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Let Mom Do It or Bring Them In???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PamB, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. PamB

    PamB Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Okay, I need some advice from you experienced hatchers. [​IMG] I have a broody sitting on 5 eggs out in the coop. They are due in about a week. My original plan was to allow her to hatch and take care of the babies out in the coop. I would separate them with chicken wire for a few weeks, then remove the wire and allow mom to take them out when she saw fit. Thing is, I have three eggs in the incubator due tomorrow evening. Should I just separate the mom and eggs and let her hatch in the garage where it is warmer/peaceful and slip the older babies (they will be about a week old by the time she hatches hers) under her at night after her babies are a couple days old? I want to do the "right" thing here. It is an awfully cold time of year and this will be her first experience at being a mom. What do you all think? I worry about reintegrating the one hen.

  2. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Pacific NorthWest

    I had a worse problem than you, our hen chose to brood on a nest box which was 3 ft off the ground. I was worried about the chicks hatching and then falling to their death, so on day 18, which was Lockdown day, I took the hen, and all the eggs and set up a temp brooder nest box in a dog crate and put it at ground level. I put her inside the guest room to hatch for the last 3 days and plus 2 more to ensure all the chicks were dry and fluffed.

    It worked. She was grumpy at first, for having been moved from her original nest site, but the moment she saw her eggs in the new nestbox (in our guest room) she settled down on them peacefully. There she stayed for the next 3 days. She didn't come off the nestbox during the last 3 days.

    I think putting her in your garage is better than leaving her out in the cold. We're getting 20s and 30s in the night, very cold here right now. It was frosted all over. I think if you slowly add the older chicks under her, she won't even notice and will accept them. We had a buff Orp broody which we used to hatch chicks, and we put 3 older (hatched several days earlier) under her, and we did it gently and slowly, she didn't even mind and fluffed them up warm and good. She won't be able to differentiate which were hers and which are new.

    Try it, there is no harm. We also learned by trial and error, and so, don't worry. Just try and see.

    Good luck
  3. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    "If it were me"... I wouldn't get between a broody and her eggs/chicks. If I moved the hen, it would be at the very beginning and when I use golfballs to test broodiness. Regardless of natural or intervention; I most certainly would not bring them inside.

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