I did it.. I cant believe it!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DMSrabbit, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    So today was day 23 of my hatch.. Out of 24 Eggs, and out of 12 in lockdown, i only got 5 hatchers.. [​IMG]. I transferred the little guys into my separate brooder and they sat under the heat lamp looking very lonely and scared.. They were always peeping and crying out for an answer from mommy.. But there was no mommy to be had for them, then i thought.. My silkie just hatched 7 Bantam Barnevelders (which are now 13 days old, and VERY independent), and thought to myself.. I wonder if she would surrogate these new babies, and teach them just like her other babies? So i wrapped the broody momma in a towel so she couldn't see and moved her into the small bin where i had the newborns. The 1 day old babies were very scared, and hesitant of the new clucking and chirping sounds of this strange beast. They all huddled in the corner; hesitant of what was about to happen. I slowly unwrapped the Momma hen, and she saw the new chicks huddled in the corner. She moved over to them and started making noises, trying to encourage them, or establish a relationship or something, but the chicks were NOT happy.. They all ran into the corner and were crawling over one another to get away, while the momma was trying ever so hard to establish some sort of connection with these little innocent babies. Then i thought.. What if i turn off the heat lamp?, then the chicks would need the warmth of the mother hen, and would be forced to crawl under her to stay warm and happy. I unplugged the heat lamp, and the chicks immediately started chirping very loudly, they were starting to lose warmth and were getting scared. The momma laid down next to them expecting the chicks to understand that they should run underneath her for warmth, but they had never done this before, and were unaware of what to do. So i intervened.. I lifted up the side of the momma and individually placed the chicks underneath her, a few small shifts from the momma hen, and... Silence.. All the chirping was gone.. The babies were warm, comfy, and establishing a connection with their surrogate momma. Now she is teaching them to eat, and they are starting to understand and respond to her calls!! Im so excited:weee I have the best momma.. Here some pics:

    Before the move, with her hatched Barnevelder bantams...

    After the move.....

    Once i turned on the lights, they started to come out from under her..


    Only casualty (and a very acceptable one by me): Lonely and orphaned Barnevelder chicks..
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Congratulations! What blessed pictures....I'm so happy for you, the chickies and the Momma Bird! Have a blessed day. Nancy


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  3. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Songster

    Whenever I separated my Buff Orpington broody hen from her chicks, she would go crazy for a couple of days...wanting to be with her chicks.

    Chickens are different, I guess. (She also killed a chick that wasn't her own.)

    go figure.
    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
  4. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, i had asked another forum member if it was possible to move the day olds, in the momma and her 12 day old chicks. People said to be really cautious, and i was very hesitant to see her and the other chicks reactions when adding them to the mix. I eventually decided against this for a number of reasons. #1- she might react poorly if she already has her OWN chicks (i.e. kill them or hurt the new ones), #2-The other chicks might pick on or crush their new brothers/sisters, #3-She might crush them (because she is really active with her 10 day olds, and might step on them), etc, etc. So i decide to move HER in with THEM, take her out of HER comfort zone, and they could get used to this new area together and use it as a bonding/socializing experience.

    Also, i heard that since silkies are generally really eager brooders (this one has 5 clutches a year!!) its not truly in their nature to harm chicks, even ones they didn't raise themselves. Honestly, i couldn't have asked for a better momma.. Shes the best!!!
  5. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    Awe! [​IMG] That is too cute!!
    So glad she adopted them!! I had a momma chicken this summer that sat on 12 guinea eggs and hatched 4 of them. And while she was still on the nest she adopted two keets that I got w/ the eggs. She also adopted a 3 month old chicken! [​IMG]
  6. kla37

    kla37 Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    That is so sweet! I love to see momma hens with babies! I hope I can get one of our chickens to adopt chicks someday.... [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. tallyho

    tallyho Songster

    Aug 24, 2010
    Gotta love those silkies! What a good mama. And good thinking on your part! I love this story.
  8. jammi

    jammi In the Brooder

    Jan 7, 2011
    having mammas and babes around is so lovely, Fantastic to watch them learn how to do all that essential stuff.
  9. DMSrabbit

    DMSrabbit Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:Yes.. This Momma is extra special!! Here's some new pics of all the chicks together now!!





    Im hoping i can involve a few more into the mix in the future!!
  10. Nat123

    Nat123 Chirping

    Oct 20, 2010
    Home Sweet Home
    I love seeing the pics of when the baby chicks came out one by one. So cute!

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