Broody hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by burdboy, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 broody hens, I put 2 chicks under one of them and 3 under the other, I went out this morning and one chick was dead and one other was being pecked. What did I do wrong can I fix it? I pulled the four chicks from the hens.
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put eggs under a broody hen not chiks. If the chicks aren't there's then they will peck them.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Not necessarily so. The most successful fostering of chicks to a broody happen when the broody has been setting for at least a couple of weeks, and when the chicks are still within the 2 day window of imprinting. The chicks must imprint to the hen, and the hen must imprint to the chicks. Some hens are very accepting of fostered chicks, and some are not. Some broody hens are very good at incubating but freak out and abandon the nest, or even kill the chicks once they start pipping. It all depends on the hen and the circumstances. When dealing with living animals, there is no one set answer.

    To OP: How long had the hens been broody (sitting on the nests day and night?) How old were the chicks?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I totally agree, with living animals there are no guarantees. About anything can happen. Many of us successfully give chicks to a broody hen, I failed once when I tried but normally it goes very well. Sometimes I give chicks to a broody hen straight out of the incubator and sometimes I add chicks out of the incubator to a hen that has just hatched chicks. It’s almost never a problem, but these are just-hatched chicks.

    Once I had a broody hen kill two chicks that she hatched and raise the other five without a problem. Just because they hatch the chicks themselves doesn’t mean everything will be great. Remember they are living animals.

    LG asks some important questions, especially how old are the chicks? Some broody hens will mother about anything but the younger the chicks the better your chances of success. What method did you use? What was your timeline, how long did they have the chicks before you saw problems?

    I personally do not like having two broody hens with chicks about the same age. I know sometimes multiple broody hens will work together to raise chicks. Sometimes they imprint on their own and ignore the other broody hen and her chicks. But I’ve had problems where the broody hens fight over the chicks or even the eggs in a nest when they start to internal pip. They destroyed half the eggs that time. I haven’t seen it myself but some people say they’ve had a broody hen attack and kill chicks under a different broody. Are you sure that’s not what happened to yours?

    It’s hard to guess what happened across the internet. If you can give us some more information we may be able to help you.
     

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