Chicks reared by hen v. brooded "artificially"

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ralleia, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Hen-reared is preferred

    0 vote(s)
  2. Fresh start (break any cycle of pests) is better

    0 vote(s)
  3. Other (please explain)

    0 vote(s)
  1. ralleia

    ralleia Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Ever since we established our first batch of hens about 10 years ago, I have allowed a broody to rear all the chicks. We would order chicks to arrive around the time that a broody's eggs would hatch and then have her adopt the whole batch. It has worked out well and is significantly less work.

    Now we are thinking of making a clean start and replacing our whole flock without a broody in the middle. The reason I am considering the fresh start is that I am concerned that some of the hens may have scaly leg mites or potentially other issues, which we have been unable to satisfactorily control despite dipping and other measures.

    I have read along the way that chicks reared by a hen are calmer and better-adjusted than those not raised by a hen. Though our experience suggests that might be true, we haven't enough comparisons to really validate the statement.

    What is the experience of other chicken enthusiasts?

    We'd like to make a clean start, but if having a hen mother is better, then we'll do that.
  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Crowing

    Oct 23, 2014
    I have done both also, and also prefer to have the hen raise the chicks because it is less work and just seeing how it works I think all chicks need a (chicken) mom.

    Besides that, out of the different breeds not raised by a hen, I think they can turn out the same as adults raised either way. It may depend on the breed and how much time you spend with them.

    I have noticed a difference between chicks that are shipped in the mail and ones that are not. The shipped chicks took a lot of time to trust us, and ones that were hatched at home, or picked up at a hatchery seemed to better adjust and healthier. So, my only suggestion is to not get chicks that are shipped in the mail.

    This is all from my experience.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014

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