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Caring for a Broody w/ Chicks...Help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hokankai, May 21, 2011.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    I have a first time broody BO that now has NINE baby chicks under her! 2 she hatched herself (EEs) and 6 fosters (2 EEs, 2 Golden Comets, 1 BSL, 1 RIR, 1 Speckled Sussex)[​IMG].

    Anyway, I put food and water in there for them but I keep finding it knocked over, filled with shavings, or just a big mess in general. Is there a way to prevent this from happening? She's currently being housed in a 2x4 pen inside the coop with a nest, and a chick feeder/waterer on top of a paver block. She keeps trying to teach them how to scratch but just end up making a big mess on everything else! haha

    Also, how should I go about cleaning the broody pen? How often? And should I move them to the 4x4 pen we have instead?

    Here's a pic of the pen before I replaced the bowls with chick feeder/waterers and added "chick bumpers" to keep them inside the pen [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Mama and some brood pics
    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  2. CaliBlueChicken

    CaliBlueChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a waterer that I can set up on a brick or something like this... http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Feed-and-Water-Supplies/Chick-Waterer-Plastic-1-quart-p299.aspx and then I put marbles or rocks in the trough part so the babies didn't drown... you might want to fill your waterer with some stones or marbles so that they don't fall in. I put enough in so that they could just stick thier beaks in between the marbles to get water. Or you could figure out a feeder and waterer that can hang. As for cleaning.. I can't remember how many times I cleaned mine, but you don't want it to stay dirty... it felt like I just kept cleaning. Probably once a day. Use your best judgement.
     
  3. CaliBlueChicken

    CaliBlueChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Oh cute picutres btw [​IMG]
     
  4. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Yeah I have one of those waters and it's even up off the bedding on a paver, but mom keeps kicking bedding into it [​IMG]. Any way I can prevent that without making the water inaccessible to the babies?
     
  5. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    *bump* any other suggestions? How do you make food and water available to both mama and babies without the food getting knocked over and the water filled with shavings? [​IMG]
     
  6. CaliBlueChicken

    CaliBlueChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SF Bay Area
    Hmmm, well... I am not sure. I do know that mine were messy too and the waterer and food were not always all nice and neat. I think as long as you check on it AT LEAST once a day and tidy it up they will be fine. I had mine in the kitchen so every time I went in there I would just change out the water. Maybe someone else has a better idea. Take care [​IMG]
     
  7. eggbuster

    eggbuster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2010
    Make a chick creep feeder in the coop. My broody and chicks are not separated from the main flock at all. Make a little mesh cage with openings that only the chicks can get into and place it over their feed and water. They will find it and use it. I place mine near the nest where they sleep.
     
  8. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    I had my silkie in a large dog kennel for a week before i put her back into the coop with everyone else. I didn't clean it since i let her out twice a day and she did her business outside most of the time and the babies didn't make to much of a mess since there where only 2 babies. I did just have to clean out the water a few times a day or there would be no water just wet shavings.
     
  9. vnploveschickens

    vnploveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your chicks hatched about the same time as my chicks. Can you let them out of the cage with your broody hen ?

    Just this morning, my hen has them out of the nest drawer, roaming around the coop, teaching them to scratch. Its so cute to watch.
    The chicks are just much more active now. I aso had 9 chicks hatched, but sadly, 1 buff orpington chick died on Saturday.

    My Luna will have them outside in the next couple of days. I'll take and post a picture for you to see.

    Good luck to you. The broody hen mamas move things along quite quickly, so don't panic!

    Val

    Like last year, we have the broody hens/chicks in the coop. None of the other chickens bother them.

    [​IMG]

    Surprise, Luna has them outside already!! [​IMG]
    The 1st 2 chicks hatched Tues 5/17 afternoon. The last hatched Thurs 5/19 afternoon. 3 under Luna, 6 in incubator. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Luna does take good care of her chicks. We will be watching them though. They should sleep really good tonite !

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  10. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    How cute! Molly started taking hers out yesterday when I let the other girls out. Problem was she started dust bathing and forgot about the babies while they started to get cold so I had to put everybody back inside to snap her out of it.

    I got home from work today and found her out in the run on top of the babies, so who knows how long they'd been out there! Let them roam for a bit and she was showing them yummy things to eat. My itty bitty BSL chick started to get cold though and was crying pretty loud so I decided to put them back again. She's great about sitting on them right away when they're inside, but outside she gets a little...distracted [​IMG]. I think I'm going to keep them penned up and then just open the pen slightly during the day so they can wander the coop...but I'm not sure the chicks can get back in from the run so I'm going to remove the little "step" I added by the pop door. It just hasn't warmed up or dried out, but tomorrow is supposed to be in the high 60s so we'll see...

    I SOLVED the feed problem! I got a bungee cord and put it around the feeder so there's no way she can knock it over. I also covered the feeder holes about 1/3 of the way with cardboard so she can't bill it all out and waste it. It's working FANTASTICALLY!

    Also great news, the other hens couldn't care less about the chicks. She had one run in with our bratty GLW, but one peck sent Molly flogging her face until she ran across the yard, LOL.

    Here are pics from today [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

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