Brooding hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by punkgirrl, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. punkgirrl

    punkgirrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2008
    I have a small flock of 5. 4 hens and one rooster. 2 hens came from the feed store and the other I hatched out of my incubator. Well all have been well for a while now(about 2 years). So about 3 days ago one of my hens started laying on some eggs. Is this going broody? And If so well her and her babes be able to stay in the hen house with the rest of the flow or will they be killed? I hen house and run are connected. If she is going to have babies I have to get reading.
    Any feedback welcome [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Does she growl or peck at you if you try to reach under her? If you remove her from the nest does she go flat like a pancake and start clucking like crazy before heading straight back to the nest?

    I let the broody raise chicks in the coop with the rest of the flock because for me it's the simplest way. Doesn't work for everyone.

    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  3. punkgirrl

    punkgirrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2008
    She will try to get you if you try to get the eggs from under her. I have not taken her off the eggs so I am not sure how she would react. I have not seen her down eating in a few days. But I don't watch her all day so I am not sure if she is or not. But she is the head chicken. She seems to be higher than the rooster. So will she be able to keep the babies safe from the rest of the flock?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I also let broodies raise the chicks in with the rest of the flock. She protects them for a few weeks, til she is through with mothering, then the others are used to the chicks -- if all goes well, which it has for me so far, several times. I have some two week olds and some two month olds running around in my flock at present. Really, if her instincts are good, you don't have to do anything with a broody who is in with the flock -- except check eggs daily, as she will steal eggs and others will lay their egg in her nest. Mark her eggs to be hatched with a Sharpie and check daily.

    And don't be intimidated when she doesn't want you to reach under her. Wear insulated gloves or just hold one hand alongside her head/neck and reach under with the other. After a few times she will be used to your doing this and it will not freak her out.

    Sometimes she will return to the wrong nest. I think usually another hen is sitting on her eggs at least part of the time when this happens. Just put her back where she belongs. Eggs can be left uncovered for quite a while and still hatch.

    Safer, of course, is a separate small coop or pen inside a larger coop for a setting hen -- but moving an already setting hen is not always successful.

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
     
  5. punkgirrl

    punkgirrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2008
    Quote:Oh I had no clue. She has been sitting for about 4 days. I can mark her eggs now.
    Oh my how exciting! I have a broody hen:D

    Now I have a question about the hen house. I have it up off the ground. It is about 4 feet off the ground. If she hatches babies will they fall to there death or will she keep them on the ramp to get up and down? The flock has never slept in the hen house(well not till the broody hen) But most of the flock sleeps in the run part of the pen on a branch I hung for them. Should this be a problem? Would I need to take it down to keep the mom from roosting so high?
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Someone else will have to answer your question about the chicks getting down out of the coop, since I don't have that experience. The coop that my chicks are hatched into is about a foot off the ground. There's a short ramp to go down and also steps. Some of the chickens simply jump down to the ground. I've found what the chicks do usually depends on what mama does. If she uses the ramp, they use the ramp; if she uses the steps, so do the chicks.

    Be aware that not being locked in a coop at night is dangerous for chickens. Due to their design, runs are not as safe as a well built coop. Removing the branch should encourage them to go to the roosts in the coop.
     

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