Hen raising chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Patricia Jane, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Patricia Jane

    Patricia Jane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2010
    Petaluma CA
    Hi all. I am very new to this situation and have quite a few questions. So if you would bear with me. I have a Columbian Wyandotte who has gone broody for the first time. It's going on 4 days now. I have tried to break her but she is pretty subborn and I hate to disrupt mother nature. I've been toying with the idea of picking up a couple of chicks from my local feed store to see if she would raise them. But not sure if that would be a good idea in case they might be sick, or is there any other way other than hatching eggs. I don't have a incy if she doesn't follow through. I read something on a thread here which lead me to wonder, Would I be able to place them under her at anytime during her broodiness or would I have to wait for approx 21 days. Someone said to add them if the hen is sitting on eggs (which mine are not) close to hatch day. If I can add them at anytime would I place them under her at night so whe wakes up to them? Also I don't have a big walk in coop so don't have room to put any type of cage for them. Can I block off a small area for them and leave them in the coop or should I remove them completely. I have read that some do and some leave them and let the mothers take care of things. They have a run and don't free range. I have 3 others in with her. 2 Barred Rocks who are very sweet and docile and a Light brown Leghorn who's skittish but non agressive. They all get along beautifully. I would really like to give a go at this but am nervous. Also questions about feeding them seperate if they stay in the coop. Any and all info would be of great help. Your answers will be my deciding factor. Thanks for any and all your help. My apologies for rambling. Patti
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    OK, here goes. [​IMG] Fertile eggs or chicks is an either/or. Fertile eggs can be a crap shoot. With purchased chicks you know how many you have. The longer she has been setting the greater the chance that she will acept the chicks. Yes, place the chicks under her in the evening so that she gets accustomed to them during the night. If at all possible keep her separate from the others until the chicks are at least a week old and quite mobile. When you take the divider down, monitor the situation so that you can see how the other chickens react to the chicks. Be prepared for some cockerels. Even with sexed chicks there is a certain percentage of error. Go ahead and go for it. There is nothing cuter than a broody hen with a clutch of chicks. Good luck. Sourland George

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