Broody Hen for Hatching, but want to raise the chicks myself... Should I?

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by silkejess, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. silkejess

    silkejess New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2013
    I'm interested to see, as this is my first hatch, if people have done this method?

    I have a silkie and she's been sitting on the eggs for 19 days now, and they are starting to pip. My original ideal was to get her to hatch them so I wouldn't need an incubator and then I can take the chicks from her and raise them myself, therefore getting some really lovely friendly chickens for our family. I'm hatching Rhode Island Reds.

    I have a brooder box all ready inside and plan to have them in the garage (with a heat source of course), and have food and water all ready.

    Our cage that our 2 silkies are in isn't very chick proof, but it houses the older chickens ok because they are a lot bigger obviously! But would the chickens be better off with Mummy Hen? Would they be friendly? Our silkies aren't very interested in us at all much to my daughters disappointment.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    There is evidence that chicks raised by a hen are healthier and grow out faster. They learn foraging and probably self defense skills. Certainly they benefit from picking up mama's antibodies from her poop. You'd also be bucking the mama's instinct to raise her chicks, and might have a rather upset mama on your hands, searching for her chicks. Maybe you could work on taming the chicks without removing them from the mama?
     
  3. Quailsong

    Quailsong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have access to a GOOD broody mama then I would let her raise the chicks herself. However, there's no problem with taming the chicks on the side. The best way is through treats, every main interaction the first few weeks should be related to giving treats.

    If mama says the large non-fluffy chicken (you) is a treat provider, then it's official; the chicks will associate you with the good things.

    If you try to pull them away from mama, they may remember that & if some become broody mamas of their own one day - they may have a few sour memories to tell their offspring...
     

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