Information on Chicks raised by hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BarredBuff, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,923
    13
    173
    Dec 6, 2009
    This spring I plan to let the broodys brood but first i have a few questions:
    What kind of feed will be necessary (they will be with a two roosters and nineteen layers)?
    Do you still need to put teramycin in the water?
    Is the mortality rate higher or lower with chicks raised by hens?
    Will the roosters bother the hens with chicks?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I don't have all the answers or even the "correct" answers, just what I did and it seemed to work OK.

    I let them eat Layena and ranging during the day. Too hard to segregate them for special feed.
    I never have used antibiotics. They are outside birds and range during the day. I think they get a natural immunity from exposure the nasty micro critters.
    My mortality rate was low as near as I can tell. One hen disappeared for a month then showed up with a bunch of chicks so I don't know how many eggs she sat on. The others had a really good hatch rate. I would guess upwards of 95%.
    The hens protect their chicks and the roosters seem to have some sort of instinct to protect their offspring until they become competition for breeding rights.

    Most of my chickens are at my niece's house but right now at home I have one rooster, one hen, and one chick that was a surprise while we were gone. The rooster seems very fatherly.
     
  3. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes I noticed the "fatherly" reaction of grown roos with the chicks. My biggest problem was "Black Mamba" a black star hen that protected her chicks fiercely. So fiercely that she would attack the chicks of other hens and kill them!
    I about died from horror when I first saw it happen. I had to be very careful to keep my mothering hens away from each other after that massacre.
     
  4. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,923
    13
    173
    Dec 6, 2009
    Thank you this has been very helpful to me and we will see this spring how they do. Thanks
     
  5. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    what I did was separate her in a broody box with food and water in the coop so she was still near the others but they couldnt bother her or her nest. When the chicks hatched they stayed in there with her for about 2 weeks and I switched to chick starter for the hen and her chicks and added a little sugar water the first day. Being that everyone could be near each other when the chicks were allowed to leave the box and mom as well, no body much minded. The older hens were more bothered a few weeks later when mom was done with the babies and left them to do for themselves, it was more of a pecking order thing. I cut a hole in a cardboard box just a little bigger than the chicks and placed their food inside so the hens couldnt eat it. They still liked that broody box so they could go and get out of the hens way. I didnt loose any chicks but out of 9 eggs, 4 hatched, 2 never made it out of the shell alive and the rest were duds. But I did place more eggs than I wanted chicks.
     
  6. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,923
    13
    173
    Dec 6, 2009
    Here is another question will they hatch other hens eggs or theirs only? I have 15 grown layers and 8 nest boxes and between them they use two boxes so will having a hen hatch them be a problem?
     
  7. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    1,992
    14
    198
    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    Quote:Broody hens tend to want to hatch everything, and don't really care whose eggs they sit on. [​IMG] Once the hen is sitting, sneak in, and mark her eggs with a pencil or crayon. The hen will get up every so often to eat and relieve herself. When she does, other hens will lay in her nest, and she'll sit on those eggs as well. You'll have to remove the ones that aren't marked to avoid a very staggered hatch where momma has moved on with her hatchlings, and is done sitting.

    I love watching roos with chicks. It's so cute how they call them over for food. I panicked about the roosters at first, but have found them very parental with the babies. Good luck, I hope your hens sit for you.
     
  8. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,923
    13
    173
    Dec 6, 2009
    I hope they will sit I and thanks for the idea about marking the eggs that will really help
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,661
    4,191
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think you are getting some great info from the other posters. I'll give these two links since I think they contain some more good info for you.

    With chickens, there is seldom a right way or a wrong way. We all have different set-ups so what works for one may not work for another. Just continue asking and learning, pick the way that seems right for you, and you should do well.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    Raise with flock? thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=215937&p=1
     
  10. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by