Hatched my first chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kneedles, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Kneedles

    Kneedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My adult hen has started her role as a surrogate mother to five chicks. They are from six fertile eggs that I was given twenty days ago that she was incubating; one of the eggs hatched yesterday, and the rest (except for one) hatched today. My hen seems determined to keep them close to her, but she is not overly protective of them. I have made a drinking station and some chick crumble available to them, and I have seen at least two of the chicks drink so far.
    Should I leave the chicks with her or take them inside? The latter option is probably better for their survival, but I am concerned about how my adult hen will react.
     
  2. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    Congratulations on hatching your first chicks!

    I haven't done that yet so I'm not sure how to answer your question. Guess I just assumed as long as the hen was treating the chicks right, it was normal to leave them with her.

    Love your avatar. Is that one of your birds?
     
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  3. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    Are they in an area safe for them? Like temps or could predators get to them. If you're just worried about the momma hen then they should be fine since she hatched them. And if a couple drank then the others will learn. Eating also. My personal experience with broody hens which is a good bit is that I can just forget about the chicks the moms do great.
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’m not sure what your exact concern is. You can do it either way. There are risks both ways and some see benefits both ways. Some of it depends on your goals and set-up.

    Broody hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years, usually very successfully. Occasionally one dies for different reasons. People have been brooding chicks themselves since the ancient Egyptians. Occasionally one dies for different reasons.

    Each broody hen has her own personality and rearing methods. Why do you say she is not protective of her chicks? Is it because she did not tear your hand off when you were messing with her babies? Some will do that no matter how much you have been handling her. But some don’t see you as a huge threat to her babies if she is used to being handled and maybe sees you as the dominant rooster. That doesn’t mean she won’t defend them against something else. A dominant rooster often helps a broody with her chicks so she might not be so quick to refuse his help.

    You can do it either way, whichever makes you feel better. There are consequences both ways you will have to deal with. If you raise them yourself you’ll have to integrate them at some time instead of the broody doing that for you. If the broody raises them it will take a lot more work from you to make them cuddly pets. It’s your choice. Neither is right and neither is wrong. It’s just the way you choose.
     
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  5. Kneedles

    Kneedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, no. It is a Red-Legged Partridge that was in a walk-through aviary.
     
  6. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    He has a great face, very cute.
     
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