Question, Advice please...broody hen, developing eggs day 14...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by definetlydeb, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. definetlydeb

    definetlydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everybody...yes, it is still cold here...but...I had a broody hen and yes, she needed fertile eggs....so...she has them...6 of them...we are on day 14 and candled eggs to show we have babies...my question is...can I leave her and the babies, should they make it, in the coop with the other hens?? I really would like for her to raise them, completely...but...will the other hens kill the little ones?? I don't want to have to seperate unless it is totally necessary,so I am asking for advice and what you all have done in the past...Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had 4 or 5 broodies raise their chicks in with the flock. The mamas have done fine at keeping other hens away from the chicks. At night she would just cover them wherever they'd gathered, sometimes where I'd planned, sometimes not. Sometimes the roo helped the mama and sometimes he seemed to ignore the whole operation. One thing I really like about doing this is, when the mama is through with mothering, the rest of the flock is used to leaving the chicks alone. They tend to keep to themselves but they are safe. I just let them sleep huddled wherever they wanted til they decided to join the rest on the roost. All I did for the mama and babies was find some feed like flock raiser that all could eat, build some steps to the food and water with bricks and concrete blocks, and keep plenty of fresh hay around. That was it! It was a real pleasure to watch them grow up this way. I still had oyster shell out, separately. Never saw a chick bother it.

    I don't know how cold it is where you are. I did have one batch hatch in a rather cold February, with temps below freezing at night and some days with highs in the 40's and windy. The chicks were outdoors with mama within the first week, anyway. They would run around maybe only for a few minutes before running under her to warm up, then in a few minutes they'd be back outdoors again. They did fine.

    I've read accounts of broodies who wouldn't have anything to do with their chicks, though.
     
  3. dalpop

    dalpop Out Of The Brooder

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    Although she will protect them to the best of her abilities, the unthinkable CAN still happen and another hen could definitely kill one of the new chicks. I thought my own chicken gals were above such beastly behaviour till it happened to a brand-new chick that one of my broody hens was, unfortunately, hatching for some friends of ours.

    I had good luck with letting my new mamas and chicks live in an Igloo-style dog house that we fashioned a little screened-in, predator proof run for. The lip of the dog house was high enough to keep the babies inside for the first few days; after about a week those little boogers could hop right up on it and by the end of the second week they could actually FLY over it. Would something like this fit inside your coop? Or in a shed or barn with a heat lamp for a bit of warmth for the mama? Don't know how cold it is where you are, and she'll keep the babies warm, of course.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I also once gave a broody a few feed store chicks. I watched a while and she seemed to accept them. However, later I found the chicks huddled in a far corner of the coop and mama still on the nest. I tried putting one back under her and she pushed it out. So I brooded them. The rest of the flock was in and out of that coop for a few hours before I found the chicks, unharmed.

    So, yes, hens can kill chicks - but not necessarily. I might separate mama and chicks if I was hatching and raising valuable chicks with my broody for someone else, but I wouldn't do it if the chicks were to become part of my flock.
     
  5. Farmergreen

    Farmergreen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just hatched 12 in my incubator the same day My hen hatched. I just slipped one under her through the day and she looked at me like "where you gettin those?"
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    I've had much better luck doing this just after dark, so she doesn't really find them til morning. But I did get away with it once in the morning.
     
  7. definetlydeb

    definetlydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok...new question...I have one that has hatched...Momma Hen...is very protective...but...what do I need to do..they are up in nest box...what do I do for water and feed for this little one...going to pick up some chick starter this am...but...where do i put it...oh dear...one nervous gramma hen here...HELP, PLEASE!!!
     

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