grafted chicks: so far, so good

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by frankenchick, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. frankenchick

    frankenchick Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Benton Twp., Michigan
    Bantymum sent me a wonderful PM about how to do this. As you can see from my journal, the advice came after the deed! [​IMG]

    . . . I put chicks under my broody hen, Shorty, last night. She’d been setting for 3 weeks, and I figured this would be our last chance for babies this year.

    I drove to Townline Hatchery in Zeeland yesterday and picked up the newly-hatched chicks. [I must write about TH sometime; it’s a lovely little operation] I kept them in a makeshift brooder box until 11:30 p.m. I went down ahead of time to tack some screen over the bottom of the nest box to (I hope) prevent the chicks from falling out. Then it was time to try grafting the chicks.

    The chicks, who’d been quiet for about an hour, woke up on the way down to the coop. They were quite loud; so much for a stealthy approach and sneaking them under Shorty while she slept! S. was agitated and kept jabbing and plucking at my hand; I was afraid she’d do that to the chicks as well, but something told me to continue. As soon as the last chick was under her, quiet descended on the coop again. S. settled down and began crooning softly. I stayed near and prayed that her maternal instincts would truly take over. After a while, I began to feel like an intruder, so I went up to bed.

    This morning, I got up early and went to see how things were going. Shorty had fluffed out her feathers considerably and looked radiant (silly adjective to use on a chicken, I know, but true -- esp. after she’d looked so wan yesterday). She allowed me to stroke her back twice before turning her head and giving me a fixed stare that clearly said, “Back off!” I didn’t hear any peeps, but her behavior makes me think she’s taken to her role as mama hen.

    In a couple of days, I’ll be moving them to a larger brood box. I’d have done the move before the chicks came, but the kennel we’ll be using is big and I didn’t want to move it into the coop too soon. I’m pretty sure that Shorty will be able to cope. . . .

    As I said, so far so good.
  2. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    Sounds like Shorty has fallen right into the Mama role. That is wonderful. You will have to take some pics for us to see her and the babies when she brings them out. Good Luck!

    Lisa [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: