Hatching "Natural" with a broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by shoshiedude, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. shoshiedude

    shoshiedude New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 29, 2012
    So, my friends, in about ten years of raising chickens, I've only ever swapped or ordered chicks, or used an incubator, I have never had birds hatch out eggs in the coop. I live in town and cannot have a rooster.

    I am hoping to score some fertile eggs from a neighbor in a couple of weeks and to let the girls do it themselves, partly for fun and cuteness, and because one member of my family has grown more allergic every year to the feathering dust and it's no longer possible to keep chicks indoors.

    Here's what I'm wondering: will the other, non-broody, chooks attack the chicks or the brrody girls? Are there other problems I should anticipate?

    Thanks, all.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,248
    8,065
    666
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    [​IMG]

    Are you going to wait for a hen to go broody before getting fertile eggs?

    What the rest of your flock will think of the new arrivals is hard to predict. A previous flock of mine were aggressive toward the chicks, to the point where the little monsters killed and ate a chick. So I had to keep them and mom separate for the first week or 2 before introducing them to the rest of the flock. Some members here let their hens hatch chicks and raise them with the flock with no problems at all. So I think you should keep an eye on the situation when the chicks come and be prepared to separate the mom and chicks if needed. But if possible do let her raise them amongst the flock as this will make things easier for the chicks later on. They will be part of the group.
     
  3. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

    5,804
    679
    341
    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I hatched out one chick in Jan. and at night let a silky have him. In the house. she wasn't even broody but took over. now he is 8 weeks old. he runs with the flock and at night, even though he is bigger than her now she still tucks him under her wing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  4. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

    484
    31
    113
    Jun 6, 2012
    Whether or not the chicks can stay with the main flock depends on a lot of factors. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
    I have only had Banties go broody for me, and they have been great mothers and incubators. But I have always kept Mom and the eggs/chicks separate from the flock - why tempt fate? I will say hens beat 'bators hands down.
    You do have to have a hen that is broody to do this. Placing a hen on eggs will not make her broody, she has to WANT to be broody for this to work.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. shoshiedude

    shoshiedude New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 29, 2012
    I do have an old rabbit hutch I've often put chicks in to keep them separate. It's got indoor and outdoor areas, and I thought maybe I'd put broody in there with her eggs after she proves herself for a few days of sitting. But the question is if I do that, will the chicks have to be introduced oh-so-carefully like any purchased new chicks would; i.e. waiting til they are big, introducing gradually or, if big enough, at night, etc etc etc.

    Or could I trust that broody would mosl likely keep them safe after hatching and let them all rejoin the flock once they are out?
     
  6. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

    484
    31
    113
    Jun 6, 2012
    My experience has been that if the broody is not at the bottom of the pecking order, she can handle her own and protect her bitties. I have only reintroduced the broody and chicks after at least 8 weeks, and that works.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by