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silly question!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by asthrngal89, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. asthrngal89

    asthrngal89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a very broody little hen, who has no eggs lol..but I was wondering if she did hatch eggs in the coop would my other 5 chickens including my one rooster not pick on them or hurt them, also I was wondering if I kept the hens from the hatch could they become inbred because the rooster I have would be "dad" lol! Sorry just new to all this and thanks for the help!
     
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They might peck or two,but the mother will protect her chicks,(definitely).
    The chicks will be mixed.So yes.
     
  3. asthrngal89

    asthrngal89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So if I wanted to keep my babies I would need to start a seperate coop? :)
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    It's safer for the broody and chicks to have her slightly separate during the setting, and for a few days after hatching. I use a large K9 airline crate in the coop, with her own water and food (Flock Raiser, not Layena) . If she's trying to brood in the nest box, other hens will disturb her, lay more eggs, and generally make a mess and drastically lower the hatch rate. Make sure that the cage door is baby chick escape proof too! Mary
     
  5. asthrngal89

    asthrngal89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome! Ty so much
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You are dealing with living animals. No one, including me, can tell you what will absolutely every time happen. We can tell you what might happen and what we have experienced.

    Broody hens have been hatching and raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years with very little or no help from humans. Usually it goes well but yes, bad things can happen. People have been incubating eggs and raising chicks themselves without a broody hen since the ancient Egyptians. Usually it goes well but bad things can happen. I don’t know how long people have been isolating broodies while they hatch or raise the chicks. I suspect a very long time. Usually it goes well but bad things can happen. There is no one right way where every other way is wrong. Each has its pro’s and con’s but they can all work. You are not a bad person no matter what you choose.

    When I have a hen go broody and I want her to hatch eggs, I collect all the eggs I want her to hatch, mark them so I know which eggs those are, and start them all at the same time. Then once a day at the end of the day after all the other hens have laid, I check under her and remove all eggs that don’t belong. I do not isolate that hen.

    When the chicks hatch I stay out of the way. I do not check under her to see how many have hatched or what color they are. I find the less I interfere the less damage I do. I let the hen decide when to bring the chicks off the nest. Some broodies bring the chicks off the nest within 24 hours of the first one hatching. Some wait for three days to bring them off. When a chick internal pips it starts talking to Mama, peeping in the shell. The hen can tell when the hatch is over and when she has more chicks on the way. I always check the unhatched eggs after the hen abandons the nest. I have never found a chick still alive in one of those unhatched eggs.

    After the broody hen brings them off the nest I do one of two things depending on how many other chickens I have and their ages. If the coop is not overly crowded, especially with a lot of other younger chickens, I make food and water available where the chicks can get to them and stay out of the way. The hen normally takes her chicks to a corner of the coop to spend the night but has them out eating and such with the rest of the flock. She often keeps them a little separated from the other flock members most of the time but most broodies let the chicks intermingle a lot.

    If the coop is pretty crowded I put the broody hen and chicks in a small coop outside in the run for a couple of days, then let them out to mix with the flock as the broody sees fit. The difference is that the broody takes them back to that outside coop at night instead of the crowded main coop.

    I have never lost a chick to another adult flock member either way. Sometimes the rooster goes out of his way to help Mama raise his babies. As long as the chicks are pretty young when he first sees them, he assumes they are his chicks. Some roosters pretty much ignore the younger chicks but mine never try to hurt them.

    Most of the time the other hens ignore the chicks. They do not go out of their way to harm them. But if a chick invades the personal space of another hen, she might and probably will peck them. Not always but often. The chick runs back to Mama, hopefully having learned that it is bad chicken etiquette for a chick to invade the personal space of its betters, though some are slower learners than others. Mama normally ignores this interplay but if a hen tries to harm her chick, Mama quickly and efficiently whips butt. Some broody hens keep their chick really close to them at all times, others let the chicks roam and intermingle a lot more. Some broody hens are more defensive of their chicks than others. I’ve noticed that a broody hen has less patience with an adolescent chicken around their babies than other adults. Some really don’t like adolescents to play with their babies.

    I think how much space Mama has to work with makes a difference. If they are crowded I think there are more opportunities for bad things to happen. But if it is that crowded how are you going to integrate the chicks later when they grow up?

    A story I have not told for a while. Often about the time the chicks are about two weeks old, a chick leaves Mama’s protection and stands next to the other hens at the feeder, eating away. Occasionally the other hens ignore that chick, but usually it doesn’t take long for a hen to peck the chick to remind it that it is bad manners for it to be there. The chick goes running back to Mama as fast as its little legs can carry it, chirping and flapping along the way. Mama ignores all this unless the hen starts to follow the chick which rarely happens but has. Mama them whips butt.

    I’ve never lost a chick to another adult flock member doing this. I’m sure other people have. People have lost chicks when they try to isolate the broody and hen, usually when a chick gets out and mixes with the flock where Mama cannot protect them.

    You don’t have to do it any one way. There are benefits and risks all ways. Good luck on whichever way you decide.
     
  7. asthrngal89

    asthrngal89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have another maybe silly question. My frizzle hen is the only broody chicken right now but she has no eggs but does not want to come out in the yard for 2 days now, is this harmful to her im worried she might not be eating or drinking like usual although I havd food and water inside the coop and out. She seems very content on staying in her bucket
     
  8. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No worries.Chickens can go weeks without food,and normally a broody will go get drinks/food every so often.
    If smart they will,ive had hens drink their eggs.
     
  9. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll let a broody set in the layer pen but as soon as the clutch hatches I put the hen & chicks in a different pen because I know for a fact some of my hens, especially my game mixes and ancient RIRs will attack & kill other hen's chicks.
    I've had problems with the adult chickens trampling the chicks. I've heard chicks screaming and I looked to see an 8 lbs rooster standing there looking stupid, unaware that he was standing on the head of a 3 day old chick.
    If you feed layer mash then you have the issue of the chicks eating it.
    So I prefer to play it safe and not let my chicks mingle with the big chickens
     
  10. AussieChics

    AussieChics Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are 3 weeks old. I have 9 (no idea how they will all fit very soon) but I've let them integrate from day 1. I let mumma brood in a separate box so she didn't get eggs laid on top of her but now they all roam the yard together.

    I did keep a close watch on the first day she brought them out. But really its been no problem.
     

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