how to raise the baby chicks from a broody hen with other chickens????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chad the Chicken Man, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Chad the Chicken Man

    Chad the Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2009
    Belleville, WI
    I have a hen that has been sitting on her eggs for a little over two weeks now. Ive raise chicks before but never from a broody hen. can someone please fill me in on some pointers? I would like to keep them in with the other chickens if at all possible. Right now I have the hen in a 3x3 cage inside the chicken coop. i know that this will not be big enought for her and the chicks once they hatch. but i do have a larger ferret cage with ramps and things inside, will this work or do you think it would be a problem with the chicks falling off the ramps? any help i can get would be great, and if anyone else has raised there chicks in a coop with other chickens before i would love to here from you as well.
    Thanks in advance
    Chad
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll just tell you what I do, if I've managed to get the broody setting in the broody pen, which is about 5'x6'. Around day 2 or 3, the chicks clearly want to get out of the pen and be with the flock -- so I let chicks and mama out, and watch for a while. So far, the mama has done a great job of staying right with the chicks, calling them so they stay together, and running off any hen who comes too close. And when the mama has decided not to mother any more, around 5 or 6 weeks, the chicks are already used to living in with the flock, and used to the pecking order. They tend to hang around with each other, but they do fine growing up in the flock.

    I should say that I have a good size walk in coop, where I sit in a lawn chair, and about a 70'x70' chicken yard with vegetation (weeds they won't eat,) so they have plenty of places to escape to.
     
  3. Chad the Chicken Man

    Chad the Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2009
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    Dawn, Thanks for your imput, I have a 8x8 coop and maybe a 25x25 run. I also have 13 chickens and 1 rooster.. Im only planning on keeping 1 or 2 out of the chicks and im going to give the rest of the chicks to the guy down the road. ive never had a broody hen before and thought i have to at least do it once. But i do plan on keeping the chicks for a couple weeks untill i find out what i have.
     
  4. alabamachick

    alabamachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be shunned by the majority, But I left my broody cochin and her two eggs (and then babies) with the flock the entire time. No one bothered her, and even when the others went to lay in her nest box, no one ever broke an egg.

    I did have to mark with a sharpie which eggs she was actually incubating so I could remove the extras everyday after the others laid. She would simply take them and push the news ones under her and sit on those too.

    IIIII personally didnt have a problem, nor did I have a stressed out momma from being separated from her flock mates.

    It's a personal preference.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I've read more than once of mamas who get upset and search for days or weeks when their chicks are removed. For that reason I'd recommend keeping them til mama kicks them out of the house.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I've done this about half the time, including the Sharpie and removing eggs. I've lost a couple of eggs to what looked like trampling, and had broodies return to the wrong nest. Strangely, when they set in the pen, they didn't seem stressed by being removed from the flock, while they were setting. However, the broody pen is a corner of the coop, and the "walls" are chicken wire, so they still had the same old noises and smells. But they certainly would have been stressed once the chicks hatched, if I hadn't let them out.

    My son built the broody pen for me while I was sick, unasked, so I've used it, just because. That's ok, it's come in handy a few times.
     
  7. Chad the Chicken Man

    Chad the Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2009
    Belleville, WI
    Dawn, I am planning on keeping all the chicks for a couple weeks untill the mom stops caring for them. I only have a 8x8 coop and i think im pretty full with 14 full chickens. so i can only keep a couple more. But I do have another question, how do you keep your chicks when you keep them with the flock. do you keep the whole flock chicken feed or the chicks layer feed?
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    A while back I stopped buying layer feed altogether, because it was obvious I'd have a mixed age flock a lot, if not most all the time. Around here, what is available is grower or flock raiser, so that's what everyone gets. Obviously there is a separate dish (well, old soda bottle bottom) that has oyster shell and another one with grit. I have yet to see a chick, or a roo, show any interest in the oyster shell. Egg shells are fine, and everyone seems healthy and happy. I really feel more comfortable with the slightly higher protein level -- but I have nothing scientific to base that on.... I have read, though, that commercials found they got more eggs if they limited the protein a little.
     
  9. Chad the Chicken Man

    Chad the Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2009
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    So you think ill be ok then you just buy grower feed and feed it to all my layers and also my chicks then?
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:That's what I do. There is not much difference between starter and grower. Around here you can only buy a product called "starter / grower." I buy an unmedicated version as I prefer the amprolium not be in my eggs, although the claim is that it doesn't matter, you can eat eggs laid by hens eating amprolium fortified feed. I've never had a case of cocci, and chicks raised by broodies are less likely to get sick from them, anyway.

    http://poultry.purinamills.com/ASKTHEEXPERTS/FAQs/ECMD007942.aspx
     

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