Raising chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cmcgoun, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. cmcgoun

    cmcgoun Songster

    Well I just lost a chicken so this spring I plan to raise 2 more. My question is if you just put 3 fertile eggs where they usually lay when they hatch, will the chicken take care of the chicks? My other question is if you just buy 2 chickies will a hen take care of them, or just peck them. I want to do something where you dont have to integrate the birds in at a later date. Thanks!

  2. jlmann

    jlmann Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    If your chicken is "broody" = constantly sitting on a nest, she might hatch a couple of fertile eggs but I don't know if I would trust it because she could change her mind mid way and then you would end up losing chicks. As for putting chicks in with a hen I wouldn't advise it unless you're really sure your hen would be motherly-my guess is she would probably peck them. Integrating young pullets really isn't so bad as long as the birds have plenty of space and food water etc. They might peck a little at first but its natural and they have to establish a "pecking order" Good luck with whatever you decide to do and keep us posted on how it works out!!

  3. cmcgoun

    cmcgoun Songster

    Okay, and do you need the chickens to be the same size when you bring them in. The ones I have now are at full size, and I dont want to have the chicks in the house until full size
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I put them in adjacent runs for awhile so they can get used to seeing each other. I put mine together when they are about the same size. They will still establish their pecking order. I first let mine range together when my pullets are around 15 weeks old but watch them carefully. Initially when I let the birds out in the yard to free range, I put some scratch and seeds out in the yard so they will fixate on the treats instead so much on each other. I had two of my older hens pounce on some of the younger ones and even pull some feathers out. and yes they can kill other birds. I put the aggressive ones in a separate run for a week where they could see the others. When I let them back out with the flock one was still a bit aggressive. I happened to have a hose in my hand and when one of the older birds jumped on a younger one I gave her a shot of water from the hose and she got off and ran into the coop and didn't come out for awhile. The older birds still chase the younger ones once in awhile. One of my big girls did still pounce aggressively on the younger ones. I tried to get her when the hose is in my hand and tried to catch her in the act so she associated the shot of water from the hose with don't do that. She still chases the younger ones but hasn't been too agressive. There are pictures on my BYC Page.

  5. cmcgoun

    cmcgoun Songster

    Ohh good Idea with the seperated runs.

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