Olivia has FINALLY gotten her some babies! Please advise me on what to do now... :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by countrycakelady, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. countrycakelady

    countrycakelady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2012
    Eastern NC
    My Olivia, a 1.5 yr. old RSL, as of last night, has 4 new babies...I got her (4) 3 day old Dominques...they are precious! We did the 'bait and switch' late last night..she is being an excellent Mom! :) She has been broody for almost 8 weeks....we did get some fertilized eggs, but the snake got most of them..what was left were duds....

    So.........I have given her the babies...checked on her early this am...she is doing a great job so far....scrambled her egg and have to get chick food today....gave them a waterer with electolytes in it, we are having extremely hot temps here...she is in her own brooder box...a big one.....seems happy.They are located under our wood shelter, not in the pen and the coop with the others...will they be accepted later? Will the other hens be used to them as time goes on?....so many questions.... I just need to know if there is anything else I need to be doing....she has not wanted to come out in the yard yet.....we have 21 others who will be free ranging in about 4 hours.....she will protect her babies I am sure? This is a first time for me having a hen raise chicks, so I want to do all the correct things and protect everyone. THANK YOU all for any advice...always learning. :)
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Many experienced flock keepers let their broodies raise their chicks within the flock. This summer I learned the benefit of early integration. I keep my broody and babies separated for about a week or so, but that's mainly because of the mama barn cat that prowls around the coops to steal eggs. I don't want her to think she'd like a chicken nugget, too. Anyway, when I put them together, the hen is VERY protective of her babies. She will not let any other hens near them. So, the chicks grow up with the flock, the flock accepts them, and they quickly learn their place within the flock. It's a much smoother integration than how I used to do it - keep them separated until the chicks were a month or more old, and the mama wasn't so protective of them. Then they pretty much had to fend for themselves. So, this summer I had a hen hatch out 5 chicks in the beginning of May. She and her babies were put in with the flock when they were a week or so old. A few weeks after integration, the mama was killed by a raccoon that got into the coop. (During the day!) DH had noticed the orphans wandering around looking lost, found the pile of feathers in the coop. Anyway, at that point the babies were already accepted into the flock so there was no difficult integration to worry about later. I will always get mom and babies in with the flock ASAP from now on.
     
  3. countrycakelady

    countrycakelady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2012
    Eastern NC
    bobbij, how do you prevent the adult chickens from eating the chick feed? I am not sure about putting her and them back in the coop.....there will be 21 more adults in there if I do....
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    I feed everyone the same feed. If you're not comfortable with your layers eating medicated chick feed, you can feed them all grower. That's what my flock is eating right now (second batch is about a month old). I do have the advantage of free ranging my chickens so there is plenty of space for everyone. One thing you could do is put pallets up on bricks, lean them against your coop, or whatever to make hiding places for the chicks. Whether or not you put them in with the flock this early is, of course, entirely up to you. I am just sharing what my experience has been. This chicken thing is an ongoing learning experience. Sometimes I wonder how I ever raised my first ones! (Kinda like my kids - they're all in their 20's now, but I look at how my niece and nephew are raising their kids and wonder how mine ever survived! [​IMG] )
     

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