Help me sort and arrange my chicks and 4 broodies between 2 brooders please

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SunHwaKwon, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    The Broodies:

    Japanese bantam - 1.5 years old and a serial broody. Last year she raised five batches of chicks so she is experienced, a great mother, defends her chicks well but is tolerant of my interference, readily accepts new chicks and the chicks of others. She has been broody for about six weeks now.

    Old English Game bantam - 1.5 years old. She raised two or three batches of chicks last year. She has brooded in the same brooder with the japanese in the past with no problem. She's also a pretty good mother and she yells at me but is tolerant. She has been broody for a little over two weeks.

    Brahma bantam - almost 7 months old and this is her first time being broody so I'm not sure what to expect. She looks a bit stressed and she either bites me or runs away when I collect the eggs from under her. She has been broody for about a week.

    bantam Rock - unsure of age but I think she is somewhere between 1 and 2 years old, I think. She's only been broody for 3 days so far. She doesn't run but she does nip when I collect the eggs.

    The Brooders:

    1. my main brooder area is a 2.5'x6' coop underneath one of my main coops. It has a 4x6 run area that has a gate that opens it up into the main run. I have had up to three broodies with their chicks in here with no issues. This has power to it so if I have only one broody and a bigger batch of chicks then what she can handle I usually also put a heating pad in there just to help her out if she can't cover them all. From coop to the ground is about 4" and I put a step to make it easier for chicks to get back in.

    2. a prefab TSC coop for six chickens (yeah right). The coop area is probably 2 x 2.5 and a foot and a half up with a ladder. Run total is about 2' x 5', I think. It has three nest box areas though I don't have the dividers in it right now.

    The dilemma:

    I have these four broodies, which is great timing because I have about 3 dozen chicks hatching over the course of the week and I would like to give a few (3-5) to each to raise (all will end up being sold except for a few olive eggers). I was thinking I will put two girls in each brooder but am undecided about how I want to divide them up. I know the japanese and OEGB get along, but I don't know if I should put the two "unknowns" together, or put one unknown with a reliable broody. I just don't want any chicks harmed because it turns out the brahma or rock has a bad attitude.

    I do also have 8 guinea eggs that I just set under the girls 3 days ago and was going to move to the incubator when I switch them out for chicks. I'm thinking the other option is to only give chicks to the Japanese, OEGB and the Brahma. I'll let the first two use the main brooder since I know they can get along and put the Brahma by herself in the TSC coop. Give the guinea eggs to the Rock... though I don't know where I will move her to once they hatch out. I'll be selling them all but I'll let her keep them for a little while, maybe until she can't cover them all anymore, just to keep her from going broody again right away.

    In any case, I usually integrate mom and babies back into the flock after the first week and then they really only use the brooder at night. There is enough room even in the main run that they can avoid the other broodies and chicks during the day if they want to.

    I'm open to input. I have four chicks hatched already and they are staggered through next Thursday. I will be moving current chicks out of the brooder tomorrow so I'd like to have a game plan so that tomorrow evening I can start putting chicks with moms, starting with the Japanese and ending with the Brahma.

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