Does my Broody know what she's doing?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Auroradream26, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    My broody has been wonderfulfor the last 3 weeks. She sat tight day and night on her 4 eggs and now is day 20 and they're hatching. Of course, it's a grand 17° outside. They're in the main coop but in a dog crate with a box as a nest. I went out to check on her a bit ago and her newly hatched chick was laying next to her but not under her, cold and not moving. I brought the baby in and under a heat lamp, saved the little thing. I took it back out to my broody and she growled (but i think she was maybe growling at me). Then I took an empty shell which she obsessively tried to shove back I under her, ignoring the baby right next to her (which I had to put under her). Then a few minutes later she was sterling on a baby. I was there and heard it squeaking and got her foot off of it. Should I just give up on her and bring them in or let her go. She only has 4 eggs total. 2 of which hatched from BCM eggs and are both recessive white (wheaten). I really don't want to lose them but Idon'twant to take them from her if this is all normal. Stressing myself out here lol. She is a first time broody but my other two first time broodies didn't step on their new chicks and seemed to help them stay under them. Opinions?
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Since this is her first, she may not understand what's going on. I think it may be like other animals -even human, some make good mom's other's don't. And maybe instincts need to develop?

    I have no personal experience, but sounds like you need to watch very close and rescue any that are not being tended appropriately.

    Would like for experienced folks to opine and maybe a good idea to double post - another same issue thread under the hatching forum?

    Good luck, hope the chicks do well.
     
  3. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in a similar boat, with cold temps and a young broody. She did lose her first chick, it got too cold. I think it was a combination of bad nest design (by me, I moved her after the hatch) inexperienced hen, and very cold temps with no margin for error.

    We brought ours into my heated tack room, made her a smaller, better nest... She hatched the other two and both are doing well, momma is doing well.

    The tack room heater took the edge off the temps, but we also went ahead and gave her a heat lamp today, so it was warm enough for the chicks to get out and eat, move around a little, instead of huddling under her.

    I think the cold makes mistakes and inexperience pay a big penalty... if you can give her a little more warmth, maybe they'll do better?
     
  4. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I moved mine after her first egg hatched also since she was in one of the nest boxes. Last time I left a broody stay in a box, I lost one of the chicks to the rest of the flock and didn't want to risk that again. The only way I could give them any extra heat would be to move them into the garage where I can plug in the heat lamp. The only extention cord that I have that can reach the coop is plugged into the heater to keep their water bucket from freezing :/ I have a few concerns about moving them to the garage. First being that if I add heat, it may be 10 times harder for them to get re-aclimated to the cold again when it's time to go out. On top of that, I'd have to reintroduce them to the flock. I went out an hour or so ago and checked on her and the babies were underneath her. I didn't move her to check them, I just made sure they weren't laying beside her freezing again. Her other two eggs should be hatched tomorrow. I'm going to pray she does good and keeps them warm overnight and watch her closely tomorrow. She's been very obsessive about her eggs so I'm going to keep an eye on her once the eggs are gone and the chicks are there to see how that goes. If I have to, I'll bring the babies in and break her. Poor girl was so agitated tonight when her fiat baby was hatching. My other broody (larger silkie) must've been really cold when she took hey babies to bed. I'm so glad I checked on them. She climbed into the same nest box with Midnight (BCM) and wiggled in with her. Keep in mind, this nest box is 13 x 15 x 19(h). Along behind her crawled in her 10, 6 week old babies. Poor Midnight was growling, pecking at whoever she could reach (not hard though) and had little ones hatching under her lol. This whole time, they never bothered her in the nest, they had to wait until she was hatching lol. Maybe Cloud (silkie) heard the peeping and just wanted all the babies together. Who knows. Heck, the way she is, I could probably give her Midnight's babies to raise. She already adopted 3 from another hen when they were 2 weeks old lol.
     
  5. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Introducing (right to left) Wynter, Flurry, and Fria. Still waiting for Coal to hatch lol. Midnight did good throughout the night and hatched out Fria and kept her warm. I noticed this morning that she was cooing and talking to them so I'm not so worried anymore. It is cold out though and I feel bad for them. My thermometer says 12°. Even most of my 6 week Olds are still in the nest with mama and showing no signs of leaving. 4 of them were crazy enough to abandon their mom and go outside with the big birds though. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    Midnight, doing a good job keeping them warm :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  6. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand the issues you bring up... I've been debating them with myself. My girl has only been separated a few days, I am hoping that I can keep thee separation short and she can go back out when these little guys are a little stronger. And she's a little stronger. She's lost a lot of weight doing this. I decided on pampering them a little, we'll work through the other issues when they're ready, and hopefully when this sudden cold snap is over!

    Good luck to you and your beautiful brood! Cute little guys. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  7. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    Thank you and good luck to you too! I'm sure they will enjoy the pampering and will mesh back in with the flock just fine after a reintroduction :)
     

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