should i let hen raise them or brooder them

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bella1210, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. bella1210

    bella1210 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    we have a broody hen sitting on 6 eggs they will be hatching in about9-11 days. should i let her raise them in the coop with all the other chicken where they would have to be on reg feed not med because i dont want my layers eating med feed.or i can take them once they hatch an raise them in a brooder in the garage an give them med feed an then put them back in the coop around 6 weeks to ideas this is our first time hatching any eggs.thanks

  2. bragabit

    bragabit Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Southern Utah
    I let my broody hens raise the chicks with the flock. I too don't give medicated feed, I just found an all purpose chicken food and give crushed shells to the laying hens.
  3. cook_kaka_ook

    cook_kaka_ook Songster

    Oct 29, 2009
    Your newly hatched will have a higher survivability rate if they are separated from the rest of your flock.
  4. haymil

    haymil In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2008
    We let our hens hatch their own eggs as well. We hatched 5 out of 8 eggs. It was so much fun to wake up on Mother's Day to baby chicks hatching. I had to seperate my chicks from the rest of the flock but keep the mommy with them, because some of the older hens wanted to kill them. The mommy was a really good mommy. I just seperated an area in the coop and made a little run (attached to the coop) so they could go in and out when they got a little older. Then as they started getting older they would hop the fence and thats when I knew it was time to let them be together with the rest of the flock. They are all doing really well and we are such proud parents!!

    Good luck.[​IMG]

  5. chickenchok

    chickenchok Songster

    Sep 6, 2008
    North Carolina
    We got live chicks to put under a broody hen who had been sitting for 3 weeks. She adopted them and raised them with the rest of our flock and they are happy and healthy now at 5 months of age and integrated perfectly w/ the rest of the flock. I didn't have to do any of the work! Yah! I figure, why do extra work if the mama hen is perfectly capable of raising them herself naturally?! We just put chick feed near the nest was and made sure they had another waterer near them apart from the big chicken waterer. It was so awesome to watch how they were naturally bintended to be raised... the mama hen protected them savagely from the other chickens (although they all probably got at least one peck on the chicks to establish rank). She kept them warm on cold days and they ran willy nilly to her every time they got a little too far away and she would cluck to them to call them back to her.

    Have fun!
  6. chickenchok

    chickenchok Songster

    Sep 6, 2008
    North Carolina
    Question for bragabit.... do you mean that you didn't give them chick feed? Did they do well on layer feed? Isn't the extra calcium a problem? It would be great to not have to have different feed, b/c the older ones chow on it too.
  7. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    You can feed an All Purpose to feed to all of them, but you will have to give the laying hens oyster shell for the extra calcium that they need.

    I have always had a better survival rate letting then hens brood the chicks. They keep them at the perfect temperature. I've lost more chicks brooding them myself. Sometimes it's hard to keep the heat adjusted perfectly.

  8. bethanyrae

    bethanyrae Songster

    Apr 5, 2009
    I've raised chicks both ways, and definitely prefer to let the hen do it. The only drawback for me is that they're not handled so much and are more skittish of people.

    I keep them apart from the flock for a while, giving them a shelter to lock them into for the night and letting them free range during the day. They stick really close to mama.

    I put out the medicated chick feed and she eats it, too. If the other flock could get to it, they'd prefer it, so I don't like to put it where they can get to it.

    They can go through the fence slats to where the rest of the flock is, and will once in a while. Once they do it more regularly, I put mama in there and leave them all together. That's after a few weeks.

    I try to put the chick feed in a feeder under a board that they can get to but the larger hens are too big to get to.

    It's a lot less work for me, and I don't have to worry about the electricity going out in a storm.


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