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Separate brooder pen for new moms and chicks or house them together? PICS PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JesNflock, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. JesNflock

    JesNflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought it would be interesting to see how everyone is hatching/raising their eggs/chicks. Do you use a broody hen or incubator? When they've hatched do you keep the momma and babies in the same space as the rest of your flock or have a separate "home" for them? Please post pics of your Hens and/or incubators/brooders!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I use both and have kept them with the flock, kept them separate, as well as taken the chicks away.
    There are definitely pros and cons to all the methods I've used.

    Brooding chicks hatched in an incubator.
    [​IMG]

    One of my broody apartments.

    [​IMG]

    Chicks hatched in a coop with the flock.

    [​IMG]

    A clutch of eggs when the broody was off the nest for her stretch. Again with the flock.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. JesNflock

    JesNflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cool! Do you have problems with the rest of you flock "messing" with the little ones or do you always have a hiding place for them to run off to?
     
  4. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just hatched my first eggs ever under a broody. They have been together with the flock, free ranging, for a few weeks now.

    After reading all the posts I could on here about broodies and raising chicks, I have come to the conclusion that there is no set way to do it. What works for one person might not work for another. What works for you one time, might not the next.

    My advice is to just be diligent in monitoring how things are going in whatever situation you chose to employ. If it is not working, change it. Always have a plan B, and maybe even a C.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I've never had a problem with the rest of the flock. The broody is a formidable force and she takes care of them.
    My main reasons for separating are, she doesn't care about or miss the rest of the flock and I can give the feed she and the chicks need without the rest of the flock hogging it all. That is when everyone else is laying and I'm feeding a layer feed. The broody has been on a self imposed limitation of feed so I feel she can benefit from the higher protein feed that I want the chicks to have.
    I have 3 broody hens with chicks now with 2 flocks but most of the rest of the flocks are molting or shut down for the winter so I'm giving them all grower feed.
    That works well too because there is no introduction period later as they're already members of the flock.
    There are some diseases that can be passed from adults to chicks if introduced too soon but if you're sure your flock is healthy, it's less of a concern.
    A broody requires no electricity.
    With an incubator, it's much easier to pedigree the chicks and oversee, nutrition and temperature.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Broody hen, with the flock.

    It's a self-limiting thing, for me. I'm constrained by the hen going broody, the amount of eggs she can clutch, and the amount of space in the coop.

    If I had an incubator and a large grow out pen, I'd be dangerous [​IMG] Honey's only going to process so many cockerels.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    So you limit it to cockerels Racheal. I put an equal number of males and females in the freezer. Just Tuesday, I got the last of my 43 down to 8 hens in my breeding flock, one rooster, and 4 chicks from a late broody hatch that will be processed probably in January. My limit on how many I hatch is how many we’ll eat in a year. Got a pullet in the oven right now.

    Two different situations for me. When I hatch them in an incubator, they go directly into my brooder which is in the coop. Somewhere around 5 weeks of age, they move to my grow-out coop, then at 8 weeks I turn them loose to run with the flock. I have a lot of space and they grow up across a fence from the adults, both of which I think is important. I’ve never lost one doing it this way, which shows I’m being too safe, but I’m OK with that. But this is for my unique situation. If space were tighter I’d probably need to wait longer to let them loose, maybe to the point that they are practically grown. That’s not to say I’ve never lost a chick I’ve hatched and raised in a brooder. I have, but not to the other chickens.

    My broodies hatch with the flock and raise them with the flock. I can remember 3 different times I’ve had a problem.

    1.A one week old chick got separated from the broody and into my grow-out pen with a bunch of 8 week olds. The broody could not get into that grow-our pen to protect the chick and those 8 week olds killed it. I fixed that gate so that could not happen again. The irony was that I was going to let those 8 week olds loose the next day. If they had been loose, the broody would have been able to protect her chick.
    2.I had a chick kill one of its hatch mates and attack two others. The broody just stood by and let it. I was able to intervene with two of them but I didn’t see the other until too late. That all happened before the chicks were two weeks old. That had nothing to do with them being raise with the flock. That could have happened whether they were in a brooder or if the broody and her chicks were isolated from the flock.
    3.The third time was when a hen went broody just before another broody hatched. The second hen had not even been broody the two nights I use to confirm she is worthy of eggs. I think what happened is when the first broody’s eggs internal pipped and the chicks started peeping inside the eggs, the two broodies fought over the eggs. For whatever reason the two broodies fought and half the eggs were destroyed a couple of days before they would have hatched.

    Depending I how you consider that second broody in the third example, I’ve never had another problem with any of the other normal hens in the flock and certainly not the rooster. I’ve had a few dominant roosters help the broody take care of the chicks, though most of my roosters don’t do that.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    For young birds, yeah, only boys get the knife. Older hens do, too, if I can't sell them. Really trying to cut back the flock now, but my being unable to help with butchering seems to equal no butchering around here [​IMG] So I'm feeding lots of non producing birds right now. Feed store loves me!
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh, yeah, my feed bill is so much better now that it was a week and a half ago. I’m getting about 6 eggs a day out of 8 hens of laying age so I’m doing OK there too.

    Glad to see you’re done with the chemo. Now you can start getting your strength back.
     
  10. JesNflock

    JesNflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess it's kind of a what works best for you...maybe a trial and error kind of thing. Or even maybe depends on the temperament of you chickens? I would really like to hatch using a broody hen. I just got some young Silkies for that purpose when they get older) but I can see where having a backup plan in place is always helpful. I am a strong believer in being prepared..






    Any PICS???
     

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