Hen raised chicks vs. hand raised chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by paintedsavvy, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. paintedsavvy

    paintedsavvy Chicken Kisser

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    May 24, 2009
    Orem, UT
    So, I have a broody sitting on 12 eggs, and I'm wondering what to do with the babies when they hatch. They are due in about 2 weeks.

    Should I let my broody raise them? She is not super friendly, and I'm worried she will pass that on to the chicks. How long will a hen "mother" baby chicks?

    Or, I can collect them and raise them in the bathroom like I did my mail order chicks. If I take the chicks away, what will that do to my hen?


    Based on your experiance, what are the pros and cons of each method?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    In my personal opinion there is nothing better than the momma to raise the babies. I think it makes them stronger. There is nothing wrong with removing the chicks from her when they hatch if you want to. She will look for them for a while but in a day or two (or less) she will move on. The only thing about letting her raise them that I might be concerned about is predators or escape holes. Them little buggers can fit through just about anywhere!!!
     
  3. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

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    same story, due Sept. 10. I can't bring them into the house, but I do have an old brooder that belonged to my uncle.
    I'm thinking if we spend time with them it will help, but I look forward to any experienced advice anyone has available! [​IMG]
     
  4. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    I am no expert and will never claim to be but I just thought I would throw it out there that I have never ever raised chicks in the house. Lots of people on here do and that's awesome but I have seven brooders outside under a shed type thing. Those brooders have lights and summer/day (wire) and winter/night (solid wood) lids that I can change out depending on the weather or temps and such. They do quite well out there.
     
  5. Sooz

    Sooz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some chicks that started of in the brooder and are now with a very broody hen that was sad because none of her eggs hatched.
    I don't think being hand reared in a brooder makes the chicks any friendlier as these wee chicks were with us for three weeks and although they were quite friendly at first they got quite skittish and panicked later on when we went near them. I also brought up call ducks in a brooder and they are very unfriendly now even though they were treated really well by us and used to feed out of my hand when they were little.
    I think hens are brilliant but they are not really friendly in the waya dog would be. Well perhaps some people are lucky enough to have ones like that but I'm not.
    I have one hen Snowbell that comes running when she sees me but I know its cupboard love as she just adores eating out of whatever container I have the food in. ItÂ’s hilarious as she reaches as far into the container as she can even though the grain or whatever is right at the top for her to peck.
     
  6. Chickn chick 46

    Chickn chick 46 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Theres pros and cons of both but having done both, I would let the broody do her job. Mama hens are fabulous teachers and protectors. And you can't any cuter than seeing a chick or two sticking their heads out of her wing feathers. I just loved that! [​IMG]

    I had 2 broody BR's raise chicks, one was more tolerant of my involvement than the other but they realized that I was supplying the food and water and I was never scolded (pecked at) for doing that.

    We would let them free range and the kids would be right there with them so they did get some socialization.

    That being said, my brooder babies are tolerant of us at most. There are 2 that come looking for attention in the way of getting some pats on the back. One BR jumps on my shoulder. They are only 11 weeks and I really don't know if I'd want her doing this when shes full grown [​IMG]

    Twelve is alot and maybe you could split the group up and do both ways, depending on how many hatch
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  7. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know if you saw my thread about my chicks vanishing...but basically, I was letting my little Silkie hen take care of the 4 chicks she hatched, but 2 went missing. (I will have a more secure broody cage next time.) I still want her to raise them, but I want to keep the others safe, so right now I am compromising. I brought the Silkie and her 2 babies in the house and put them in my brooder! I took them outside yesterday so Mommy Silkie could walk around and teach the babies fun things. They're only a couple days old right now, so I'm not sure how long I'm going to do this...just playing it by ear.

    So if you let your broody keep them, make sure they have a SAFE place so the other chickens (or snakes or rats) can't get to them.
     
  8. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new with raising chickens but never even considered anything other than having the broody hen hatch and raise the chicks. We have bantams and had one of the hens go broody while we were away on vacation. She hatched 7 of the 8 eggs. The 8th had a deformed chick which she had already abandoned. The chicks will be 2 weeks old this Saturday and are such fun to watch. They are already trying their wings. They will ride on the mama's back and do all kinds of antics. It's funny to watch when one of them gets hold of a cricket. He'll run like crazy to keep it for himself while the mama scolds him and she'll finally give him a little peck and take it and break it up for the others to get a share.
    We made a separate coop within the main coop for the mother and her chicks. They can all see each other but no harm will come to the chicks. The mama is also very protective of the chicks. She fluffs herself up like a mini turkey to try to scare intruders off.
    Now, if I only knew how many cockerels and pullets are in the batch.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  9. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I have raised many clutches of chicks both ways. I know the brooder chicks are tamer, but then I never interact much with the hen and babies as they free-ranged. Also, most of the chicks disappeared who lived with the hen over time, although those are smarter birds, IF they grow up. The brooder chicks are friendlier, some breeds more than others. They still prefer not to be petted much, but if you spend lots of time holding them, I feel sure they would be more pet-like. I like the idea of raising the broody hen in the brooder with the chicks, if you have room. HenZ
     
  10. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

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    I don't mind if they don't come sit in my lap, I just don't want them so flighty that they fly away from me and into the dog's mouth.
    Our mutt 'Greyling' did that when I was feeding goats a good 10 feet away from her.
    The dog let go right away but she had a laceration into her gut and died. [​IMG]
    Now that said dog is five, he actually leaves them alone, but he watches Greyling's two daughters (my best broodies) carefully, lest they attack him (one does).
    A lot of it is breed related as well; I can't imagine Faverolles being that way, but these, if they hatch, will be my first Favs. [​IMG]
     

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