First time broody with chick, several questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by buckabucka, May 15, 2011.

  1. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody hen has hatched one egg (there were 2, but the other one died). It has been 3 or 4 days, and she doesn't get off the nest. The chick has been seen eating a couple of times, but I thought by now, the hen would get up and move around some.
    She is in an enclosure in the corner of the coop, with plenty of room to take a walk, but her food and water is close by. Maybe she walks around when I am not there, but there is no evidence of her leaving a broody poo or anything.

    My questions: Should I remove the screen barrier that separates the broody from the rest of the flock? I didn't want to put the chick in any danger.
    Should I move the food far away, but keep them in the enclosure so they move around? At the moment, I am feeding them both medicated chick feed, and was also concerned about the other hens eating it. Should I even be giving medicated feed?
    Sorry so many questions.
    I appreciate any advice!
     
  2. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not feeding my chicks medicated feed, because I know I can't keep my layers out of it. Maybe I am wrong about this, and someone please correct me if I am, but I was thinking if the adults are immune, basically, to cocci, then maybe the chicks would build up a natural resistance to it by being exposed to the others' poop. I could be totally crazy, but I think I read that somewhere. Anyway, if there's any chance the layers would get to the feed, I'd make it unmedicated.

    My broody stays in a broody box at night with her chicks, but during the day they are out with everyone else. Well, sort of- she does tend to lead them away from the others, but when they've mingled, they've been ok. Most broodies are pretty protective and will peck the snot out of anyone that tries to mess with her babies. You can remove the barrier and see how it goes and put it back up if you need to. My thoughts were that they have to learn to live with the flock at some point, so why not let mama show them the ropes and naturally intergrate them? Again, maybe I am crazy [​IMG]
     
  3. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I think I will try taking the barrier away tomorrow afternoon when I am here, so I can see what happens. Meanwhile, I saw some contraptions that people built over feeders, that let chicks in to eat, but not hens, which seems like a good idea for the medicated feed. But how do you keep the chicks from eating layer feed when they are out and about with the hen? It seems like as soon as I find an answer to a question about my broody, another one crops up!
     
  4. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two broodies last year that ended up with 2 chicks each. I never separated them from the others. The momma's totally protected the babies - one mamma was my smallest hen - but ferocious if anyone came close, and was a wonderful momma hen! Many here put them in a separate brooder area, and integrate later. I figured I would take the chance and let them all be together - they did just fine. I would certainly watch them closely for awhile. Perhaps mom needs some extra protein and water - brooding takes a lot out of them! good luck!
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Does the hen have any eggs under her? (fake or real) If she does, she likely won't get up to care for the chick.
     
  6. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, there are no eggs, - real or fake under her. I started another post, because now it appears the hen can't really walk, -or refuses to. She will only sit, or move slightly to cover the chick.
    I'm just so frustrated. I really want the hen to raise the chick.
     

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