Broody Hen hatching eggs......HELP!!!!!!!

ncarper

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
28
0
22
South Central Oklahoma
I have broody hen that has been sitting on 12 eggs for last 21 days and the first one hatched this morning. Hoping for more. Hurray!!!! I currently have the hen, chick, nest and eggs in a small 1.5' w x 3' L x 2' h cage in the coop. This is my frst experience w/ hatching anything so I have a few questions. 1) how long should I keep the hen w/ chicks in the cage? 2) What should I feed them? If i feed them medicated will I need to keep them separate from the rest of the flock so my layers won't eat the medicated feed? What about a heat lamp for them or will their momma keep them warm? I just don't know what do now that chicks are actually hatching. I really didn't plan on this, the hen went broody and so I just let her at it. HELP!!!
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,554
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
First off, CONGRATS!!!!!!

I haven't done the broody thing yet, but I've been reading lots on it, just in case.

I'd leave her in with the chicks for a week at least. This will get the chicks steady on their feet. Feed them medicated chick starter, momma can eat it too, she's not laying right now anyway.

As for what to do with the rest of the flock, is there a way you can keep the food in the cage, with an opening just large enough for the babies? But you don't want the babies to eat layer food either, so I don't know on this one.

Momma will keep them warm, so no heat lamp needed.
 

NancyinAlaska

Songster
10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
267
6
121
Willow Alaska
TOO COOL!!
Just let them hatch and leave it alone!!!!
Let mama take care of them forever! She will protect them and keep the others away from them. She will keep them warm and safe! I had a broody with 8 chicks last year in the coop and pen with 25 other birds, hens and roos and had no problems.
As for feeding, I put the chick starter close to them and just don't worry about it. My food for the chickens is in a hanging feeder that chicks can't reach anyway.
 

Love my Critters!

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
820
5
151
Carlsbad, NM
Congrats! This is the best way to have baby chicks.
You do not need a lamp, momma will keep them plenty warm enough. Give the starter to the chicks, won't hurt if mom eats it. Leave them in the cage until all the eggs have hatched for at least 3-5 days so the chicks are nice and strong. Just make sure when you let them out of the cage, that the at dusk when mom beds down that she does it where the babies can get underneath her to stay warm for the night. I have had a few hens jump up to a nest box 2 feet off the ground to bed down for the night, but the babies couldn't get up there to them. Have fun! It will be so much fun watching mom show the chicks how to scratch and eat.
jumpy.gif
 

ncarper

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
28
0
22
South Central Oklahoma
Thanks for the info and support. After four of the chicks hatched our hen decided she no longer wanted to sit on the remaining eggs. I have them in the bator now, with hatch in processes. Once the chicks hatch from the bator can I introduce them to the hen with her other chicks and will she take care of them as well?
 

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