Chicken laying on 12 eggs.

blakeee

Songster
Dec 31, 2016
160
91
111
Australia
Hi,
So my chicken (Bailey) has been laying on 12 eggs that are due to hatch (if any actually hatch) around the 10th of March.
She disappeared and I found her about a week later laying on eggs in our overgrown garden. Wouldn't have let her have chicks otherwise but couldn't bare to take them off her and essentially kill them when they were already foetuses.

My question is since she's not in an enclosure or anything just in the yard, do I need to provide any food or will she find that for them herself? Keeping in mind she has full exposure to the whole yard.
Thank you in advance! :D
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,507
5,587
522
NW Oregon
Is she safe in the general yard? Do you have predators about?

If you are deep in the middle of the suburbs, with no sight of hawks and raccoons and rodents and snakes, and what not, then she should be fine in the open as long as the weather isn't too wicked. I see you are in Australia, so your March is my September...which may be very nice weather, warm, not too rainy, not too hot. So, the elements may not be much of an issue yet.

Hens don't eat much during brooding, but still should some. It would help her overall health if she did have a bowl of chick start and some water nearby so that when she gets up and stretches, generally once a day, she doesn't have to forage unless your garden is a cornucopia of chicken food stuff.

However, most hens are very vulnerable in the open yard. My greatest concern is predators both now and especially when the little peeps hatch.

LofMc
 

blakeee

Songster
Dec 31, 2016
160
91
111
Australia
I am extremely fortunate to have two fantastic dogs that protect all of my animals. I live on a farm and the only predators around are foxes and eagles however the eagles can't access my yard as there are too many trees around. What would Bailey feed her chicks if I didn't provide any food?
Is she safe in the general yard? Do you have predators about?

If you are deep in the middle of the suburbs, with no sight of hawks and raccoons and rodents and snakes, and what not, then she should be fine in the open as long as the weather isn't too wicked. I see you are in Australia, so your March is my September...which may be very nice weather, warm, not too rainy, not too hot. So, the elements may not be much of an issue yet.

Hens don't eat much during brooding, but still should some. It would help her overall health if she did have a bowl of chick start and some water nearby so that when she gets up and stretches, generally once a day, she doesn't have to forage unless your garden is a cornucopia of chicken food stuff.

However, most hens are very vulnerable in the open yard. My greatest concern is predators both now and especially when the little peeps hatch.

LofMc
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,507
5,587
522
NW Oregon
I am extremely fortunate to have two fantastic dogs that protect all of my animals. I live on a farm and the only predators around are foxes and eagles however the eagles can't access my yard as there are too many trees around. What would Bailey feed her chicks if I didn't provide any food?


Same stuff she is eating. Momma forages and bits tidbits for the chicks. If you are on a farm and have cattle, the gourmet meal is following the cows and wading into the paddies...momma will call her babes for dinner!

LofMc
 

blakeee

Songster
Dec 31, 2016
160
91
111
Australia
Oh wow I wasn't aware that little chicks can eat what mumma eats. I'll have to open the gate so they can go out and eat the poop.
Same stuff she is eating. Momma forages and bits tidbits for the chicks. If you are on a farm and have cattle, the gourmet meal is following the cows and wading into the paddies...momma will call her babes for dinner!

LofMc
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,507
5,587
522
NW Oregon
Oh wow I wasn't aware that little chicks can eat what mumma eats. I'll have to open the gate so they can go out and eat the poop.

They will be forever grateful. It actually is wonderful for their gut flora. Cow poop is golden elixir for chickens of all ages....and harbors all those nice grubs and bugs.

LofMc
 

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