How to prepare for babies in Spring

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mprivett, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    99
    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Hi! I have a small flock of 3 Doms (2 hens and I rooster and planning to get 2 more hens) and I'd like to hatch a clutch of eggs this spring. Ideally I'd like for one of my girls to go broody by letting the eggs accumulate (I've never done this before) and let the mother hen do all of the raising. I'm only had chickens for less than a year and was wondering what I need to do to prepare for this? I know I probably need chick starter, small bowl for water, etc. and to keep food and water right near the broody hen. Should I try to separate the broody hen from the rest of the flock even though there will only be a few other chickens? The coop is small and there isn't really much space to segregate the mother and babies from the rest. Need some advice!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have one broody hen that just hatched out eggs that I bought from a breeder. This is my first broody.

    But here's what I did:

    I left her in the nest box in the coop (she wouldn't budge). I actually had to take her off the nest once a day and set her in front of the waterer because I thought she would never eat and drink.

    When it was the day before the chicks were due to hatch, I moved her to a brooder in the garage (a chick-n-hutch) with food and water (and a 100 watt bulb due to the weather- it was 15 degrees out).

    The reasons I moved her were because of the weather, and because I have read that some mama hens won't defend their chicks against the other hens. I don't know how prevalent that is, but the very idea of it made me decide to move her.

    Some separate broodies, and some don't. I have only this one experience to share. Broodies DO steal eggs, though. Mine did before she was moved.

    Also- maybe since you have a heritage breed they will be good mamas and defend their chicks? I don't know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  3. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    99
    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Thank you for the advice!! I guess I will have to think about the decision whether to move the broody hen or not. Dominiques are supposed to be excellent mothers, so we'll see. So far my rooster has been very good- courteous to me and the girls, protective and always watching out for them. Every time when I'm giving out treats and offer some to him he takes it and gives it to the girls. I hope the chicks will be ok! Of course, I shouldn't worry until I have one go broody!! [​IMG]
     
  4. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

    132
    0
    99
    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Ok so one of my girls, Rosemary, is broody!! She has been full on since March 20. I guess she's due to hatch on April 10? She's sitting on 10-11 eggs. I've made sure she has food and water up in the coop (it is very small and elevated on supports with a ramp leading up to it) since normally I keep food and water down underneath the coop in the run. I'm not sure if she is actually eating/drinking any food or water since I'm not there most of the day. But when I offer her scratch from my hand while she's sitting on her nest she will eat a little of that.

    One time she got up off her nest and was walking around all "puffed up" - I tried to reach out to grab her because she has poop all stuck to her rear feathers and she pecked me! I've also heard her growl at the other hen when it gets too close. Definitely doesn't want anyone messing with her babies!

    I'm wondering if I still need to separate her from the others? Or perhaps just contain the rooster and other hen somewhere else?

    Thanks!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by