Broody hen and her chicks-

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Eckielady, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Eckielady

    Eckielady Chillin' With My Peeps

    345
    67
    86
    Feb 12, 2017
    East Tennessee
    We have two broody silkies coparenting 9 chicks. Youngest chick was born last night. Earliest was born on the 10th (Monday). They were never isolated from the group and even while broody one of the mamas stayed at the very top of the pecking order. They are walking around showing babies how to eat and drink in their raised coop. Will they come out into the run on their own?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,486
    3,880
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Yes, whenever Mama is ready. My broody hens typically kept the chicks in my 8’ x 12’ coop for two or three days before she takes them outside. Some go longer though. I keep food and water at floor level for the chicks.

    Once she takes them out, mine spend the rest of the day outside, she only brings them back in to sleep at night. They usually sleep on the floor, not in a low nest though it’s possible if you have low nests she’ll take them into that at night. I just let mine do what they want. They know better than I do.
     
  3. Eckielady

    Eckielady Chillin' With My Peeps

    345
    67
    86
    Feb 12, 2017
    East Tennessee

    I just worry about the ramp. The raised coop is about 3 feet off the ground. We'll only be gone for a few hours today though so if she brings them out (one of the mamas just came out but the babies stayed with mama2) we can make sure everyone makes it back in later. I'm hoping they wait until tomorrow because one of the chicks is not ready yet.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,537
    3,767
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    RR pretty much covers it. All I would add is to assess your coop entrance and the ramp, if there is one, with the limitations of new chicks in mind.

    The first three or four days, maybe five, they will not be able to hop up more than a couple inches from surface to surface. That's why a floor nest is best - so chicks don't get stranded outside of the nest, unable to get back under the broody for warmth.

    And the ramp should be as gradual as possible. I staple some rough fabric, like a terry towel, on the upper parts for traction for tiny, new feet.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,486
    3,880
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My main coop is on ground level, not elevated like my grow-out coop. It’s quite possible, instead of taking them back in at night to sleep, they keep the chicks outside, probably under the coop or the ramp. If you have to pick a broody hen up to put her and her chicks inside the coop, be careful. Chicks like to crawl up under the broody’s feathers and wings. I once killed a chick by picking a broody up. The chick was under a wing and I crushed it. You can pick the broody hen up, just be gentle and careful until you know there are no chicks in danger.

    Once they get outside they should be fine. If the broodies want to, they can take them under the ramp or coop if it rains. A lot of the time my broodies don’t even do that much, they keep the chicks out in the rain, though the chicks spend most of that time under the broody instead of running around. I trust my broody hens to take care of their chicks.
     
  6. Eckielady

    Eckielady Chillin' With My Peeps

    345
    67
    86
    Feb 12, 2017
    East Tennessee
    They're silkies. They always nest on the ground. They wanted nothing to do with the nesting box. Haha!!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,742
    9,242
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I too have a raised coop(~2'), low end of ramp is on a 16" high concrete block, and have had one broody that set/hatched in an isolated portable floor nest.
    She took them outside a few days after flock integration(~2 weeks old) and she did not get them all back inside the coop.
    It was a clustertangle!
    Finally had to take the portable nest out into the run and they all gathered there to be carried back inside.
    She did not take them back outside for a few more days, but no more problems after that first foray.
    Here's the story: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947046/broody-in-michigan-winter/110#post_14924878
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by