Newbie with broody hen and hatched chick - got ?'s!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wifeofyoyopro, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. wifeofyoyopro

    wifeofyoyopro Out Of The Brooder

    23
    3
    24
    Sep 4, 2010
    North Carolina
    My hen went broody for the first time at the beginning of Dec. and thought I would try to hatch some chicks naturally in spite of the cold. Only one chick hatched right before Christmas (LAST WED.). Mamma hen has been fine with baby chick. We have them in a Large dog crate inside the house. But today the hen is squacking up a storm. Is something wrong? Do I need to remove her from the chick? And if not now...WHEN do I remove her from the chick and put her back with the other hens? Or is she getting ready to lay an egg and she is just singing her egg song? I don't understand the broody process yet and don't know when they go back to normal.

    My other concern is for the chick. I was hoping I would have a better success rate and have at least 2 hatch but I only have one. I thought about going to feed store to get another chick to keep company but they have none available because of the cold weather. What do I do with this lonely chick? Any suggestions?

    Right now, my biggest question is the hen clucking and squacking so much!!!! She has been doing it all morning (intermittently).
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Keep the chick with mom. When mom is ready, she will start to wean the chick away from her - this can be as early as 6 weeks or as late as a year. When mom is ready to lay, she will - generally when the chick is 6 to 8 weeks old is when mine return to laying (chick will hang around will mom is in the nest box)



    Do you have an area outside, safe for the chick, where you can put mom and baby for a part of the day? My broodies, I move them out when it is nice - no high wind, no rain - I do not worry about temp. I leave them outside during the day and bring them back into the coop or shed, in their kennel for the night.


    Clucking/squaking - Mom wants SOMETHING - could be a container filled with sand/dirt to bathe in, could be she needs to run around and flap her wings.


    Congrats on the chick!
     
  3. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Chillin' With My Peeps

    433
    6
    121
    Dec 27, 2009
    I agree with HorseFeatherz, momma wants something. I was wondering what type of food you have available for them? Is it suitable for the chick?
    When my broody was about two to three weeks into it, she squawked and squawked until I figured out she didn't want a light on the cage. They were inside and it wasn't really necessary and I guess it was driving her mad! [​IMG] But it took me a while to figure it out!
    Or maybe she just needs out to stretch for awhile?
    She will let both you and the chick know when she is done taking care of it. I think 6 weeks is just about normal, but I have heard of people on BYC saying their broodies gave up after 2 weeks. Although, I think the way they let you know is more obvious than squawking. Mine literally pushed them away anytime they came near her and if they didn't get that hint she started pecking them. Not enough to draw blood, just enough to give them the message!
     
  4. wifeofyoyopro

    wifeofyoyopro Out Of The Brooder

    23
    3
    24
    Sep 4, 2010
    North Carolina
    I have both Layena pellets for mom and start & grow crumbles for chick available in kennel for them along with fresh water. I tried taking momma outside for a little bit to let her spread her wings and dust bathe if she wanted but she freaked out even more. Don't have a light on them since they are inside and it is warm. I've tried moving them to a different room that is farthest away from the noise of 4 kids in the house and told the kids to leave her alone for awhile. Hopefully that will help settle her.

    Should I try and make a homemade incurbator and get some eggs going to provide chick with company? I am concerned about when she is big enough to put with the rest of the flock. I heard that introducing them in pairs (or more) is better and it is not as good to introduce just on new chick at a time. Any suggestions there?
     
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Quote:Mama can eat the starter food right now. She doesn't need the layena.

    While it is easier to introduce a chicks in groups or pairs, the broody mother kind of does the work for you. At this point, my broody mamas are usually very eager to get to teaching their young how to scratch around outside, etc. If i were you, i would let mama and baby join the flock as soon as you can. Mama is going to act very different from normal, just because she's broody, and she'll spend a lot of time fluffing herself all up and making lots of racket at the other chickens. She's just letting them know that this is her baby, and they better not mess with it. She should also have no problem keeping that baby warm outside. Since it's only one chick, she should be able to keep him/her warm for the next month or more.

    My point is that you don't (or at least i don't) integrate a broody and chick the same way that you would if you simply had a new chick. Mama will make the introductions and teach the baby the ropes.

    I didn't notice where you live, but i would be careful about letting them outside if it's wet. My experience is that the mamas are for some reason oblivious to the fact that the rain isn't good for their babies. I don't know why.
     
  6. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Chillin' With My Peeps

    433
    6
    121
    Dec 27, 2009
    I agree with PunkinPeep, take away the layena pellets. Momma doesn't need them right now. Also, she is probably wanting to get out and about and start showing her chick the ropes.
    When I had a broody hen with chicks I kept them in a cage, inside of a small pen. They could easily go back and forth form cage to pen. I had a little roost in it so they could learn how to roost. After about two weeks I started taking them outside during the day if it wasn't raining (this was during December also) so she could teach them how to get along in the world.

    It seems a bit early to me for her to start laying again. My broody didn't lay for three months AFTER the hatch! But I am not sure if that is the norm or not. Did moving her to a quieter place help?
    Cathryn
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by