My hen disappeared, came back with yesterday, what do I have???

SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
400

One of my Black Sex Links disappeared 3-4 weeks ago into the woods and I found her with 12 chicks yesterday! She also has 3 more eggs that haven't hatched yet --she led me to her clutch. So I scooped the babies into my shirt, and mama under my arm and packed them all to the barn (in a private area). The dad is a pretty yellowish/white EE ...she was sitting on EE eggs and hers and others (I have 24 hens). It's my first hatching, so excited! So are these now all EE chicks? Mutts? lol Sorry for the ignorance, I wasn't expecting this! (doh...yes I know, I have a Roo.
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) Any comments appreciated. I discovered them an hour before leaving for a 12 hour night shift, so I didn't get to even count how many. I also put the 3 eggs with her from the pile and she's sitting on all the chicks/eggs like a good mama. I will be checking on them first thing this morning! Should I let them be for a few days? They all have food/water....I am aiming for a flock raised batch so I am not sure how long to separate them (they can all see each other).
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,908
1,145
291
Georgia
Good thing you separated them especially while she is hatching out the last of the eggs (you don't want her to have to chase babies all over the coop with eggs to hatch).

Often times the mamas will keep the chicks away from the flock for a few days on their own, I think it is a good thing to let the babies get a bit faster/smarter and more agile before mixing them in with older birds that may peck them.

Congrats! Watching a broody raise chicks is one of the best experiences a chicken keeper can have!

Oh and I don't know enough about genetics to say whether they are EE's (ie. whether they will lay colored eggs).
 
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SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
We have a tally of 16. And she's still sitting on 3. Does this sound like an abnormally high number of chicks for one mama hen?
 

newmarch2014

Songster
5 Years
Mar 27, 2014
1,130
127
181
Sounds like she is an awesome broody! I am curious to see if the 3 hatch,
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I would be doubtful but that is an awesome brood for her! Such fun for you!
 

SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
Sounds like she is an awesome broody! I am curious to see if the 3 hatch,:pop I would be doubtful but that is an awesome brood for her! Such fun for you!

The three eggs we brought back from the clutch in the woods were not viable (she stopped sitting on them). One had a mostly formed chick, the other two were likely "newly stolen eggs, or eggs laid on Broody's nest at the 11th hour. They broke open and were eaten (yikes). She's been a GREAT mama to the 16. Though 13 went to one new home today, we kept 3. Mama seems ok! I have another broody sitting on eggs in the woods now. Please, slow down girls! LOL! And what a fun and wonderful experience for the family! Whoever said it would be an awesome experience was dead on right!
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SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
Good thing you separated them especially while she is hatching out the last of the eggs (you don't want her to have to chase babies all over the coop with eggs to hatch).

Often times the mamas will keep the chicks away from the flock for a few days on their own, I think it is a good thing to let the babies get a bit faster/smarter and more agile before mixing them in with older birds that may peck them.

Congrats!  Watching a broody raise chicks is one of the best experiences a chicken keeper can have!

Oh and I don't know enough about genetics to say whether they are EE's (ie. whether they will lay colored eggs).

That was you Sonya9. Best experience ever! I can't get over how sweet it is seeing her mother these chicks.
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