Me Raising a chick instead of the Hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lfoose, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. lfoose

    lfoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2007
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    I have a hen that has been sitting on her egg for a while now. If all goes well, it should hatch around Good Friday.

    Now, if the chick survives, should I let momma hen take care of it or do I take it inside and care for it? I know obivously a hen can raise a chick but what will offer the best for the chick? Me or momma?
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you want them to be freindly and tame you can hand raise them. If you leave them she will raise them fine After a few weeks she is done with it all. They don't stay with a mother hen long before they become just another chicken to her.
     
  3. lfoose

    lfoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I have a feeling the chick will come in since my daughters are already excited about it.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If it is just one chick though, I would leave it with momma. The chick will be more flighty but it won't get lonely by it's self when it's human parents have to sleep and do human things. I know when I borrow my broody's chick she has terrible separation anxiety and will puff and cluck until I come back out with the chick. I'm sure she'd get over it when her chick doesn't come back after a few days and get reset so she won't take it back. In addition when you go to reintroduce the chick when it grows up (at about 16 weeks old), the flock will treat it as a stranger and not take it back without fuss unlike if momma hen shows everyone it is family. Still some pecking if it grows up with momma but much less. My broody cares for her chicks for about 8 weeks.

    I've raised single incubator chicks and it was ok for the first two days... but then you get the constant screaming for attention and if they can't see you they start to chirp. I took it's heated box with me everywhere and had to set it at my feet so it could see me. It was kind of a pain. I say just let momma raise it because then she does all the work, the chick will be wiser to the world, you don't have to integrate it, and you don't have to deal with a lone chick crying all day and night that it can't see you. Just put food and water low enough for the baby to get to it.

    You can go ahead and bring it in though if you want. Either way will raise a chick.
     
  5. lfoose

    lfoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will I need to provide the chick feed for it? Or will momma help it eat the big chicken food? I am sure if I have a seperate bowl for it, my others will eat it too.
     
  6. Kaneke

    Kaneke Chillin' With My Peeps

    your mama hen will most likely chase away any others of the flock who get anywhere near that chick .. or anything else for that matter -- so you can put down small amounts of chick starter for mama and fluffy butt to eat ...

    you may want to segregate them from the rest of the flock also, or mama hen will be chasing and clucking and growling a lot

    mine were free ranging, but the banty mama with chicks stayed well away from the rest of the flock, and chased them all off if they came near while mama and the chicks were scratching and pecking ... chased off the cats and dogs too

    she would let me stand within a foot of them, but NOT TOUCH
     
  7. lfoose

    lfoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a large crate/cage that I have used to quarentine newbies before. Would it be a good idea to put mommy and fb in this until the chick is older?

    Momma will make a cooing sound before she lets me pet her. She will also get out of the box to eat and let two other hens lay thier eggs or sit on her own. But any other chickens come by her and she has a fit.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    As long as her nest is on the "ground" level, she should be able to defend against the others if she has only one chick. I never took my broody out from the others and they did fine. However, I free range completely so the stress level is pretty low for them and even the rooster stayed clear of her.
     
  9. lfoose

    lfoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I noticed yesterday that she was sitting in a different box. I moved her back into the right box so hopefully she'll stay.

    I'd like to free range mine all of the time but with the neighbor's dog running loose all of the time and the hawks, I'd be afraid of losing them.
     

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