Hatching eggs and raising babies

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mrs stonewolf, May 5, 2017.

  1. mrs stonewolf

    mrs stonewolf Just Hatched

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    May 5, 2017
    I have 27 hens and 1 rooster. One of my hens, a black austrolorp, is broody and has been on eggs 17 days now. I'm reading on here that I should have moved her? Is it too late?
    I tried incubating eggs before, but the flock I had wanted no part of letting new birds in. This flock I have now were shipped to me and are 9 months old. I felt that aclimating them would be easier if momma hatched and raised them.
    Now i'm wondering if i should separate her from the flock or at least move her and give her space to raise and protect them.
    btw...none of the others have seemed to bother her at all
     
  2. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where is she sitting? When my birds go broody -mostly ducks, I even had one make her nest in the chicken coop- I just leave them where they are unless they're somewhere dangerous. I suppose I would also move a hen if she'd nested outside the coop and there were known predators around, but since yours has made it 17 days she should be fine. Once the eggs hatch and the hen leaves the nest with her chicks, you can round them up and put them in a pen if you're worried about predators or anything else happening to them.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    A lot of experienced chicken keepers here on BYC that I trust and respect let their broodies raise their babies right in the flock from the beginning. I used to separate them, isolating the broody while she was setting, and after hatch until the babies were around 2 months old. It was always kind of difficult to put them back with the flock because the mama was ready to wean them at that point, and was no longer protective of them, so the babies were on their own. The hen had lost her place within the pecking order by then, too.Then I read here that it's better to raise them within the flock.

    Since I have started that, I have noticed that no one really wants to mess with a mother hen and her babies. She's very feisty and protective. A good rooster will also help protect the babies and break up squabbles when another hen decides to assert herself with the mama hen. The babies learn basic chicken manners and are accepted as flock members much earlier. The first year I tried this, my broody was killed by a raccoon when the chicks were about 5 weeks old. Because they were already introduced into the flock, they had no problem coexisting with the adults after they were orphaned.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Yes, people do this all kinds of different ways. There is no right way where every other way is wrong, although reading some of the posts on here you would think differently. Some people really love the way they happen to do things. In general, if someone on here tells you that you absolutely have to do something exactly as they do or civilization as we know it will forever be changed, I suggest you get a second opinion.

    I’m one of those that lets the broody hen hatch with the flock and raise her chicks with the flock. Any time you deal with living animals you can have losses, no matter what you do. So yes, I’ve lost some chicks, but never to another adult flock member.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum!
     
    elaineinspain likes this.
  5. riacz

    riacz Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, I have a broody hen who has been sitting on unfertalized eggs for about a week. I've decided to buy her a couple of fertilized eggs to hatch, but I just want to make sure I'm understanding everything first. So I just need some clarification here: so if she hatches eggs, I don't have to worry about keeping the chicks warm at all? She can just keep them warm herself? Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Yes, she will keep them warm.
     
  7. riacz

    riacz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2016
    Thanks so much! I just wanted to make sure I do this right.
     

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