Don't know what I don't know...

amber1206

Hatching
9 Years
Oct 3, 2010
2
0
7
I have a broody silkie sitting on eggs that will hatch next week. She is in the coop with the other two silkie hens and all seems to be okay now, after some "situating" of the nest. I have medicated chick feed at the ready, but my plan was to pretty much let mother nature do her thing. (No, my hen's name isn't nature... ;-) Am I being niave??? Everything I look up about raising chicks (temperatures and brooders,etc) seem to be for people not using hens... The weather here is really mild right now, and I plan to monitor everything . I will make any changes, seperate them out if need be, but I bend toward letting my mother hen do most the work for me. Please offer suggestions if I need to do more... I'm (obviously) a first timer!!!
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The thing I have been most unsure of is how/when they will be able to get down the "ramp" of the coop...
 

Cindiloohoo

Quiet as a Church Mouse
11 Years
Dec 19, 2009
7,471
56
326
Southwest TN
Momma will take care of everything including teaching them to do everything the other chickens do..like getting down the ramp. You just need to be security and keep the feeder/waterer full
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Let mom and babies have their own place away from the others for a short time. Mom will be stressed and protective for a bit. I'd also suggest non medicated feed, but that is just my opinion. No sense in medicating a well chick really.
 

hensonly

Songster
11 Years
May 15, 2008
438
4
131
upstate NY
Go to the Feathersite website. They have an article posted on using a broody hen. I have a batch of three-week old chicks who I hope will raise their own replacements some day. Feathersite has lots of great info on many poultry topics, as well as many, many photos of many, many chicken breeds. Good luck.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
432
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
My Shirley Welsummer hatched four chicks a week ago Monday. All I've done is put a small plastic container of water and a low dish of chick starter inside the covered kitty litter box in which she brooded the eggs (inside the coop). This past Monday, she started standing outside of their haven to urge the chicks to come out (into the coop). I hung a nipple waterer on the opposite wall (in addition to the little container of water I still put into the kitty litter box). Yesterday, I got home from work and one chick was out of the coop, peeping desperately. Took me a while to chase it down and catch it, then put it back with Shirley and the other 3 chicks.

Today, I was home sick
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and Shirley brought her brood out of the coop. I got some photos (still in the camera though) and Shirley actually came to me to eat dry, rolled oats from my hand with the rest of the flock. She ate some, then started carrying a few back to where she'd left her chicks in a little protected area. She dropped it on the ground and urged them to eat some. SO adorable! So I gave her some more, just for her, and watched her do it several more times. (I don't even give treats to week-old chicks I brood in the house!) Some time later, I heard the sounds of a lost little peeper; Shirley and the other 3 chicks were back in their litter box.

Again, I chased down and captured what looked to be the same chick as yesterday to return it to its family. (There are two chicks that look like they may be from Shirley's eggs, and two from maybe Delilah Delaware's eggs.)

So, what I'm saying - besides bragging on my Shirley and her chicks - is that Momma will take care of EVERYTHING for them. Except, maybe, get all of the chicks back into the nest after their outings.....
 

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