First Broody - Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cluckingcanadian, May 13, 2009.

  1. cluckingcanadian

    cluckingcanadian Out Of The Brooder

    43
    0
    32
    Mar 16, 2009
    My broody hen is nearing the end of 21 days (Tuesday). She has been locked in a large dog crate which has been kept in my coop with the rest of her flock.

    A little background before I ask my questions; My coop is divided into two large rooms and one side is divided into another two rooms. My current flock of chicks (175) occupies one half, and my older flock (20) occupies the other half. My chicks are needing more space and I am going to push my older chickens into one room (with roosts, nesting boxes, and outisde access). This will give my chicks 3/4 of the coop.

    1) Do I keep my broody hen with her current flock or let her (and her chicks) in with the big chick flock? Where will mama and chicks be safest?

    2) If she is left with her flock will her chicks be safe from the older hens and roosters?

    3) When can I open the crate and let mother and babies out to explore?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Some people find things go fine, and some have hens or roos kill chicks. Sometimes even the broody hen kills her chicks. I have one experience with a Mama, before I found BYC, and I did not even have her separated while she set the eggs. No one bothered the chick; actually, two others helped raise it. I would think the roos would be the biggest threat, although my roo accepted the new chick as part of his flock. My Mama took her chick outdoors at 3 days in 40-50 degree weather. They did fine.

    I suppose the ideal would be to have a separate run for Mama and chicks, and stay with the dog crate. But integrating them at a few days might also go fine, whichever group you put them with.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2009
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,120
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    ddawn is correct. You just don't know for sure what will happen.

    Personally, I'd put mama and the babies with the big flock. I think she will have better luck teaching 20 to leave her babies alone than 175, especially as the access to outside gives her more room to work. She should only have to reprimand one or two before they all learn. Often the rooster will help protect the chicks and maintain order. Not always, but often.

    I'd probably wait until the chicks are about 3 days old. By then they should be fully active and able to scoot everywhere.

    You could have a disaster but I like raising chicks with the flock. They get better immunity and the later integration issues are usually much easier.

    Good luck.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by