Izzie

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by izzie, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. izzie

    izzie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2014
    I want to but my broody and her new chicks into a coop with a run when is it safe to do this there are 6 chicks all hatched by this motning
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Depends on the hen. Some hens will only bond to eggs or their nesting location; they have varying degrees of instinct.

    Personally I'd act based on whether or not she's a proven mother. If she's not, I'd possibly wait till the next day so the chicks are all capable on their feet, then move them overnight into the run, unless it's a full moon and the hen will be able to see her way around... In that case a hen lacking sufficient maternal instinct might go pacing, trying to get back to her old nest, trampling chicks or letting them freeze overnight. If she's a proven mother I'd move her immediately though.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    May I ask why you are in a hurry? There may be better alternatives. The hen should have been bonding with her chicks even before they hatched. That's part of why the chicks start chirping after internal pip and before external pip. The hen and chicks are talking to each other and bonding. But the longer you leave them together in the nest usually the better that bond. I generally don't like to interfere until the hen moves them off the nest.

    Chooks, I've had a proven mother fail to bond with some chicks in her second hatch. She was great in her first hatch. It's a complicated story but with living animals each hatch is its own adventure. After that I don't put as much faith in "proven mother" as I used to.
     
  4. izzie

    izzie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2014
    She's bonded ok it's just that she's in a coop that hasn't a run because we thought we'd lost her then eventually found her under an egg box so wasn't sure if eggs were fertile although there's bongo cockerel in the pen so we just put her in a make do area as we didn't expect anything we have a coop with an enclosed run for her and chicks which Lilly our other broody had but we've moved her into a new coop and run
    There are 6 little chicks who are so adorable
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never experienced a proven mother fail, but there's a first time for everything I guess. In my experience a hen can fail to show complete instinct at any instance, i.e. some bond fine on the nest but are useless as free range mothers, some will do everything right except respond correctly to chicks crying because they're cold, etc. Good mothering is a spectrum of multiple nuances of multiple behaviors and if she lacks sufficient degrees of instinct on any one of those points it can be fatal.

    Best wishes.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I guess I could tell my story. Both hens involved were proven mothers that had hatched and raised chicks before.

    I had a hen go broody but a snake was occasionally visiting the henhouse. So I gave the hen a few eggs but put several more in the incubator so she would at least have some to raise. Some eggs did disappear from under the broody but she did hatch one chick, a red one. In the meantime I hatched several red and black chicks in the incubator. The problem was the hen hatched well before the incubator and it was one of those incubator hatches that stretched on for two long days and nights. By the time the incubator hatch was finished the hen had set on the nest bonding for two full days with that red chick and had brought the chick off the nest.

    I put the hen and red chick in an enclosure for a day and put the rest of the chicks with them the next morning. The hen accepted the red ones but rejected the black ones. She didn’t attack them to kill them, just drove them to the far end of the enclosure. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a hen reject chicks because of their color. Her previous brood this spring was mixed red, yellow, and black. I did not see that one coming. Maybe if I’d put them under her at night it would have been different.

    In the meantime another hen went broody. She had only been broody about two days when this happened but I stuck those black chicks under her. They stayed in there with her for about a day and a half but when those chicks started chirping that they were hungry and thirsty, she stayed on the nest instead of bringing them off for food and drink. I finally wound up putting them in a brooder and raising them myself. Although that brooder was only a couple of feet away from the broody she never blinked an eye. Instead of bonding with those chicks she just kept trying to hatch an empty nest. That was the first time I’d tried putting chicks with a hen that had just gone broody but she was well broody. The hormones had really hit hard. Again I did not expect failure. She had hatched and raised chicks before.

    I eventually got that snake by the way, but not until this drama was over.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Best wishes.
     

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