Foster hen will not leave nest.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by T Jordan, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. T Jordan

    T Jordan Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    We have two broody birds. Not sure the breed. Large beautiful golden/red girls. They both sat on golf balls up till last night. We swapped them out with chicks purchased at our local TSC. #1 Hen is doing great! The other will not leave her nest (#2). All chicks including hers are out on the ground with hen#1. I didn't intend on one hen raising 20 chicks. What do we do? Any advice is greatly appreciated! How can we inform hen #2 she is slacking?
     
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
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    Fostering chicks is always a gamble, especially with an unproven hen. Has either hen successfully hatched and/or brooded chicks before? If not, there's no guarantee the hen has all of the necessary "mother skills" (ability to incubate eggs, hatch eggs, brood chicks, teach chicks, protect chicks).

    Some hens are great at incubating, but terrible at making the shift to chick care. I had a buff orpington like that. She would set the full 21 days, but then completely ignore and crush the chicks that were attempting to hatch beneath her. I tried fostering chicks to her, and she attacked them, severely injuring two (the other 3 were huddled on the far side of the coop away from her). She viewed the chicks as intruders, and was completely focused on setting. I ended up having to raise the chicks myself.

    If hen #2 has any eggs (golf balls) remaining under her, you may want to remove them to see if that will prompt her to shift focus and tend the hatched chicks. However, if hen #2 is being aggressive to the chicks and/or ignoring them, let hen #1 raise them unless it's too many for her to handle. If that's the case, you may have to brood them yourself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. T Jordan

    T Jordan Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    Well never mind. Problem solved! I just picked her up and put her on the ground. She immediately started calling her chicks and crushing starter for them.
     
  4. HOLWACHAGOT

    HOLWACHAGOT Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2015
    That is so cool!
    Holwachagot
     
  5. T Jordan

    T Jordan Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    seems to be doing great!
     

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