I found what I don't like about hens raising chicks...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 2overeasy, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chirping

    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    Now that I've finally gotten the hang of how to move broody hens, and more importantly, how to leave them alone to do their job, I've found what I don't like about it: I now have two batches of chicks from hens. The first 4 are now 9 weeks old and were hatched and raised by my BO hen. The second group of 4 was hatched and raised by an EE hen. Out of all of my chickens (over 30) they are the most aloof, unfriendly, and independent of all of them. I free range over 10 acres and I rarely see the hen-raised chicks. My hatchery chickens, while not really pets, per say, come running when I call, will take treats out of my hand and, although they don't necessarily love it, will settle when I pick them up. The hen-raised chicks don't come around and freak and peck at my hand when I have to touch them (like moving them to a different roost at night, for example).
    The EE hen is downright vicious when it comes to her chicks. I can't get anywhere near them. I've started calling her Hagatha! Now I have a White Cochin sitting on eggs (today is day 14) and I'm basically leaving her alone other than speaking softly to her and putting treats in her broody house. I try to give her little light strokes occasionally but only briefly as it mildly agitates her. I don't want her to end up like Hagatha!
    Any suggestions or experiences I can learn from?

  2. the4heathernsmom

    the4heathernsmom Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    east texas
    I just like it better that way because it saves soooooooo much work !!!!! The hens do pretyy much everything and I get to watch and enjoy!!! Haven't had broodies in a long time but would be nice to have one go again. I enjoyed it!!!

  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yah, I find that I have to spend a lot of time with the hen-raised chicks when they are much older. It doesn't work when the broody has just "released" them and they're all freaked out by having to be independent, and I really thought that would be the time to get them friendlier. Wrong. I have to wait until they are a few weeks older than that, ranging around in their little gangs. Then I can lure them with hand treats.
  4. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Western ny
    I had my first broody chicks last year around this time. I ran into the same problem as you with the chicks being unfriendly. However those two are now full size and the hen will let me pick her up the roo won't go that far but he does come running for treats. The second set from the same mom is not quite as friendly but not as bad as when they were chicks. She is on her 3rd set now and although the babies run and struggle I know it will get better. As for the broody being mean. I don't know if there is anything you can do about that. I think it is just based on the individual bird. Mine squaks at me but that's it. I have 3 more brooches right now but they haven't had chicks yet so I don't know how they will be. The one is actually the hen from the first set of babies last year.

  5. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    My hen-brooded anconas are the friendliest of all my birds.

    I took them off her when they'd feathered up, and in a few days they were just as tame as I wanted, yet I didn't have to do any of the hard work. It was simplicity itself! [​IMG] They're anconas (so usually flighty).

    A mad hen will raise mad chicks, but a bit of penning at the right age works wonders.

  6. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chirping

    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    Thanks, you guys, for sharing. I guess I just need to be more patient, and try to spend more time with the first batch that is now 7 weeks old. Time with the younger ones will have to come later, I guess, b/c Hagatha doesn't even want me in the general vicinity of her children! Some of them are slated to go a friend starting her own backyard flock, so maybe she can tame them with treats and love since she'll only have a few and I have so many!
  7. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    Broodys, broodys everywhere.
    I had one disappear in the pasture.thought the coyotes got her and she came to the barn with 9 little beauties recently.........[​IMG]
    Then my splach marans went broody,then my blue marans.....now the black marans and an Austrlrop.....................
    I keep taking eggs away giving each three.but you've got to know, they are such sneaky little egg thieves............[​IMG]
    It is contatious.............but fun....
    I can usually get them to come around after they leave Mom.....
    Good Luck

  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I find the broody raised chicks are the most survival ready when free ranging. They have quicker reactions to alarm calls and are quite the fighters when cornered. This I like. If I kept chickens for pets I might find this disconcerting but my chickens are for food and self-sustaining living, so chickens who survive longer are more important to me than chickens who like to cuddle.

    Since I handle my flock rarely, then the way they act when handled isn't as important to me. The fact that my broody has 100% survival rate on her brooded chicks and those chicks have a better health and better chance of avoiding predators is a bonus....means I spend less money to replenish my flock, have chickens who consume less feed because they are more adapted to foraging~having been taught well by mama, and chickens who are just more free ranging savvy. I can't imagine a better outcome!
  9. 7&8

    7&8 Songster

    Mar 29, 2010
    I'm a huge fan of broody raised chicks. My reasons are the same as others before me have mentioned.

    As far as the taming part, which is in my mind most important only if you are planning to show your birds, that's easy. Well, with an investment on my part it's easy... From day one, I hand feed a crushed hard cooked egg yolk morning and evening to the chicks. Momma helps, but the most important thing is that my hand is in their midst. They learn to associate me with something really nice. I asked the friend who recommended this to me how long he keeps it up. He replied, "Until I get tired of it."

    I'm on day 14 with one batch and going into the fifth week with another. Not tired of it yet... [​IMG]

  10. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chirping

    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    I only recently learned that hen raised chicks have much greater survival instincts. And I do like that quality since they do free range and I have hawks in the area. I don't handle my birds alot, and none of them are really pets, although quite a few will eat out of my hand. I guess I would like them to not be so un-friendly!
    When The Princess (white cochin) hatches hers out next weekend. Maybe i'll try to the egg yolk thing with them.
    Thank you.

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