Silly Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Firearia, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Firearia

    Firearia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, when my little girl goes broody I would like to slip eggs under her. However once I move her and her babies in to their own separate pen, how do I keep them from eating each others food? Can the mama eat chick starter?

    However another question I have is should/can I leave her and her babies with the flock? If not right away when's a good age to bring them back in?
  2. Gold Griffin Chicken Mom

    Gold Griffin Chicken Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Suffolk, Virginia
    After sitting on eggs for 21 days, Momma Hen will be rather skinny. Setting hens usually get up once a day for water and to go poo. If food isn't readily available, she'll just go back to the nest. So... Therefore, I suggest you don't worry about Momma Hen eating the baby food. She will NEED IT for awhile to build herself back up.

    Please move Momma and eggs/babies to a separate pen. Others can give you a better idea when to bring them back, as I haven't done this part for over 30 years (was livng with my parents back then). Many people suggest penning the babies and Momma near the main group so they can see each other. Momma needs to spend her energy caring for the babies and teaching them the ropes of Being A Successful Chicken, not keeping the rest of the flock on their best behavior with the new babes.

    Good luck!
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    I always keep a hen and her chicks separate from the flock, but with only chicken wire separating them so they see each other.

    Momma hen will need to build herself up. She will eat chick starter, that's not a problem. I also give adult food (but not layers pellets) to the momma and chicks and find the hen breaks it up and gives some to the chicks...again this is fine (Some folk do not give adult food during this time).

    Eventually (usually 4-6 weeks ) momma will lose interest in her chicks and start to lay again. I usually try to integrate the chicks at this time with the main flock, but this will have to be done carefully as adult birds (particularly roos) will not always tolerate. I have not had a problem as I keep mainly Brahmas who are fine with even tiny chicks,

    Good Luck,

  4. chickenlips1954

    chickenlips1954 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    I leave my mamas and babies in the coop with all of the other hens and roos and haven't had a problem, yet. I set them up in either a dog carrier or wood box that I've made and keep both on the floor with chick starter and water available to them. After a few days the mama takes her chicks outside to free range and teaches them to scratch for bugs, greens and feed/scratch that I throw out for everyone. My mamas are very protective and chase off those that come too close to her babies.
  5. Firearia

    Firearia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks a bunch for the tips guys! I really appreciate it.

    Do you think if there's enough space in my 'free ranging' area that I can let them out to do that?
  6. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    my broodys always pinch everyone elses eggs, so end up with a nest of about 15 chicks every time(!)
    i take the majority away from mum as they hatch and bring them indoors..leaving mum with just a couple of chicks to raise. i leave her in the coop (field) with the others. this way she doesnt have so many babies to have to look after and i guarantee a large number of chicks are safe indoors away from other chicken family members and predators [​IMG] mum chicken then scratches around outside, eats what she wants to eat...feeds her babies whatever....
    so far ive never had a loss

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