Record for most chicks under Broody?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HiddenHill Heretic, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. HiddenHill Heretic

    HiddenHill Heretic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, my Gold Laced wyandotte went broody, but only hatched out 1 live chick. I hunted down some Ideal day olds, and slipped 12 chicks under her last night. She took right to them. Are 13 chicks too many for a mama hen? I heard tell of a lady who put 18 under one of her broodies this last spring, and all worked smoothly. Has anyone brooded more than 18 under a hen? how many?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    In the middle of August, I put 15 standard sized chicks (hatched in an incubator) under a standard sized year old Black Australorp. All 15 are alive today. SHe raised them with the flock and they are now on their own. She had a sheltered place to keep them overnight (the floor of the coop), they free ranged with the flock during the day (she found a place kind of protected from the wind where they hung most of the time), and the weather was pretty warm. She could cover all the chicks at one time if she wanted to for the first week and a half or so, but after that, she could not cover them all. Even before they got too big for her to cover, some would be out from under her at night but snuggled up close. I'm not sure what they did if they did get cold.

    It is later in the year, I don't know your weather or what conditions Mama has to work with, but mine had no real problem with 15 standard chicks under a grown standard hen starting in mid-August.
     
  3. HiddenHill Heretic

    HiddenHill Heretic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So far so good with these 13 chicks. I just checked on them and all are well. You gotta love maternal instinct. I have experienced healthier, friendlier chicklens coming from a broody hen as opposed to brooder light hens. I knowit may be riskier, I agree that the weather is a bit questionable, but it is California. We have had unseasonably hot weather so far, I just hope it holds for another month or so. As you said, coverage seems to be the key, and this broody seemed to double in size when I added the new chicks. She really fluffed herself up. The lone naturally hatched chick also seems happy to have buddies.
     
  4. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, do they have to be broody to take on the chicks?
     

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