Broody and Babies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BerrytangleFarm, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    Our Australorp broody just hatched her clutch night before last. We didn't separate her from the others (I know, not what others recommend) so she brooded in a nest box. Things went just fine, she even tolerated the other Australorp laying an egg on her head for three weeks (silly bird!). She's been completely sweet and not responded violently to any intrusion, just growls and fluffs up.

    I moved her and the babies to the coop floor yesterday morning and they seem to be doing just fine. All 5 babies are occasionally out and exploring, and there's chick food and water nearby, as well as hen food in a bowl only Mom can get to.

    There is a 1.5 food board separating them from the rest of the coop, though obviously not impenetrable since I just caught another hen in the chick food. Babies can't get out, though. It's about a 4x1.5 ft. enclosure.

    Should I leave the enclosure up and maybe make it more impenetrable or remove the boards and let mom care for the babies? She's been just great with the babies so far, but I'm wondering if she needs to stretch her legs a bit.

    I know it's not an ideal situation, I never really meant this to be a project. We just gave her some eggs to see if she could hatch them, being only 9-months-old herself. I'll do what i can for some safety, but I always meant for mom to do the job raising them.

    Ideas?
     
  2. austinandkara

    austinandkara Out Of The Brooder

    I would just let the mother do the raising. We never separate our hens when they have chicks and the other adult chickens never dare to bother the momma hens. The mom hen will eventually get out of her broody phase and she will rejoin the flock (at least this has been my experience). We let our chickens free range during the day and the mom and her chicks would be off by themselves but once the mom is out of her broody phase she starts going off with the rest of the adults.
     
  3. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    Well, mom just decided it was time. I saw she had gotten outside the coop, thankfully, because she was then separated from the babies who couldn't get to find her and she seemed to have trouble finding her way back to them. I took the boards down and she promptly dug herself a whole in the floor's straw and sat, herding the babies to her. So I put the chick food and water out under the boxes and let them be.
     

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