Did my hen do this? How many chicks can a silkie brood?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LaynaDon95, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I'm not really sure where to post this so mods feel free to move it. I need response ASAP.

    Long story short, my silkie and cochin went broody on the same day 21 days ago. A few chicks hatched early. After some deaths, rain and a few very stressful days despite my best efforts, both hens left their eggs with the chicks they already had. I put them all in my incubator.
    Today is hatch day, so they are popping out like crazy. So far the silkie has accepted new arrivals willingly with no argument. I slipped a chick under the cochin last night and she took it great. Come morning she thought it had always been there. Then it got out of the tractor so I had my brother slip it back in. He said she took it right back and shooed it over to her other babies.
    He's not always great at reading animals, so I don't know how accurate that is. I came back a couple hours later and he was dead. His head was all bloody. I'm pretty sure she killed him. but now I have 4 chicks in the incubator, 2 eggs about to zip out, and 2 other eggs rocking! The silkie already has 3 chicks. She can't take 8 more!

    So my questions:
    #1: How many more chicks can the silkie take. They are all standard sized chicks. I live in texas and the weather is beginning to warm up, but we still have cold snaps now and again.

    #2: Should I risk trying to give some the the cochin? I really don't have a way to brood the "leftovers". I already have 4 brooders going! (those chicks are much to big to add day olds to.)

    What would you do? I'm kinda at a loss. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Do the broodies have access to each other? If so its possible the Cochins baby wandered over to the Silkie and she's the one that did the pecking. That's really the only other scenario I can think of besides the Cochin doing it herself. Which I think is unlikely if she'd already accepted it as hers.
    I don't think I'd give the Silkie anymore than five standard chicks, and that may be pushing it. They'll be fine when they're small, but she may have a hard time covering them when they a few weeks old. I'd try slipping a few under the Cochin again and checking them YOURSELF, since you stated your brother can't read animals well.
    If the Cochin doesn't take them, your only option will be to brood them yourself. Unless you have an unusually large Silkie hen. My Silkie hen is currently brooding 8 bantam chicks, if that gives you any sphere of reference. Good luck!
    Nikki
     
  3. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, the broodies are on opposite side of the yard. NO other animals have access to them. The cochin really had to be the one that did it, unless the other chicks did which is highly unlikely.

    As far as the silkie goes, that's about what I figured. :\ [​IMG]

    I think I'll try slipping 2 under the silkie tonight. That would possibly leave 6 for the cochin if the rest hatch out well. I'm considering putting them under her at dark tonight and then getting up at the crack of dawn to go check on her, before she even leaves the nest. I can wait and watch until I know how she's going to do.
    Do you think placing some eggs in her nest before the chicks might help ease her into it? Maybe that's just a silly idea, but she may take it better than all the sudden having 4-6 more chicks under her that she didn't have before.
    How many chicks could a standard sized cochin cover? My BO hen raised 5 I think for the first few days before I added 2 more. She did fine. I added a heat lamp because the 2 I gave her didn't accept her as mama and wouldn't go underneath her, but they did fit.
     
  4. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I gave them all to my silkie. She now has 10 babies. I have her in my brooder with a heat lamp. She loves them all and tries to fit them under her. She is the easiest broody EVER. I can just set a new chick in front of her and she immediately takes it on. I don't have to do any work to get her to take them.
     
  5. skookumchuck

    skookumchuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds great. I have 4 day old silkies that I bought just for broody hens, so it is good to hear they are good momma's
     
  6. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has been a great mom. She still tries to sit on all 10 babies. Only about 4 can fit under her well, but the rest still try. My cochin just doesn't compare. She's a great mom to the chicks she doesn't kill. [​IMG]
     

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