Chickens raising other chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rachel'sFlock, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. I am working on my third batch of new chicks, since I began my life as a Flock Mistress.
    The first year I brooded week-olds, and taught them everything, myself.
    The second year, I brooded 8 more, and kept them separated from the group until they were about 10 weeks old.
    The first batch had a harder time coming to grips with new concepts like where to lay eggs and is it safe to go outside.
    It occurs to me, as I am about to have a hatch (8 days), the second batch had such an easier time of learning everything, because they had other hens to show them where to go and what to do.
    I am leaving the broody and her eggs in the general population, because she is fierce, and because it makes more sense to have them grow up as part of the flock, and learn how to do everything from other chickens, than to try to get everyone to acclimate after the fact.
    Seems my older birds do a much better job teaching young chickens to be good chickens than I ever did.
    Just an observation from my coop to yours.
    Brightest Blessings!
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Yep, I always trust a good broody more than myself.

    Plus they cut back the feed bill (unless you don't pasture/free range your girls) and they also raise the chicks to be much hardier. People with brooders have chicks under constant heat, and thus the chicks are weaker/unable to truly live in a cool climate, while chicks under hens are, about half the time, out in the climate they'll be living in for the rest of their lives, so they get used to it pretty early on. [​IMG]
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I don't incubate, so I either buy from someone who does or when one goes broody I let her handle it. To be honest, letting the hen do all the work just makes sense to me. I barely have enough time to do most of the things I need to, let alone having chicks in a brooder. Then having to wait til they're big enough to integrate.
    I think you're right in that other chickens, notably the mama, show them the ropes. I've seen my hen with chicks go after a goat that was too curious, so I know she can handle the other chickens!

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