Broody Hens & Newly Hatched Chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Linda Stumph, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Linda Stumph

    Linda Stumph Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Hi,
    We have had our chickens since they were 3 days old. We are now having our first experience with broody hens and they are hatching their chicks. Not sure if we have an issue or not. We have 2 Bantam hens & 2 Bantam roosters. Both hens have been laying beautiful eggs. One of the hens just hatched 2 perfect, beautiful little chicks, they are about 1-1/2 week old. We removed her and her babies from the coop to the nursery. When we did that the other hen stopped laying eggs. The two hens hung out together constantly. Did she stop laying because we removed the other hen and her babies? Also, we thought the hen that stopped laying would be going broody by now. We're pretty sure her eggs have been fertilized, but we don't see anything happening. Could she be having another issue? One more question: What and when is the best time to let the mother hen & her chicks join the flock? Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

    Linda @ My Beautiful Ladies

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  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    I just leave the mother hen and her chicks with the main flock.........that way I don't have any problems re introducing them.

    There are chicks of all ages in my flock, also 3 mature roosters. There have never been any problems with leaving the chicks inside with the rest of the flock.

    Maybe you can put them back in now before the hen looses her place in the pecking order?
     
  3. Linda Stumph

    Linda Stumph Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Do you suggest putting them in at night as I have read in some publications? Also, the babies are so small and my flock is large and very active. I'm afraid they might get knocked around too much. What do you think? Should I put the hen in without her babies? Thank you for your advice.

    Linda from USA, Virginia
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Leave the babies with momma and put them all back in. I also let my broodies raise chicks in the flock. The momma watches out for them, the roosters are also protective in my experience. This way the chicks grow up as part of the flock and learn good flock manners. The only problem would be if you're already cramped for space, but if you have enough space everyone should be fine. I like to put up something for the babies to hide behind, like a piece of plywood against the wall, things like that.
     
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  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thats a great idea about the hiding place.

    I have a large oval basket with large weave in the wicker. I put this upside down in the coop, with the chicks food and water in there.

    The chicks can go in and out through the gaps as they like. They often go in there to have a quiet sleep. Also it keeps the adult chickens from eating all there delicious chick food!

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  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The adults eating chick food really isn't a problem. the problem here is chicks eating layer feed. I don't know what feeds you have available there, but here layer feed has double the calcium and the babies' bodies aren't able to handle that. I feed everyone an all-in-one, similar to flock raiser, and everyone can eat it.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    You can get away with having hen rear chicks while confined with flock but for more consistent results separating the hen is advised. Free-range the hen will be able to move her chicks away from others if she needs to and that can be very important since what can appear to be low intensity conflicts involving chicks or mother with other flock members can be bad news for chicks. I also have disease management concerns where mixing chicks with so many elders makes health management more difficult even when nutritional issues are taken into account.
     
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    It was a problem for me......because the chick food was more expensive that the layer feed, and all the chickens loved it and the poor chicks bowl was empty in minutes and nothing left the them lol.

    The chicks will prefer to eat the chick starter to the layer food anyway.....the small sizes of the grains make it easy to eat.......the layer pellets are too big to swallow easily without a lot of hard for pecking them apart first.

    I have always had layer pellets in the main coop......and all of the 100s of chicks were never harmed by eating some.
     

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