New Chicken Mom With First Broody Hen Questions???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shiningfeather, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hen go broody today and just so happened to get hatching eggs (don't know what kind, but a nice mix of olive, white, light brown, blue and green) today as well. [​IMG] So when I went to gather eggs this evening I saw what had started and put some of my eggs in with hers, she only had five. I have read what everyone else has wrote on other posts and I am going to leave her with her little family since there is only a total of 4 hens and one roo in my coop. Plus there is plenty of room as it had been a small horse barn in its first life, my husband enclosed it with an outside run since we have a large pack of coyotes that live close by and owls.

    My concern is our nest boxes are about 4 foot up from the floor and I don't want broken eggs from mom or others getting in and out, or hurt babies when they hatch. I think the front and sides are to tall for babies to get over. I can pile a large mound of loose hay under the nest and should I build some sort of ramp so mom doesn't have to jump/fly and have hard landings on the eggs?

    The chickens we have are game and were pretty much wild when we got them. Is there a way I can make the babies more tame than the ones I have (I can't even get near them normally)? I did get to pet mom tonight as I added the few extra eggs, which I loved. She did hiss a little but she was in the trance state. I would like to have the babies be tame tho.

    Another question is all of these chickens I got are the same age, will they all go broody at the same time??

    Ok, ahe last question I think is I have eggs in the bator that will hatch less than a week before our hens do. Will we be able to incorporate them all together, and at what age??

    I have so much to learn and am on here every night reading other peoples questions and answers to try and learn as much as I can. Thanks so much for being here for us newbies [​IMG]
     
  2. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck with your first broody hen! When your house hatched chicks are feathered out and old enough to join your flock the best way is if you can confine them in an area inside where they can see & be seen but not touch. I usually do this for a couple of weeks and when I let them in with the others there is little trouble.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    See my answers below:

    My concern is our nest boxes are about 4 foot up from the floor and I don't want broken eggs from mom or others getting in and out, or hurt babies when they hatch. I think the front and sides are to tall for babies to get over. I can pile a large mound of loose hay under the nest and should I build some sort of ramp so mom doesn't have to jump/fly and have hard landings on the eggs?

    Does your nest box have a "lip" on front? It should have one so the eggs wouldn't roll out. A ramp would work, or I have put a haybale in front for the babies. but I've had babies fall down from a tall coop before and had to replace them to the nest which wasn't the greatest idea. you might want to try moving the entire family to a lower nest once hatched, if you can.


    The chickens we have are game and were pretty much wild when we got them. Is there a way I can make the babies more tame than the ones I have (I can't even get near them normally)? I did get to pet mom tonight as I added the few extra eggs, which I loved. She did hiss a little but she was in the trance state. I would like to have the babies be tame tho.

    You would have to handle the chicks early on, a lot. In my experience, chicks raised by a broody are more wild because she keeps them away from human intervention and teaches them to stay away. They learn not to trust people as much. then again, food is a great way to tame an adult chicken.

    Another question is all of these chickens I got are the same age, will they all go broody at the same time??

    I've found broodiness is less affected by age, then by the season, the number of eggs in the nest, the breed, and other random factors. Most of my hens go broody in spring and summer.

    Ok, the last question I think is I have eggs in the bator that will hatch less than a week before our hens do. Will we be able to incorporate them all together, and at what age??
    I have so much to learn and am on here every night reading other peoples questions and answers to try and learn as much as I can. Thanks so much for being here for us newbies [​IMG]

    You could try putting the pre-hatched chicks with the mom within a day or two of her hatching hers -- earlier is better. It's a 50/50 chance your broody will accept them -- because your broody has been communicating to her chicks even in the shell by listening to their chirping and may recognize your incubated chicks as a foreign threat and try to kill them. On the other hand, some broodies will take "anyone" in. I would do it as early as possible, and only if they are the same color. don't put the chick in front of her -- put it under her, and then hang around long enough to see how she acts towards it. You'll be able to tell whether she accepts it or tries to get rid of it.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    I was told to maybe add a hay bale next to the opening to the nest to make it easier for the chicks to get down.
     
  5. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't think they will be able to get out since the box is about 5inches deep in the front and 10 on the sides.
    I plan on moving them to the floor one they have hatched. I will pile hay in every corner so no matter which one they pick they will have a nice bed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:
     
  7. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What part of NW Ark. are you in Ridge? I was born in those hills (Harrison), and still hate wearing shoes [​IMG]
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Prairie Grove, just south of Fayetteville. Grew up in Tennessee.

    I don't want to hijack the post (I know, then don't) but your shoe comment reminded me of my cousin. She (4'-11" and 89 pounds) took a job teaching in a rough school in Chicago in the 60's. She was actually the third treacher in that class that year and she returned the nest year. She was tough herself. When someone called her a hillbilly, she's put on her best hillbilly accent and start complaining about how her shoes were hurting her feet as they were the first pair of store-bought shoes she had ever worn. She had many people believing her.
     
  9. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your cousin sounds like she is a funny lady. My Dad still lives up there near the town I was born in. I miss those hills, and the beauty of them. Its such a contrast to go up there, I feel the stress slide out of my shoulders when I do. I live about 60 miles north east of Dallas, but work in Dallas and have to deal with the traffic/people. On my days off I stay at home, not wanting to go anywhere. I figure it is my recover time before I start the next week of fighting traffic. I could find something closer to where I live but would not get the pay I get in Dallas, so that is my trade out I guess.
     

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