Chicks under broody. I need help.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GoChick, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. GoChick

    GoChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2010
    So, long story short, I have a broody Australorp who was sitting on 11 eggs. Yesterday was day 16, and when I came back home all her eggs were gone. The culprit, I found out today, was my collie girl; I saw egg shells on her poop this afternoon.

    My poor broody wanted to keep sitting, so we bought her 6 chicks at the feed store. The chicks arrived at the feed store today, but they look like 2 or 3 days old. I put the chicks under her about three hours ago, and closed her nest with a cardboard so she wouldn't leave. The chicks were screaming while I put them under her, but as soon as they were under, they calmed down. I just went out to check, and everything is quiet. What should I do tomorrow? Take out the cardboard so the chicks can get food and water? They are inside a nest that in turn is inside a big dog carrier.

    What should I do?
    Thanks!

    By the way, I was posting the adventures and misadventures of my broody on this topic... https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6215365#p6215365
     
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:I'm not trying to be an alarmist at all but I'm going to share my recent experience with a broody hen. I had been incubating eggs and they were pipping at the same time one of my bantam, Cochin Frizzles was broody. She had been so for about three days. After the chicks dried off in the bator, I put the three under her and it appeared as though everyone was happy and getting along. HOWEVER, I heard loud peeping coming from the broody nest (aka: rabbit hutch) and she had fatally wounded two of the three. I've heard that hens can do that to their own babies too, but I am too traumatized to ever think it's a good idea again. It just wasn't worth saving a few bucks on the light bill not to have to run the heat lamp. If I were in your situation, I would take out the cardboard so she CAN leave if she wants to, you don't want her in there if she doesn't want to be there. I would get her a few more fertile eggs and let her sit. But that's just me.

    If it's working out and you're comfortable with it, that's another story. I would make sure that the mama and babies have access to water at ALL times (particularly after the first three days of life). Best wishes. Let us know how it works out!
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I had this fail once when I tried it during the day, and succeed once when I did it at night. Hopefully she will keep them under her for 24 hours or so, then take them out and show them eating and drinking. Best to let her do this at her own pace. I've let most of my mamas raise the chicks in with the flock; they have defended them well, and the flock has left them alone when mama stopped mothering around 4 or 5 weeks. You will read many places this is not a good idea, and I'm sure it has risks, but I sure like having mama integrate them into the flock.
     
  4. GoChick

    GoChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So far, so good!

    I opened the nest today so mamma and chicks can get to the water and feed, and I lifted mamma enough to see two of the fuzzbutts hiding underneath her.
    Went back there after one hour and one of the chicks was peeking from under her. so I know at least one is alive... I'm leaving them alone so mamma can sort things out by herself. they're in a dog crate, inside the run, so the flock can hear and see them but can't get to them.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
     
  5. CariLynn

    CariLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GoChick...I am a success story grafting babies to a foster hen! I had a blue Cochin hen really really want to sit eggs, unfortunately her's were not viable so we waited till it was about our bed time, gently removed the 3 eggs, and slipped 6 chicks under her. By morning I slipped down to the basement where I have her and the peeps in a giant dog crate and she took to all of them! That was 2 and a half weeks ago.

    I think, and I am new at this, if your hen is sitting on them, she hasn't gone after them, your going to be in the clear. Just leave her be to get use to having them and let her be a mama. I am glad to hear you found some babies to give her too.
     
  6. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  7. GoChick

    GoChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    Glad to report that my sweet little Turf the Australorp accepted all 6 chicks I "grafted" and now she's the proud Mamma of 2 BOs, 2 NHR and 2 Light Brahmas. Today she finally took them out, it was a hoot!!! We gave her bread pieces - a favorite - which she grabbed and threw to the little ones. She showed them grass and how to scratch for bugs under leaves, perfect little momma!!!
     
  8. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    Glad to report that my sweet little Turf the Australorp accepted all 6 chicks I "grafted" and now she's the proud Mamma of 2 BOs, 2 NHR and 2 Light Brahmas. Today she finally took them out, it was a hoot!!! We gave her bread pieces - a favorite - which she grabbed and threw to the little ones. She showed them grass and how to scratch for bugs under leaves, perfect little momma!!!

    Great news!! That's wonderful!
     
  9. Kindred Family Farm

    Kindred Family Farm New Egg

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    Reading thru your post looks like all went well...I have been hatching all my eggs under hens seems to work out better...esp if you use an astraloupe or buff orp hen. I also have game fowl hens that once they went brood they were almost imposs to stop... 3 days in a cage to stop that problem:D
     
  10. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Quote:I'm not trying to be an alarmist at all but I'm going to share my recent experience with a broody hen. I had been incubating eggs and they were pipping at the same time one of my bantam, Cochin Frizzles was broody. She had been so for about three days. After the chicks dried off in the bator, I put the three under her and it appeared as though everyone was happy and getting along. HOWEVER, I heard loud peeping coming from the broody nest (aka: rabbit hutch) and she had fatally wounded two of the three. I've heard that hens can do that to their own babies too, but I am too traumatized to ever think it's a good idea again. It just wasn't worth saving a few bucks on the light bill not to have to run the heat lamp. If I were in your situation, I would take out the cardboard so she CAN leave if she wants to, you don't want her in there if she doesn't want to be there. I would get her a few more fertile eggs and let her sit. But that's just me.

    If it's working out and you're comfortable with it, that's another story. I would make sure that the mama and babies have access to water at ALL times (particularly after the first three days of life). Best wishes. Let us know how it works out!

    I have read that a hen should be broody for at least a couple of weeks before you attempt an "adoption" of chicks to a sitting hen. 3 days broody was not enough time for her hormones to have prepared her for new chicks, in my opinion. Basically, she knew her eggs shouldn't have hatched yet, in a sense. Next time (if you allow a next time) I would let her sit for at least 2 weeks before attemting putting chicks under her.
     

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