Greetings from Brewton, AL!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Dylon, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently moved into a house where the previous owner kept many different kinds of Chickens, but left me about 20 of the full sized Polish chickens. My question is, can I let the mothers raise some chicks by themselves? I have heard that the other adult chickens will peck the chicks but from my research I have seen that that isn't as likely to happen with a big enough pen.. and my pen has a few hiding places if that happens. So tell me if its possible, when I should try it as far as seasons go, and any other tips!
     
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] [​IMG] from washington state glad you joinrd us !
     
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  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] It does happen sometimes that adult chickens will kill new chicks, especially just after they hatched, so I prefer separating new moms and chicks for the first 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce them as a group to the rest of the flock. By that time the rooster will have visited the hen and chicks a few times and accepted them and mom will protect the babies from everyone else. But f you have a large run area they should be O.K. Just keep an eye on them for the first few days.

    Hens tend to go broody more often in Spring and Summer and it is easier then! Though sometimes they'll decide to go broody in the middle of winter, which is not ideal, but I've had hens raise chicks in winter with no losses and no problems.

    If you get a broody try and keep her separate in her own nest box so the rest of the flock don't lay in her nest. You can also mark her eggs so you can tell which are hers and which are new. Then, when the chicks arrive feed them and mom chick crumbs, never layer food, as the high calcium content of layer food damages their organs. Mom will be fine with chick crumbs though. Offer them water in a shallow dish filled with marbles or small pebbles, so when the chicks fall in the water they won't drown or get soaked. I add a little unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their water to help prevent pasty butt (when their poop clogs up their backside, making it impossible for them to relieve themselves)

    Here's a long, interesting thread on broody hen hatches that you may find interesting:

    Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long and Informational Thread

    Enjoy your chickens!
     
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  4. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want my flock to grow but my parents won't let me invest more time, money, etc... Into it... So I was hoping to let it all happen naturally .. like maybe I forgot to pick up those eggs for a few weeks. *wink wink*
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    A guy I knew used to leave all the eggs his hens laid, hoping to catch a broody. It worked for him! Only problem was by the time the hens got the hint there would be about 24 eggs in the nest. Anything over 12 is pushing it a bit. My MIL's bantams were so hatch crazy... I left a few eggs in their boxes for ONE day and...


    [​IMG] 6 Broodies!



    "Forget" to collect a few eggs, but mark them so you know which ones are bait and which aren't when you collect fresh ones. Hopefully your hens will fall for it [​IMG] But make sure your parents don't mind!
     
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  6. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To add more to my challenge, my bunch is mostly Polish, and from my research, they aren't exactly know for their motherly instincts o_O
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I don't know about Polish, but I had battery hens (I free ranged them) and they went broody. People have been breeding the broodiness out of hens for ages, but I've heard of lots of supposedly non-broody breeds going broody and hatching eggs. Personally I prefer letting the hens do it, instead of using an incubator. Broodies and chicks are lovely. I can sit and watch them for hours.

    If you want a really broody hen get a Silkie. Those hens are legendary broodies!
     
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  8. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brewton, AL
    I have 2 silkies! Thanks for that!
     
  9. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, Dylon, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us! I know little about hatching so I can't advise. It sounds like sumi has it covered (listen to sumi [​IMG]...she knows her stuff!). Best of luck to you - and hope you have a successful hatch!
     
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  10. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC :) Glad you joined.
     

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