Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tishywoo, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. tishywoo

    tishywoo In the Brooder

    Apologies if this is a dumb question, I'm new to this all.

    My broody hen has just hatched 2 days ago 7 out of 12 eggs (we bought eggs and they are all mixed variety.)

    She left 5 eggs today, they were all liquid inside so we think that's a pretty good hatch rate for first timer. She is in an old dog kennel, inside a big cage (for protection) and can still see and hear all other chickens. There is straw on floor, but she's kicking it up, as chickens do, as she's scratching around, and in the process, kicking the chicks. A couple of them were in the food bowl and went on a ride in that. Is this normal, am I over thinking and over-worrying, after all, I can't watch 24/7. Thanks for any advice.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. As soon as is possible give her and the chicks a larger pen. She may inadvertently hurt them as she is scratching and looking for tidbits for them.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member 5 Years

    Hey there tishywoo

    Welcome to BYC and congratulations on the hatch.

    As sourland has suggested, some more room may help with the problem.

    I just wanted to add that I have a broody Pekin [bantam Cochin] and those big feathered feet of hers have knocked a few littlies over. However, they soon learn to stay in front of her and out of range of her feet.

    Also, when she finds something in her scratching she will call them over and they also soon learn that in front and close to her beak gets way more treats than out back and in the firing line [​IMG]

    Not the best picture, but you can just see the block of timber in the background with a lip/step that serves to keep the containers in place and also allows them to jump up to it. The water is raised on a brick with a little platform that they can jump on. Both of these stop mumma's enthusiastic scratching lessons from wasting too much food and dirtying the water:

  4. tishywoo

    tishywoo In the Brooder[/IMG ]

    Not a brilliant photo but the kennel is large and in a secure cage/pen with floor space about 10m2. Mother hen is much calmer now, I think she was telling me off for putting too much bedding on floor. I've just watched her lead the chicks out of the kennel into the pen space and back in again. Water and food are up off floor and I think MY panic is over. Thank you all for "holding my hand" [IMG]emojione/assets/png/1f423.png?v=2.2.7[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging 8 Years

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Gosh, I sure envy you guys down under for having spring and summer lined up while we're facing our frigid part of the year.

    Watching a broody raise her chicks is something I'm looking forward to again in the spring, when we finally get spring again up in this part of the world. I have a broody who is just finishing rearing a single chick, and I have to admit it's been the high point of all my nine years of keeping chickens.

    Up until now, I've done the chick raising in my flock, but I'm nowhere near as proficient as a broody hen!
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member 5 Years

    Hey azygous trust me, in a month or so I, for one, will be whinging bitterly about the humidity and envying your winter.

    I have never used an incubator and know nothing about them [except reading some BYC threads].

    I could not agree more .. watching a mumma hen teach and protect her babies is a wonderful experience that I will never tire of. The chicken equivalent of love is so evident and beautiful to watch.

    I have never had to take chicks away from a broody for whatever reason and hope I never have to. People say they get over it but I do not think I could handle her looking for them.

    I do not keep all the chicks but definitely wait until she has cut the cord before rehoming them. Or in some cases, kicked them to the kerb. “Today I love you, tomorrow not so much, go away!” lol [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by