Foster hen vs brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Giddyup, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Giddyup

    Giddyup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2008
    Vancouver Island, BC
    Hi all, we're expecting up to 10 day olds mid april - our first younglings. We had a broody hen last season but she hasn't started setting yet. I thought it would be nice if she would raise them up but not counting on it.

    We have an enclosure we used for our bearded dragon that we were going to bring out for the chicks. Should be great to start but they may get tight later on. I read that we are supposed to gradually reduce heat- If we clamp the lamp to the middle, and gradually bring it to one end - do you that that would work?

    I worry about the transfer to the outdoors when raised in the house - but I suppose by the time they are feathered it is ok and by then we'll be into late spring here. Do I need to worry?

    They may or may not be vaccinated - she'll let us know. If vaccinated you want to stay away from medicated feed?

    I think we're on the right path....ducklings will be hatched late April with any luck - but mamma duck is taking care of them.

    We're an aussie kind of hobby farm - australorps and australian spotted ducks.
    thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I read that we are supposed to gradually reduce heat- If we clamp the lamp to the middle, and gradually bring it to one end - do you that that would work?

    I imagine you know what the temperatures should be and how they tell you if they are hot or cold. These recommended temperatures are just guidelines and a real good place to start. If they crowd under the light, they are cold. If the pile in a corner, they are hot.

    You do not want the entire brooder the same temperature. Some chicks, just like people, are more cold-blooded or hot-blooded than others and have different preferences. Give them a chance to find their comfort zone. I'd strongly recommend putting the lamp at one end to keep that end warmer and let the other end cool off a bit. The important thing is no drafts.

    The normal way of adjusting temperature is to raise the lamp a few inches each week. Some people use a smaller wattage bulb when they want to cool it down.

    I worry about the transfer to the outdoors when raised in the house - but I suppose by the time they are feathered it is ok and by then we'll be into late spring here. Do I need to worry?

    Depends on the temperatures and humidity somewhat. If they are fully feathered out then theoretically it is no problem. but I'd suggest safely providing them an option of some heat for a few days until they adjust.

    They may or may not be vaccinated - she'll let us know. If vaccinated you want to stay away from medicated feed

    The medicated feed is for Cocci. The vaccinations are for something else, probably Marek's. There is no relation between the two, so it does not matter.
     
  3. Giddyup

    Giddyup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2008
    Vancouver Island, BC
    Thanks Ridgerunner, looks like we're on the right track and loads of information here! Just nervous - first baby chicks. Only ducklings so far but they were raised by mum. [​IMG]
     
  4. lilychemgirl

    lilychemgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2009
    It would be much easier if you could use a foster hen, but I don't think you could introduce 10 day old chicks. Why not just hatch your own? Much easier, we have hatched 3 clutches of chicks under broodies, and mama just does all the work (it's generally heaps cheaper to get fertile eggs too).
    Cheers,
    Lily
     
  5. Giddyup

    Giddyup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2008
    Vancouver Island, BC
    Once we get a quality roo we hope to hatch out our own. We only have one aussie hen right now. Weasels got the others. This one does go broody though so we kept her when I gave a bunch of our older "muts" away.

    Hopefully we'll have more hens out of this bunch...will sell off or 'off' the roos as they will all be the same bloodline.

    sounds like we'll be ok with the chicks. We've agreed to have them in this room in the old terrarium.
     

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