Broody Hen Baby Blanche is doing great ( pics included)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by san415, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. san415

    san415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Silkie hen named Baby Blanche who has been broody for most of the time since November. Poor thing really wants to have a family. I broke her of being broody a couple of times but she reverts to broody after a couple of weeks each time.

    So I had a friend from work bring me in 4 eggs, as he has a little rooster. I went out at night and put them under Blanche. She sat very tight. I candled them and they sure looked like duds to me? But we stuck it out for the whole 21 days. I candled them a few times, tried to talk my self into believing they were fertile. But they were not.

    So I made up the chicken "prison" for her to raise a couple of chicks in anyway. I put her and the dud eggs in the "prison" and even though when she is laying she will happily lay her eggs in there, raising chicks in prison didn't seem like a good idea to her. She was frantic to get out and tried for several hours. Leaving the eggs to chill. I put her in the nest area of the prison a few times, but she would hop off the nest and just try frantically to get out. One of the times I had the roof open she did get out and ran as fast as she could back into the main coop. Though her nest box had new bedding in it and no eggs she went right to it and stayed put. So I slipped 1 of the dud eggs under her.

    I was now praying she would stay broody, because yes I drove 40 miles to get two chicks and they were in the house by my wood burner keeping warm. I really didn't want to raise them inside, the whole thing was to let Blanche have some chicks to raise. But yes she stayed on the nest.

    So I got busy and made a partition for to keep her and the chicks safe from one of my big hens who insists on laying her eggs in Blanches nest box. If Blanche wont hop out for Millie, Millie just sits on Blanche and lays them on top of Blanche. Then Blanche pulls the eggs under her to add to her clutch of eggs. I didn't think it was a good idea for the chicks to be in Millie's way. Millie is my some what mean hen. By 10pm I was done with the partition.

    I came on here for advice on the proper time to slip the chicks under Blanche. Got a good tip from jen5680 to do it at any time they are sleeping. So at about midnight I go out in the dark with the chicks wrapped in a warm towel, using no flash light only light was from the yard lights on the garage, yet all the hens seemed to wake up. Blanche even tried to peck my a bit as I tried to snug the chicks under her. It has bee very cold here in Michigan. So I was so worried I would wake up to froze or murdered chicks.But no Blanche did just fine.

    THe next day Blanche didn't seem like she was wanting to feed them though. I guess if they were 1 day olds that would be fine. But they were 4 days old. So I gently removed them in the afternoon and put them by the food and water. They ate and drank. Blanche was up out of the nest and clucking and upset, going back and forth in the little area that is now their home. She settled on leaving the nest box and covered them up by the food and water. The next day she was on top of both chicks and the food dish. So I am very proud of her. I should point out the temps here range from low 20s to mid 30s right now, YIKES! And my coop has a light but no heat. But as I said she is doing fine. We also now have a snow and ice storm. Nice.

    So far every thing is working out great for Blanche and though less than a year old, she seems like a devoted Mother Hen. I will post pictures in the post right under this one.
     
  2. san415

    san415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    This is what it looks like today, we need spring to get here in Michigan, so sick of this stuff. Ice and wet snow. Winter storm watch, and yet the chicks are fine in the coop with their adopted Mom.

    [​IMG]
    Coop in the background and chicken "prison" in the foreground. Yesterday all of my other hens ( 5) laid their eggs in the prison instead of the nest boxes that they can still get to. I guess if they can't lay eggs in the nest box Baby Blanche is broody in they don't want to use what has been the favored nest box in the coop. No that nest box stays empty and now the prison is a favored spot.

    [​IMG]
    I don't know how well you can see this, but its so cold here that I am taking the pictures very fast and getting the nest bow lid back down. The area sectioned off for Blanche and the 2 chicks is half the nest boxes and about 6 inches of the floor space in front of those nest boxes. The next picture shows the same area. I did remove the oyster shell, I thought Blanche might want some. But I guess till she is laying again she doesn't need it.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I got a rectangle piece of hardware cloth and stapled it to some wood trim pieces. The bottom piece of wood is a 2x4 to keep it weighted down to the floor. The thing has hooks and eyes to keep it where it needs to be to keep chicks in and curious hens out.

    [​IMG]
    Here is one that I managed to get a chick in the picture. They are out for just a few seconds and then back under Mom. The dark one was out for a second also but the shot of her is to blury.
     
  3. Raen

    Raen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri
    Wow, great set-up you've got there! They're adorable!
     
  4. gutfiddle

    gutfiddle Out Of The Brooder

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    incredible coop/run/prison you have, I am jealous! but you can keep that cold white stuff;)
     
  5. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Your coop and run is gorgeous!! [​IMG] Glad your broody is doing good!! [​IMG]
     
  6. san415

    san415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes well its sad to see snow this late, but worse is that its so cold ...low 20s right now. Yuk! Plus the weather man says highs this week of only mid 30s. I am so ready for warm spring weather.
     
  7. SLWyandotte

    SLWyandotte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]:lau my DW just walked past the comp and saw the 4th pic. she ask why you had a skunk in your chicken coop. lol pretty silky though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  8. san415

    san415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes its hard to get a good picture of a black chicken who, 1. doesn't hold still and 2. who has a light colored chick or area by it that the camera is setting its light meter to. I will try to get some better pictures this week end when I have more time.
     
  9. f8thnjc

    f8thnjc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those chickens got it made in that coop. I hope they realize it! Cute baby.[​IMG]
     
  10. san415

    san415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is so cold out here in Michigan, and the weather people are calling for at least one more week of bitter cold. But Baby Blanche is still doing great with the chicks. I have to change the water out twice a day due to it being frozen. And every day it seems she is in a different nest box in their little section, so she must move about with them while I am at work. They are eating about a cup of chick starter. Thats all three, Mom and both chicks eat about a cup total, I hope they are eating enough. It was so cold today that I left the light in the coop on, its still on too, I will shut it off when I close the pop door. I don't know if that helps much with the pop door open? Oh well, it makes me feel better.
     

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