Black-star Seems To Be Going Broody---is It Possible?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by farmergirl96, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. farmergirl96

    farmergirl96 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    San Jose
    Hello all,
    Let me first say how great it is to be registered here, I'm excited!

    Last summer I let my bantams hatch eggs. It was a joint effort with about 6 hens involved in hatching and about 3 involved in taking care of the babies. I was impressed by the fact that no roosters or hens mistreated the chicks out of jealousy (in the case of a hen) or sheer disgustingness and cannibalism (in the case of a rooster). This year I am doing it again and they should hatch any second! (They were 'due' two days ago).

    I seem to have a black star that is broody. I never even knew large chickens did go broody. But there it is. It's been going on for about 3 days. I have been collecting the eggs from under her but she continues to persevere.

    So Now I'm Wondering
    Should I let her hatch chicks?

    My questions--if you think I should--are:
    a.) Wouldn't my large--I should say HUGE Rhode Island Red kill the chicks when he saw them?
    b.) Couldn't a jealous hen kill them also (it has happened to my brother before)
    c.) The nesting box is small and about 2 feet above the floor. When the babies fell out, I think they would be vulnerable to any bullying that 26 other large chickens inflicted on them.
    d.) Do you think my hen (Chadwick) will really hatch them all the way through? I was considering the possibility that she might kill and/or abandon them once hatched, or even before. Chickens are such strange creatures.

    I would love to hear all your responses--preferably as detailed as possible! [​IMG]

    --Hydrangea Turner

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Should you hatch...that is 100% up to you!

    a) Depends on your rooster. My 10.5lb wyandotte mix didn't mess with my broody black sexlink or her chicks.
    b) Depends on the flock and where you have them. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the hen too.
    c) My nest boxes are all ground level, but if mom does not defend, who knows?
    d) All hens are different.

    Not the answers you really wanted because there are so many variables!

    Good luck and welcome!!!
  3. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    My first hen to go broody this spring was a Black Star. She was an awesome mama. Now I have a cuckoo Marans with 5 2-week-old chicks and an EE sitting on six eggs, due to hatch next week. I have another broody Marans, but honestly, I have enough at the moment so we're taking eggs from under her. The only reason we're letting the EE sit is she is our favorite hen and we really want to see her be a mama. So yes, it's entirely possible. All of my adults are hatchery birds, so the thinking that hatchery birds and hybrids in particular don't go broody is false.

    If you want chicks, then let her try to hatch them. Here's what we do: we let them hatch in the nest boxes, then when it seems the hatch is done, we move them to a broody box on the floor of the coop. We only have one coop, so that's where everyone eats and roosts at night. We watch to see if the mama is going to be protective, which has not been a problem so far at all, but I suppose it depends on your hen. Our mamas peck the snot out of any chicken that gets too close to her babies, whether they intended to or not, so they stay pretty well away. We have 5 adult roosters that have never tried to mess with the babies. Again, it really depends on your flock. You have questions that cannot be answered until the situation arises. I would think that maybe if your flock doesn't free range or have a very large area in which to spend time, then the possibility of flock members harming the chicks would increase. My flock free ranges most days, so the mamas and babies are not messed with too much.

    As far as her abandoning them- it could happen. Just have a backup plan if it does happen after any have hatched.
  4. farmergirl96

    farmergirl96 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    San Jose
    Thanks so much for this advice.
    I think I might attempt to let her hatch. My coop is not that big at all, but I have a very large run that I let them into every morning. As for a back up plan, I do have bunny hutches that I use to house chicks in, and a mom would fit in them too.
    I'll keep you updated.
    --Hydrangea H. T.

  5. jtr

    jtr Chirping

    May 6, 2011
    no idea never had a broody but [​IMG]
  6. farmergirl96

    farmergirl96 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    San Jose
    Thanks for all the encouraging advice, I have decided to try to hatch them. I collected eggs from under my broody hen (Chadwick) yesterday and the day before, and today she was still broody but with no eggs under her! [​IMG] So I put all the eggs laid today (8) underneath her. Maybe since they're laid on the same day they'll hatch on the same day?!? My dad is going to build me a large nesting box for the ground so the chickies won't fall out when they hatch. I am very excited! I think Chadwick will be a great mom. She came close to death once so it's amazing that instead of dying she's bringing new lives into this world!
    My one problem is that I'll be leaving 4 days after they hatch. I hope all goes as planned!
    Thanks again for yalls input.

    --Hydrangea Hyacinthe Turner--

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