Need advice about Broody Hen and Eggs vs Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by breezy, May 15, 2011.

  1. breezy

    breezy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2009
    Sand Coulee MT
    I have a broody Jersey Giant. She has plucked a strip of feathers down her chest and is sitting fluffed up in the nest box. I want to know the pros and cons of slipping eggs under her vs a couple of hatched chicks.
    This is what I have been thinking:
    Chicks can be purchased already sexed so I can be certain of what Im getting and makes it easier to sell when they are ready .
    Eggs would be easier to lose than chicks if she fails to do her job well. Id hate to put a couple of chicks out there only to have something go really wrong and kill them.
    I dont know which of these 2 thoughts makes more sense since they seem to have equal value for different reasons.
    I also need to know if this hen has to be in a separate place or if she can successfully brood eggs/chicks in the coop that she shares with 3 BO.

    I seem to remember my grandma letting her chickens raise their chicks in the coop without separating them but I dont know if thats a good way or not. I dont recall any issues with doing it that way other than one old hen would gather all the babies into a group whethor they were hers or not she kind of took them all under her wings.

    Any thoughts or advice would be really appreciated.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've had good luck with slipping a few day old chicks under a broody -- but do it after dark. Have also given them eggs and had this work. I did have a broody kick a batch of added chicks out, though, so I had to set up a heat lamp and brood them myself. She didn't hurt them.

    I have had I think 6 mamas raise 6 sets of chicks in the coop with the flock. No problem at all. The others mostly ignore the chicks, and if they get a little close or curious, she lets them know who is boss and runs them off.

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