Broody's 14 eggs - hatching today - Should I let her raise the chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kwale86, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. kwale86

    kwale86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    I live in Northeast TX and have a 10 month old broody Brahma that has been sitting on 14 eggs. They started hatching today and my question is whether I should take them from her and put them inside in a brooder or let her try to raise them. If it were spring or summer and nice weather I would have no question and let her raise them. But since it is November and I do not have a good coop, I am hesitant to leave them outside. I have her inside a wire cage with hay bedding and an upside down plastic tub over her and the eggs. It is somewhat protected from the weather but im sure gets cold at night too. We have been having upper 40's and lower 50's at night lately.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  2. champer

    champer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll be interested in responses you get as I just got some eggs for my broody to sit on. My broody has raised 2 clutches over the spring and summer and from what I've seen, I think the chicks will be fine with Mom if they able to get out of wind and rain. Good luck!
     
  3. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can let her raised them, but expect more losses than if you brood them yourself. It would be wise to confine her and the chicks away from other birds for the first few weeks. If she seems to lose interest in them, then take away to the inside brooder.
     
  4. kwale86

    kwale86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    Only 1 has hatched so far and she seems to be doing fine with it. She is in a cage all by herself and is semi-protected from the weather. Do I need to put chick starter in for the chicks or does she have a way of feeding them?
     
  5. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    You may need chick starter if you keep them in the cage. If you have a place for them to free range, in Texas, I suppose that would be different. You probably already know they can go a few days without food. But I usually go ahead and put some feed in for them..along with water, in a waterer that they can't drown in. [​IMG]
     
  6. kwale86

    kwale86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Sulphur Springs, TX
    2 out of 14 hatched now. How long before the rest should start? None of the rested have even started yet - and I'm sure there will be a few "Duds" out of 14.
     
  7. kwale86

    kwale86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    I checked last night another one had started pipping - will see when I get home this evening if there are any more.
     
  8. baustin

    baustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Inyokern
    I'm sticking my nose in but wanted to add a comment. I live in the high desert in CA and it is now cold. My Wyandott hen went broody and I slipped three bantam eggs under. Guess she was surprised when they hatched and were so small. She hatched two of them and they were born Oct. 18. She is in a seperate pen inside the main pen, with food and water for both her and the little ones and she's doing fine with night time temps going down to freezing and a little below. She's well protected and the little ones are very active and a riot to watch. They're Old English Game Lavenders although there is a silkie in there somewhere as one has feathers on it's feet.
     
  9. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After a few days, she may loose interest in sitting on the rest of the eggs if they haven't hatched and leave the nest with the babies that have already hatched. If you want her to stay and finish the rest of the eggs, (assuming they are going to hatch and are just running behind schedule), you can take her babies away and brood them so she'll stay on the remaining eggs. Then in a couple of days when the rest have finished hatching, you can sneek the first babies back under her at night. Otherwise, if she may give up on the other eggs and they'll go cold and die. I learned this lesson when I had a large clutch of eggs under my broody. Afterwards I broke open the unhatched ones that were left cold in the nest and they were fully developed. They probably would have hatched if she had just stayed on them another day.

    She will try to take care of them but remember the more chicks she has, the harder it will be for her to protect and keep track of and you could loose some. This is just the way it goes sometimes. She'll take them out for the day to teach them to scratch for food and and one will wander. Then head back to the coop in the evening and not even realize it she's missing any. I guess chickens aren't good at math. [​IMG] I've spent many dark nights with flashlights looking for lost chicks.

    Oh, and I'm in Ohio and I have a broody that hatched out in early October and she's kept them warm under her for 6 weeks. We've had several frosty nights, but she brings them into the coop at night and they all get into a nest box together. They're fine. When they were little fuzzies, she'd take them outside and they would run under her if they were cold and she would warm them up. Then they'd take off exploring some more.

    Lisa
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  10. kwale86

    kwale86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Sulphur Springs, TX
    Thanks - I always go back to the analogy that all animals were in the wild before being domesticated, so they will somehow manage without human involvement. That being said, I really doubt that hens normally would have hatched in November in their wild habitat.
     

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