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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lablover, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2012
    It's day 18. I have a broody EE on 6 eggs. On day 14, 3 eggs showed appropriate development. 1 did not, but I forgot to take that one out.
    This is her nest.
    [​IMG]
    This is the coop.
    [​IMG]
    It's divided in half with a temporary fence to separate the broody on the right. If she gets them off of the nest, they won't be safe because another chicken can reach through the fence and grab them if they stray. I don't have a problem with buying another roll of chicken wire and going along the bottom of the fence, but I'm not sure if the hen and chicks should stay there. The floor is dirt, so I worry about the chicks and cocci. I am putting them on medicated food though. Will the hen nest on the ground? Should I cover the floor with hay?
    I also have a chicken tractor with hardware cloth along the bottom for protection. It has a roost that is level with that board running lengthwise. The steps are no longer on the ramp though. Covered with a tarp. This is harder to keep clean, especially since the chicks would spend a few weeks here until they're big enough to be closer to the flock and only separated by a fence that has 2x4 in openings. However, they would be safe and secure away from the flock.
    [​IMG]
    If I leave them in the coop, it will get cramped because there's no access to the run. The other chickens have access to it since they are on the left side of the coop where the gate is. I want the hen to raise them, and preferably integrate them. However, if they are all boys which they likely will be, I probably won't be keeping them. Right now, I have 1 rooster and 8 hens. So, if I integrate them, what is the best time to let the hen and chicks with the flock? This is my first broody, so I just want to have some sort of plan....
     
  2. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Also, should I expect them to hatch anywhere from day 20-22?
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    They can start hatching as early as day 18 or as late as day 23. The 21 days is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. Many experienced chicken keepers will let the broody and chicks to in with the flock right away - the hen will protect them from the other birds and it does make integration easier than waiting until the chicks are older. I've done it both ways, and prefer an early introduction myself. Within the first week or two, the broody is still extremely protective and will not allow the other hens to bother the chicks. My roosters will also protect the hen and chicks. I've seen both last year's rooster and this year's rooster (the one I had last spring was taken by a coyote during the summer) come between a bossy hen and the broody. Both times the bossy hen would try to harass the broody and the rooster broke it up. The other hens will come to accept the chicks and the chicks will quickly learn their place in the flock. I also saw another advantage to early introduction this summer when my first broody was killed when her chicks were about a month old - they were already with the flock and the other chickens had accepted them by then. My chicks are exposed to dirt and germs and whatever else from day 1. I don't clean or sanitize the coop before they hatch - just put down fresh straw for them. They are outside at a week old. (I keep the broody and chicks separate for a week just to give them a little better chance because I have a mama barn cat that prowls around the coop looking for eggs).
     
  4. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Ok. So since the hen has been right in the coop the whole time, the rooster shouldn't freak out when he's allowed near her? I thinking that I can just open the gate that is part of the temp fence and let them mingle. That way, she can still nest on that side if she chooses. I think that I will give them a week of separation as well, so should I cover their side in hay?
    I also treated the flock for mites last week with adams flea spray. The broody will need it too, so when can she be treated?
     

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