mama hatched eggs! Should I take them out?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by luvussomechicks, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. luvussomechicks

    luvussomechicks Out Of The Brooder

    77
    2
    43
    May 11, 2012
    I have a broody hen that has hatched 3 new babies. Now what? Do I take them out of the chicken run away from other chickens, they will be new to the flock, of course. Will mama be able to protect them? What about them not eatting chick feed? Maybe I can just scatter some on the ground for them every day?
     
  2. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,767
    35
    153
    Mar 9, 2012
    AL/TN Stateline
    My Coop
    Mother nature has been doing this longer then any of us have, she seems to know whats best.
     
  3. Brin

    Brin New Egg

    1
    0
    8
    Sep 15, 2012
    I am wondering the same thing! Hopefully someone can get us some first-hand advice. :)
     
  4. AZ_HenHouse

    AZ_HenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    3
    93
    Nov 2, 2011
    I leave my banty hen in with the others and she does a great job of protecting her babies from the others. She just needs a space that she can call her own. I also have chick feeder and chick waterer near where she is. What is really nice, is when babies are big enough not to need momma anymore, they are intergrated into flock already.

    Good luck
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    This.

    The only time I've had a problem was when I had two hens hatch out the same day. The more dominate hen chased the sub hen's babies and might have injured them, she was quite rough on them. So I pulled the sub hen and her babies out. But otherwise, it's best to leave them in and let the babies grow up in the flock. I've never had a roo injure a chick, sometimes the other hens will give it a peck to say "get out of my way you little punk", the chick squawks and runs to momma, end of story.
     
  6. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,429
    49
    173
    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    I've had two broodies raise chicks this year. The first went broody right around the time I had a clutch hatch in the incubator, so I took the eggs and put the baby chicks under her. This one I did separate from the rest of the flock by moving her out of the nest box in the coop and putting her in a chicken tractor just on the other side of the fence to the run. After a few days, I opened the tractor and let the momma hen and chicks mingle with the rest of the flock. There was a bit of fighting at first as she warned off the other hens, but nothing serious and the rest of the flock quickly learned to leave the chicks alone.

    The second hen that went broody is lowest on the pecking order and I was quite concerned about her ability to protect her chicks. I got hatching eggs for her and after incubating a week in the house put the ones that seemed viable under her to let her do the rest. Because I was not sure about her ability to protect her chicks if I removed her from the flock during incubation I left her in the nest box and just removed any extra eggs each day. She hatched three chicks, but one had some leg issues and what looked like a possible umbilical hernia. Before she left the nest box with her chicks, I found the sickly one dead in the nest. There was probably nothing that could have been done for that chick anyway and I do not believe it was squashed or pecked to death. The next day, one of the chicks got out of the nest and I helped the other out of the nest and into the coop. That evening, when my husband checked on the chickens at lock up he mistakenly thought that the young cockerels from a previous hatch had somehow kicked the broody and her two chicks out of the nest and picked them up to put them back in the nest. I guess the next day the one chick managed to get out of the nest again and the other didn't. I found the other chick dead in the nest when I went to collect eggs at lunch, my guess is that it was either squashed or pecked to death by one of my other hens because it couldn't escape the nest box. But, even being lowest on the pecking order, my second broody did successfully raise the remaining chick (who, thankfully turns out is a girl) among the rest of the flock.

    If your flock has enough room, the broody hen will be perfectly capable of protecting her chicks from the other hens. If room is a bit tight, you might want to create a separate space for momma and the chicks just to be safe. As for feeding the chicks, there are several options. My birds all get an all flock pellet that is 18% protein and does not have a lot of added calcium (I offer oyster shell free choice to supplement calcium for the layers) which is safe for the baby chicks to eat. Probably not as easy, since I use a pelleted form instead of crumbles, but I have not offered crumbles with either of my broodies. No, wait that's not entirely true, I did offer grower crumbles to the first clutch since I had some chicks in a brooder that were also eating them. But only for the first week or two. If you feel more comfortable offering chick feed, then a non-medicated chick feed will not hurt your other chickens in any way (technically, the medicated feed won't hurt them either, but then you should not eat the eggs from those chickens). My first broody hen has gone broody again this fall and is currently sitting on a clutch of hatching eggs and I plan to feed a higher protein feed to the chicks. For now, I have again separated the broody into a tractor away from the other chickens (because she's very protective of her eggs and I really don't want to have to go digging around under her trying to find any extra eggs if the other hens add to the nest) and will offer chick crumbles to begin with so that she can show the newly hatched chicks that this is what food looks like. After that, I plan to build a box using pallets to keep the older chickens out of the chick feed but still allow the babies to have access. I got the idea after watching some of the chicks from previous hatches wander straight through the cracks in the pallet slats into the compost bin to scratch for goodies while the adult chickens couldn't get through past their shoulders.
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    18,897
    1,323
    396
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    It is always risky to leave a broody and her babies in with the general population. Much safer to separate her and her youngsters.
     
  8. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

    3,157
    121
    228
    Apr 12, 2012
    Kentucky Heartland
    I'd let nature take it's course but help a little by separating her and the babies from the rest of the flock.
     
  9. chickenn@@b

    [email protected]@b Out Of The Brooder

    83
    8
    33
    Jun 1, 2011
    My blue orp raised a small brood this summer. I just made sure the chick waterer and feeder were full at all times and let her do her job. She taught them to find their food, water, scratch, etc. At about 4.5 weeks she began roosting without them and started laying a few days later. She did a wonderful job and so much easier than brooding chicks in a brooder. I'd let them be. I only have 1 other hen though so space and flock issues weren't a problem.
     
  10. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    210
    3
    101
    May 22, 2010
    Two of the 3 newly purchased bantam silkies are laying on a nest now, side by side. My one little outcast just watches and at night cuddles as close as they will let her. I have the boy Coco who roosts but keeps a close watch over the whole thing. This Sunday will be 15 days sitting. Now I'll go out baby shopping. Another feeder/waterer, crumbles. Its like throwing myself a baby shower. I hear the bantam dads are very nice and the silkies make wonderful moms. I'm letting nature take its course, someone as already answered some questions for me so I'm confident it will work out. Just curious what do you think they will look like, dad is on the right?
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by