First time broody pullet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by abrink79, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. abrink79

    abrink79 New Egg

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    Sep 14, 2012
    I have a first time broody hen and just wondered what to do with her and her chicks when they hatch? I let my chickens free range during the day, and one of my pullets decided to make a nice little nest in our yard. I gave up searching for her after 3 days, and when my husband was mowing with our bush hog, he found her! To our amazement she was sitting on 16 eggs! I'm sure there is a mixture from our other pullets! We've put a protective cage around her to keep her safe from predators, and I put water and food in with her as well. As of yesterday she has pushed 6 eggs out of the nest, leaving 10. I wondered how long we should keep the chicks seperated from the rest of the chickens once hatched, and if we should put a heat lamp in with the hen and chicks?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    You definitely won't need a heat lamp - Mama Hen will take care of keeping them warm. As for how long to keep them separated, I find that Mama Hen usually lets me know. For the first day or two she is pretty content to stay near the nest but then she gets restless and wants OUT. At that point I allow her and the chicks out for some supervised time to see how the rest of the flock will react. I haven't had a problem - at most they show mild curiosity. Mama Hen will cluck to keep the chicks close to her and will be happy to show them where to find food, water and the best places to dust bathe. A word of caution: make sure the water source is not one in which the chicks can drown. If you use a bowl, put rocks in it so that they can still get water but can't fall in.
     
  3. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    NO heat lamp, Momma is the heat source, THE BEST HEAT SOURCE!

    I've kept momma and babies separated from the regular flock for a couple of weeks at least. Mommies tend to lose so much weight during the whole broody process, that I think they need some time to get their strength back. I like to keep the mommies on the high protein chick starter for a while to help her regain her prebaby figure LOL.

    I've had some mommies that were totally over the whole mommy expierence by week 3. I've had others who were still doing the mommy thing when the chicks were 14 weeks old. The same mommy, went broody again while her older chicks were still sleeping with her at night.

    After 2 weeks, I think the babies and mommies have bonded enough that I have no problem letting mommy decide if she wants to take them around others. Some are excellent defenders of the babies and some are just terrible about it! Since nothing is written in store, evaluate each hen on an individual basis.
     

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