First Broody Hatch due this weekend!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jadeybaby70, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. jadeybaby70

    jadeybaby70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Alameda
    So my little silkie went broody like two months ago and I tried everything to get her to quit. She even sat on ice cubes for three hours one time!! I was afraid her toes were frozen but she ended up being just fine. Well, after a month of this behavior and bring food and water to her two-three time a day to prevent her from dying (the girls would not let her come out, even to eat), I gave in and bought her some fertile eggs. I placed them under her two Saturdays ago and I am expecting the babies this weekend. This is my first time letting a broody hatch eggs and I have some questions. First; I spent all day preparing her broody pen which is a wire dog crate placed in the big run which I attached 1/2in wire cloth in a border along the bottom to keep the babies from escaping and getting hurt by the big girls. I figured, if she can't defend herself against the big girls, she most likely can't defend her babies against them. So, our best bet was to keep her in sight of them but out of reach. In the pen, I covered the floor with straw. Then, I look on the forum and see that many people don't suggest using straw with chicks because they might eat it. Is this something that I should be concerned about? Should I switch it to pine shavings? And if so, what about the nesting box? I have straw in there, should that be changed too?
    Second; How do I arrange the feed so mama can get her proper food and babies can get theirs without one eating the others all the time. I figured, I could hang Mama's feeder too high for the babies to reach, but how do I keep Mama from eating all the baby's food? I was also told that I need to put rocks or marbles in the water to keep the babies from drowning. If I have a shallow waterer, I don't need to do this right? The drinking lip doesn't even stick out far enough that the babies could get up on it...
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. end9586

    end9586 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Louisville, KY
    Hi I have 2 brood momma's right now, 1 has 6 chicks and the other has 4. I have always used straw in the nest box because as those babies start hatching momma will hold tight and usually those babies will stay under her for the first day or two, now when I put them in the brooder I only use shavings because chicks are extreamly curious and will try to pick everything!
    As for the food I feed my bantams crumbles so I feed momma and babies together. The first week I grind the crumbles in a meat grinder to make a fine powder but I raise bantams so they are much smaller chicks. Water I always use a shallow dish and I've never had to put rocks in it but if it makes you more comfy go ahead. Just wait till you see how that momma acts once she has babies you may think she is nuts. Good luck!
     
  3. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Oregon
    I think that if there is enough food Mama will share. She should be teaching them how to peck for food as well.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I personally would not worry about the straw, either in the nest or in the brooder area. Bad things can happen with pine shavings too, but bad things happening with either are pretty rare. I don't consider that something to worry about.

    Why not just feed Mama what the babies are having? She is not laying eggs so she does not need the extra calcium. By the time they are a week old, the babies will be flying up to Mama's feeder. Besides, Mama will take feed out of her feeder and put it down where her babies can get it. When I have young ones with the flock, they all eat the same thing. I just offer oyster shell on the side so the laying hens can get that if they want it. In the enclosure, you have no need to offer oyster shells. The extra protein in Starter will help the broody build her strength back up.
     
  5. jadeybaby70

    jadeybaby70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Alameda
    Thanks everyone. You all calmed my nerves. The straw will stay and everyone is eating chick feed :eek:). Well the babies are here or on their way. I put a total of six eggs under Mama. One got crushed early on by my bigger hens trying to lay in her box so I moved Mama to her own pen. Three of the remaining five are out and looking well!!! I am stoked!! Thanks again!
     
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glasgow, Scotland
    Quote:[​IMG] That's just too funny, really it is [​IMG]
     

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