New here..and loving my brahmas, but a few questions..

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MichelleLee, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. MichelleLee

    MichelleLee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Hi folks! I have just stumbled on your site after spending an entire morning surfing for information about my brahma chickens. I currently have 4 light brahma hens, 2 dark brahma hens, 3 light brahma roos, 2 dark brahma roos, and a lone white crested black polish hen that keeps me in stitches with her plucky little attitude. My flock is just turning a year old this month, and at last I got my first eggs from one of my light hens this week. Another light hen was nesting for awhile this morning, but no egg from her yet...so maybe tomorrow:)

    My odd little assortment (so many roos) is because I originally ordered 40 straight run chicks hoping to have options when culling out roosters to find a few of good quality to keep for the flock. As my luck would have it 85% of my chicks were males...I got more "options" than I needed. We found ourselves incapable of killing any of the spare roos...having raised them in the bathtub, and made pets out of them. I have found homes for most all of them, and the 3 stragglers have been named and given free range of the yard, while I keep all the hens and 2 nice roos in my coop. The roos all get along very well together, and I haven't had any problems with fighting.

    My flock is considerably smaller than I had hoped for (at least as far as hens go), so I've been walking on air since my one light hen started laying this week(3 eggs in 4 days so far..) and thinking to hatch out some little fluffs this spring. I've always had a few hens kicking about the barnyard, but have never had roosters before now..so I know little about breeding chickens.

    I guess my first question would be what is the best time of year to allow a hen to set?
    I live in central New York, and it is VERY early spring right now, so it's very chilly. There is usually pretty serious temperature fluctuations throughout our springs, right up into June...when it tends to level out and get pretty hot soon afterward.

    Also, what hen shall I select to set? Are there any particular attributes that will make a certain hen predisposed to be a better mother than others?
    Once I select a hen...is it as simple as just letting her keep her eggs as she lays them until she sets?
    Should I remove her and her nest from the coop? Or would she be fine rearing her chicks alongside the rest of the flock?
    My nest boxes are pretty high (about 3 1/2 feet off the ground) will this be dangerous to the chicks when they hatch if I let her set there?

    I'm sorry to ask so many questions, most of which are probably common knowledge to most of you folks. But I'm kinda stumbling around in the dark, being new to this and all:p
    Any advice offered would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi and welcome to BYC.
    I have LF brahmas, 4 light hens, 5 dark hens, 5 buff hens and a dark brahma roo. They will be a year old on the 9th of April.
    I used to have two roos and although the boys didn't fight, the girls were getting a bit worn out. When I had the chance to give my light roo to a good home I took it. I find my flock is much more peaceful now and the girls aren't worn out from overmating. Ten to twelve hens per roo is a good rule of thumb.
    A hen won't sit until they go into broody mode. Mine just finished a cycle of laying and two hens acted kinda broody - staying on the nests for hours, not laying, and developed broody attitudes, but they got over it in a couple days. I'm hoping that once the weather gets a tad bit warmer some of them will go into full broody mode.
    If and when they do, I plan to seperate the broody in a wire dog crate to protect her from all the traffic in the regular nests and to protect any chicks she might have from being injured by the other chickens. I have a secluded spot in my coop for the cage.
    Hope this gives you some answers. Good luck!
     

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