Help! Can I give chicks back to a broddy hen? *Update*

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickboss, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    So I had a hen go broody for the first time and she was sitting on her eggs in a barrel in the coop. My plan was to let her sit and move her once the little one's hatched since there was no way the little chicks could fall out unless moved. However, day before yesterday, there was a awful stink comming from her nest and so I shooed her out and 3 of her eggs where missing and there was a paritally hatched dead chick under her. I have no idea what happened to the other eggs. But I do know that while the few times I've had to fiddle with her she would jump from the nest like a rockett because she is the real skittish kind and this time she was what you would consider more typical of a broody and tried to peck me and put up a nice little fuss. Once, I caught our BO in the nest with her and shooed her out, but didn't think much of it, but the BO was having a problem eating eggs a couple of months ago, so I don't know if she is my problem or if momma is or what. Like I said, three of the eggs were just gone. So I took the four eggs and put them in the bator. One was rotten, so pitched it yesterday, and the first chick just hatched this a.m. So what should I do? I felt so bad for momma that I put a few more eggs under her, just so she would have something. I would like her to raise these babies. I want to set her up in a small crate inside the coop, protected from the rest of the flock and give her her own mini yard that she can go into so she can still be a part of the flock, but I don't know if I should risk trying to put the chicks in with her. I think I should've moved her while she was sitting...
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  2. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Quote:I would NOT give chicks back to her. That's not saying that I am right or wrong, just saying that I wouldnt based on the fact that she could kill them. I am not a risk taker [​IMG]

    I also worry about back to back brooding. Their little bodies are very drained at the end of the hatch so to give her eggs right back again means another lengthy stay on a nest with little nourishment. I try to keep them from brooding again until they have regained their body mass.

    Good luck with your chicks.
     
  3. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    I know, I was worried about that to, because I just thought, there's another 21 days and she looks awful....but I didn't know if I would be able to give the little ones back to her once I moved her so I figured..maybe? Of corse this had to happen while we are extreemly busy bringing in our hay. But the last bit is being delivered so I have the day to focus on her and this. So you think I should go in there and take the eggs I gave her out? Will she just stop then? The chickens I had when we were growing up free ranged 24/7 and so we never really had to deal with broodies on this level. They just poped out one day from their secrect little nests with lots of chicks. This aspect of chicken raising is all new to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, WA
    I would give her the chicks back. As Camelot Farms suggested there is a risk, but it's a fairly small one. If you give her the chicks back be sure to do it at night. I just tuck them under mom and watch for a few minutes. She should start "talking" to them and making happy noises. I've only had one broody reject foster chicks and she was mean as soon as she heard the chicks. I just took them back and gave them to another broody that I had and she was very happy to have them.
     
  5. jaruca

    jaruca Out Of The Brooder

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    Two summers ago, I was successful in giving my bantam broody 5 three-day-old chicks. I just tucked them under her late at night and she was mothering them when I checked at first light. Six weeks later the chicks (Wellies and Marans)were just as big as she was but she still tucked 'em in at night as best she could!

    Now one of those Marans is sitting on a dozen adopted eggs and I'm expecting chicks any minute now. I did move her a few days ago because the nest she was sitting in was up high, and I was afraid that chicks might fall out. She initially tried to return to her original nest, so I boxed her in with chicken wire until she had spent the night in the brooder. I was able to remove the wire the next day once she had settled in. Next time I will make sure to move my broody before allowing her to set.

    Good Luck with your chicks, I hope your hen will raise them!
     
  6. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    WOW! Great broody stories. I might consider trying it if the situation ever arises.

    OP...if you take the eggs away, she will probably be annoyed and may try to find some other eggs. I usually just keep an eye on mine and keep them away from eggs. lol
     
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:My nest boxes are 3 to 4 feet high off the floor (deep litter) in the coop and I used to worry about chicks falling out or getting hurt. Then I saw a video of the chickensexers at work tossing the day old chicks over their shoulders into the separate bins. Nope, nothing to worry about, I've since had many hatches in the nest boxes that high and the chicks end up on the coop floor with their MotherHen just fine. And in regards to the OP in giving chicks back to a broody hen---sure, why not? I've had success with slipping chicks under a broody, whether she was the original egglayer or not.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. chickboss

    chickboss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Alright, I am going to get everything set up and try introducing her chicks tonight. Thanks for the advice, I will watch her carefully with the chicks, and let you all know how it goes. Fingers crossed that she accepts them... [​IMG]
     
  9. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    Best of luck! It usually does go well and it's sooooo much fun to watch a momma hen with her chicks. [​IMG]
     
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How did it go?
     

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