School project for a local student, turned into a broody raising chicks for me.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dan O, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, it has been a year of firsts for me. My family has had chickens both layers, and broilers for about 5 years. We have always purchased day old chicks, and raised them in a brooder. This spring my daughter and I built an incubator and hatched 9 chicks for the first time. I was hoping to have a broody hen raise them. We had two hens broody at the same time, but they would not cooperate when I gave them a new protected nest inside the coop. So into the brooder the babies went. (I will post about that in another thread.) About 5 weeks later I received a call from my mom stating she had some chicks coming that I could have. All I new was it was a science project from the local high school. I said yes to the chicks, and two days later received 10 baby chicks.

    Now I have had a broody buff orpington for at least 3 weeks, so I set up an even better brooding area inside the coop with a nest, and moved the BO in the night before the chicks arrived. The next morning, she was out of the nest and making quit a scene. I added more eggs to her nest, put her in it, she sat right down and didn't move all day. So the babys arrived last night, I waited till well after dark and made the switch, the hen was ornery, but eventually all 10 chicks were under her and quiet with the hen gently clucking. I left them for an hour, and went back to check on them. No sign of bloodshed yet. Because I wanted to be sure the hen would not hurt them, I disturbed the hen, pulled a couple babies out next to her, and she quickly pushed them back under her. So far so good.

    This morning, I went out about an hour after sunrise, expecting to see at least some babies out from under mom doing what chicks do, but all I could see were 4 heads lined up under the back of the hens. I waited a little while longer, still not much activity, so I lifted mama up and saw all ten happy babies chirping away. They eventually started coming out to eat, and drink, and all the other things that baby chicks do. And thus far, I am happy with my first, broody hen raised chicks.

    I will post pictures soon, and I will try to find out more about the science project and pass that along. I am also hoping to be able to keep this student and his family updated with his project.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] All's well that ends well? I'm glad to hear the chick adoption went so well!
     
  3. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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  4. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    This is the happy mama and her happy babies.
     
  5. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    After one week all 10 chicks are doing well.
     
  6. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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    I have some details of the project. "The effects of a Temperature Spike on Chicken Gender." To summerize the best I can, 3 batches of eggs were incubated, one control, one with a 3 degree increase in temperature, and one with a 3 degree drop in temperature on the day the gonads develop.

    So this maybe something similar to what happens in reptiles. An increase is supposed to cause more females to hatch, and a decrease would cause more males.

    The results: +3°=2 male, 8 females, -3°=1 female, 0 males, control=4 males, 7 females.

    Though no significant findings, it is interesting to see the percentage of pullets go from 64% to 80%. 42 eggs were put in the incubator, 19 did not hatch, and 2 died in infancy. There are red and black sexlinks for easier sexing after hatching.
     
  7. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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    :D[​IMG]

    The chicks have been exploring the big coop with mama showing the way. They have not yet ventured outside, but they seem awfully interested in going out soon.
     
  8. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Mama and babies ventured outside for the first time today.
     

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