wild, you might loose a lot of the chicks to predators. If she roost in the tree's at night---the weaker chicks that can not fly up to her will have to stay on the dirt and can get easily picked up by a predator as well as to cold and die. Now if you put them in a covered pen you will stand a better chance, but even with that I have had to pick up the weaker after dark and put them on the roost where she is until they can get up there on their own. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  8. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, yes I'll keep them in the covered run. The run is completely predator proofed and there is a raised coop inside the run, with a ramp that even the smallest bantam chicks could get up and down easily so they should be safe. Once they're big enough to be reasonably safe from smaller predators I'll let them free range under supervision, but still lock them up when I'm not around and at night.
     
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