Question about broody hen fostering

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by whambam, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. whambam

    whambam In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2013
    Southwest
    It's been a long time since I have been around chicks on the farm I used to help out at, back when I was 10. I do remember chickens being somewhat cruel to each other.

    My girls are still young, not even laying yet, (13 weeks or so). But I was hoping to add some chicks next year once it gets warm out. I had read about putting the babies under a broody hen.

    I have a few questions:
    Can you place sexed chicks under a mam from a hatchery, or is it better to hatch them under her?

    My other question is when you do this, how do you handle the other chickens you have? Mine are in a coop (too many coyotes and one of my own dogs pose too much of a threat to free range), it will be a minimum of 300 sqft, maybe larger by that point (right now I just have 7 birds). Will they leave the chicks alone because mama is there to watch them? Or do they need a seperate place?
     

  2. Do you have a broody hen? If you don't have a broody hen (which if your chickens aren't even laying I'd be so shocked if ones broody) then adding chicks could kill them.
    You can add them under mom, preferably at night, and it'll be fine just watch the moms reaction. It's either an instant 'I LOVE THEM!!' Or an instant 'KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!' Reaction. If you need, put a chick in front of her and see the reaction. She may peck it and try to snuggle it, she may try to kill it.
    I like doing it during the morning so I can see the moms reaction better to make sure she doesn't want to kill it with fire ;)


    As for separating, they tend to do alright with the flock, even low on the pecking order given plenty of space and moms aggressiveness. We have 2 hens, both banties in a mixed flock but much more big hens then small, and one of the moms just tries to get the chicks under her and block from the threat, the other girl goes ape **** crazy! She screams, pecks, lunges, rips out feathers, it's such hatred from such a small girl (she recently made a flock of ducks that ran next to the babies ruffle their feathers and have a new respect for mothers, LOL)
    So it varies per bird, if the bird just kinda blocks the hens but won't defend, then I'd separate them until the babies are 1-2 weeks old. If she goes ape **** crazy, then you'll be set!
     
    BerkeleyKnitter likes this.
  3. whambam

    whambam In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2013
    Southwest
    Good to know thanks.

    I think I mentioned we'd be doing it next year when it's warmer, so if I didnt, then that's the plan. No broodiness here. But next year, once they get broody, i really want to sneak in some babies.
     
  4. Oy, sorry didnt notice that!
     

  5. chick little

    chick little In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    My golden buff is broody I didn't expect her to be broody so I dont have place to put her can I put 2week old chicks under her in the day when she's in a box then i ll move her
     
  6. Yes, but the chicks also have to accept the mom. If they are too old, they won't. And the mom might not accept them, either. If they are a week old or older, the chicks won't bond with the mom and be her children (kinda like you can put a quail under a mom hen and expect the quail to listen to her )
     
  7. chick little

    chick little In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    What's a quail
     

  8. Please understand that google was made for a reason. (Not being rude, I swear, just google DOES exist xD )
    It's a bird. A small bird, even the biggest breeds don't get 5lbs
     
  9. chick little

    chick little In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2013
    Oh sorry
     

  10. No issue, just saying ^^
     

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