Introduced extra chicks to a broody's not-so-great hatch

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wsmoak, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    My broody hen hatched four of the ten eggs she was sitting on, and today I picked up a half dozen blue black splash orpington chicks and exchanged them for the six eggs that are just not going to hatch.

    I was supposed to wait until dark to do this, but they were all piled up in the corner of their box and I really didn't want to set up a heat lamp for two hours, so I went ahead and did it earlier.

    She has been very tolerant of me messing with the chicks and picking her up to look at the eggs, so it was a non-event to reach under her with a chick and grab an egg.

    What was funny was when one of the new chicks came out and just stood there, staring at her. It had been hatched in an incubator so of course had never seen a hen before! It was like its little brain was clicking through possible instinctive responses: peck? no. peep? no. burrow under? that's it! And it motored over and pushed at some feathers until it found an entrance.

    The original chicks are doing great, their new trick is getting a running start and climbing up on top of the hen, then sliding off the other side.

    -Wendy
     
  2. bckyrdchknluvr

    bckyrdchknluvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2011
    That is so adorable. I'm currently waiting for my first eggs under my broody's to hatch. Have been debating on weather or not to leave them once they hatch as well, but I think that I'm going to take them out and put them in the brooder in my house so I can watch them better. Just too nervous to leave them with mom, lol.
     
  3. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Quote:I put chicks under my broody, her eggs were all bad, and she did great with them. We lost 2 because of pasty butt, and I had her set up to where she could herd them away from me and I couldn't reach them, so it was difficult to check them.

    I replaced those 2 that were about a week older, youngest I could find, and she didn't take to them at all. They could sleep under her at night, but during the day, she herded her 2 into a corner, the newcomers weren't allowed out of the nest box to eat and drink.

    It's an amazing experience to see a broody raising her chicks.
     
  4. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Quote:If you leave them with the broody, you will be amazed at how much smarter they are. She teaches them from day number one. Throw her a blueberry, or some treat, and she will pick it up, chew it up a bit, spit it out and call them to it. She teaches them how to bathe, how to roost, it's a wonderful experience.

    You also have less problems with things like pasty butt. She will take excellent care of them.

    They won't be quite as friendly with you as ones you raise in the brooder, because she teaches them about predators, and humans are predators, even if she is your favorite pet.

    I would leave them with her, if I were you, or maybe leave her some and you can raise some in the brooder, would give you a good comparison.
     
  5. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awwww, we lost a couple of the new ones. I think she either stepped on them, or they didn't understand how to get out from under her if they were too hot.

    I second leaving chicks with the hen, the four she hatched are all doing great! The new ones are a bit... confused.

    And I don't have to worry about the fire hazard of a heat lamp, changing smelly bedding, etc., etc. [​IMG]

    -Wendy
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  6. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here she is with everybody running around...

    [​IMG]
    110628_5488 by wsmoak, on Flickr

    They get to move out of the dog cage and into the new chicken tractor tonight. [​IMG]

    She insists on keeping that feeder right in front of her. If I move it, she drags it back and settles herself so it's half underneath her.

    -Wendy
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  7. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good morning in the chicken tractor:

    [​IMG]
    110629_5492 by wsmoak, on Flickr

    The hen was NOT happy about not being able to go back to 'her' coop, and walked the edge as it got dark, then settled into the corner of the tractor closest to the coop-- which was not in the covered end where I had put hay for her to nest in! She was a bit damp from the dew, but everybody survived.

    The tractor still needs paint (thus, the tarp,) and some way to move it, as picking it up and carrying it around is not fun! "When in doubt, add more materials" is the construction motto around here, that thing is heavy!

    DH thinks it can stay in one place for "a while". Any bets on how long it takes one hen and eight chicks to reduce a 4x8 foot section to bare earth?

    -Wendy
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

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