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How long to leave a broody hen with chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bitsy101, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. bitsy101

    bitsy101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Mississippi
    We have a BO hen who hatched 7 chicks three weeks ago. So far everyone is doing fine and growing like a weed. Chicks are starting to get feathers. The hen is being a very good mother I love to watch the babies crawling all over her and she just sets there so content. What I was wondering is this when do you seperate the hen from the babies. They are in a wooden brooder in a stall in the barn under a regular 60wt bulb. The hen has gotten to where she is dumping the feed and scratching it all over the place and making a mess of the water by splashing it all over the shavings.The brooder wouldn't be nearly as messy with just the babies. When we do put her back in the big pen which has 20 BO hens and 1 rooster will it be like introducing a completely new hen to them and they may peck her or will they accept her as their own again?Since she was such a good mother I would like to mark her in some way so she would be easily recognizable in the future how do you do that when every hen in the pen will be yellow like her and look the same? Thanks
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  3. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    when you put her back, do so at night after everyone has gone to roost.
    for some reason this lessens the fighting, they wake up and go about their business....
    As for when to seperate that is a choice as well. You can do this anytime, based on how much time you have to care for them.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bitsy101

    bitsy101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Mississippi
    Thanks Ridgerunner and Pandora Taylor I will use your information. I went to the article about leg bands and toe punching, they also mentioned zip ties. I would never have thought of that. I'll do something like that and put her back at night to lessen the excitement.
     
  5. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    I have a first time broody and her four happy chicks that are 4 wks old. I never did seperate her from the others so I didn't have to reintroduce them all later. She has been such a great little momma. If anyone gets too close to her babies, she growls at them and if that doesn't work, she goes after them with her wings flapping.

    It is amazing how much a momma and 4 little chicks can scratch around as she's teaching them how to scratch and find food. The coop is always full of holes at the end of the day.

    I began putting the water and food up on a pallet that the chicks hop up on to prevent them from getting filled with shavings and/or wood pellets.

    Good luck with your momma. I wouldn't have the heart to take my babies away from my momma since she was so determined to hatch out some chicks. She sat on the nest for 2 months before I got her some fertile eggs since I don't have any roosters. Then she sat and hatched out all 4 eggs I placed under her. At least one of the brown leghorns is a roo, so that will give me my rooster. I'm hoping since he'll be momma raised vs brooder raised he will be very sweet with good manners towards the ladies.
     
  6. bitsy101

    bitsy101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Mississippi
    This hen is a first time broody too. That's why I was really surprised at how good a mother she is. When I try to feed them she puffs all up and tries to peck me. I just take my hand and scoot her over out of the way. I'll probably leave her in with them for a little longer we have had some unusally cold temperatures the last few nights and I figured it would be best for the babies to have her to keep them warm. I put their water and feed up on some wood too but she still dumps everything and makes such a mess.
     
  7. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    Here is an updated pic of my broody and her four rapidly growing 5 wk olds out scratching outside the run just before sunset. 1 black sex link pullet, 1 brown leghorn pullet, and 2 brown leghorn roos. I'm hoping the roos turn out to be nice since they are hen raised.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Ky
    LOVE the Leghorn Roos!!!!!!
     

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