need advice about broody/adding chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mom 2em All, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I debated what section to put this in- hope I was right.
    I have a broody turken in my small coop with several other hens. She has been sitting for about 30 days.It took me about a week to get fertile eggs for her. I have four eggs under her and three in the incubator. I know only one- if that- is any good. i haven't candled it in two weeks because she gets so upset if I reach under her.
    The three in my incubator are ready to hatch. One is pipping.

    When do I put the chicks under her?Night time? Also, I have no way, due to space within the coop, to fence her and the babies off. Will my other hens kill the babies (that is probably a no-brainer- I'm sure they will try to peck them.) That said, if I move new mom and babies to another place- I have an empty rabbit hutch I can use- will she still take care of the babies? Should I put the babies under her in the coop for a couple days before moving her?
    The weather is going to be really cold and nasty here next week- my coop is heated. I could rig a heat lamp toward the rabbit hutch (three of my hens lay eggs in that hutch- they will be so mad when/if I close it off).
    Now that it is time for action, I am thoroughly confused as to how to proceed from here.
     
  2. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Chillin' With My Peeps

    My past experience on this is probably what you dont want to hear. As for the eggs she's currently sitting on, wait to see if they are going to hatch for you. I have had chicks hatch out from another hen and tried to put them under a broody hen and it didnt work for me. It was as if she knew they "didnt belong".
    You are right about separating them from the other hens, you will have problems if you run the chicks with big birds.
    If you have access to it you could setup a small mini brooder up in your coop with a heat lamp for your new chicks. I doubt the heat in your coop will give the heat they will need as young chicks.
    Best of luck!
     
  3. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    We always slip them under the hens at night and have never had a problem. Especially when they are between 1-2 days old. I would seperate her if you can for a couple of weeks until the babies can get around. Good luck !
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    What until the chicks in your bator are at least 2 days old. Make sure they are eating and drinking well before trying to get her to take them.

    Got out tonight, not late evening, but night when the chickens are in a comatose state, candle those eggs with a bright flashlight. If they are duds, wait until your chicks are at least 2 days old (again - and you know they are eating and drinking well) and take the eggs and leave the chicks. Keep your fingers crossed and hope by morning she realizes they are her babies and doesn't kill them. Some hens will kill the chicks.

    If you want her to brood the chicks then you have to give her a place to brood them away from the other chickens. Those chickens will kill the chicks if they get a chance.

    If you can't give her a place of her own to brood the chicks then brood them yourself. Break up her nest, lock her out of it and keep her out of it.

    She also needs to eat. 30 days on a nest will have her health in a fragile state. Scrambled eggs will boost her. Canned corn is also a good treat for her.
     
  5. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Thanks-
    she comes out to eat and drink and then runs right back to the nest. She was out this a.m. and I checked her eggs. Two are duds- one is good. I took that good one and plopped it in the incubator.

    Hopefully she will take the chicks as her babies. At what point should I move her and them? Once she has them under her, will I know very quickly that she thinks they are hers and can move them all at that time? (obviously, I will know if she thinks they are not- and she kills them.)

    I may be able to mold some hardware cloth around her nest box and give her a very limited area to be with the chicks- warm and safe from my other biddies. However, she will not have access to outside. I can put food and water in for her also.
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Move her before you put the chicks under her. If you add the chicks to her nest while other hens can get to her you risk loosing the chicks.

    I would wait until the eggs hatch. Go out the next night and put her in a secure area/pen. Return later in the night and take the eggs and put in the chicks.

    Use as little light as possible so she never completely wakes up and become alert.
     

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