hatching babies

herbsandspices

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
13
1
24
beaverton, or
We are urban farmers with only three adult hens in our flock currently.Over the years we have struggled with introducing young hens and hand-raised chicks to our flock. We have a broody hen right now and just bought a dozen fertilized eggs for her to sit! Looking for advice. Assuming we actually hatch some will the mom be able to keep them safe? Not worried about predators, just the other chickens. We free range 24/7 but can close the coop. Dogs are good.
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,944
61,763
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

It is always nice if a broody can raise the new babies. If your broodies have never proven themselves, there is no guarantee they will do a good job at hatching and brooding babies. But you have to start somewhere! If you have a broody, you can stick some eggs under her. Keep food and water nearby so she doesn't have to go far to get nourishment. If the other hens are disturbing her or her eggs, you might section this nest box off so she has it to herself. Make sure the box is clean, fresh bedding and there is a lip on the box so eggs and chicks can't fall out. Use a box low to the floor so the babies don't fall out far either.

Good luck with your egg/broody hatches! And keep us posted too!
 

herbsandspices

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
13
1
24
beaverton, or


Welcome to BYC!

It is always nice if a broody can raise the new babies. If your broodies have never proven themselves, there is no guarantee they will do a good job at hatching and brooding babies. But you have to start somewhere! If you have a broody, you can stick some eggs under her. Keep food and water nearby so she doesn't have to go far to get nourishment. If the other hens are disturbing her or her eggs, you might section this nest box off so she has it to herself. Make sure the box is clean, fresh bedding and there is a lip on the box so eggs and chicks can't fall out. Use a box low to the floor so the babies don't fall out far either. 

Good luck with your egg/broody hatches! And keep us posted too! 
 

herbsandspices

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
13
1
24
beaverton, or
Good thought on dividing the nest box. We currently have one big box because they liked snuggling all winter, but have a divider we can insert to give her personal space.
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Good luck with the hatch! X3 on TwoCrows advice, it is usually best if you can have the broody separated so the other hens don't try to lay in her nest etc. One thing if you have the broody and tiny babies in the coop with the other ones is that the babies will need chick crumbles (they should not eat Layer if that is what your girls eat), and a water source they can get to, and the other hens will usually want to eat that first if they can get to it... so when they are tiny it is often easier to have them in a separate cage inside the coop.
 

herbsandspices

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
13
1
24
beaverton, or
Update: We tried to move the nest but mother hen Pepper wouldn't cooperate. She is sitting in a nesting box two feet off the floor. We tried building another box on the ground floor this weekend and moved the eggs. After an hour or more of her refusal to sit them we panicked and moved them back up, and she immediately settled down again. We built a platform with rails off the front of the nest box so no chicks could fall out once hatched. We're at day 19 now and I'm nervously checking the coop constantly but no action yet.

We've let nature take its course and have done nothing other than provide food and water for pepper where she doesn't have to leave her eggs. She had free access to the yard but I've only seen her out twice in the past few weeks for brief 'wing stretches.'

Wish us luck that pepper will be a good mama and all works out well over the next few days!
 
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