Taming broody raised chicks...any advice?

Sonya9

Crowing
10 Years
Feb 7, 2014
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I have heard from others, and believe, that the only downside to broody raised chicks is that they are not nearly as tame.

I have a broody OEGB hen that (God willing) will hatch out an egg in a few days. I wasn't planning to hatch any at all but she was so broody and trying valiently to protect a couple of fertile bantam eggs so I let nature take it's course and penned off an area of the coop for her and her precious eggs (after candling I believe one of the eggs is developing on track).

She is fiercely protective of her chicks. I am excited about the possibility of her raising one but would also like the little chick to be somewhat tame. Any advice? Will daily handling be pointless if mama is screeching a warning and telling the chick I am a dangerous monster? She is an older (5 or 6 year old) bantam and very very tame, but when she goes broody or has chicks her attitude changes completely.
 
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I wouldn't try to handle the chick. I'm not sure how tame you want them, but simply sitting outside with her and her chick and tossing some feed will gain her trust. You can slowly increase proximity until they are both eating out of your hand.
 
I had the same thing happen last year, our broody hatched out two chicks and they acted totally wild for a few months. We handled them some, mostly just to look them over every so often, and mom didn't care, but the babies acted insane.

After they got bigger though they became much more tame. We did as suggested above, we hang out outside with the flock, hand feed a lot, and I pet each chicken's belly when I go to close up the coop every night. A year later and they're really friendly, Pablo the roo is very tame and will let us pet him. We hand raised some chicks during the same time period and now they all act the same, you can't tell who was broody raised and who wasn't.

I would let mom do her job, then treat them like the rest of the flock, they'll come around. Have fun, a mom with chicks is the best thing ever :)
 
I would let mom do her job, then treat them like the rest of the flock, they'll come around. Have fun, a mom with chicks is the best thing ever :)

Thanks. I am sure you are right. If we are blessed with a chick it will be the biological offspring of my young BB Red bantam hen and she is very friendly/bold.

So I will just stalk/lurk a whole bunch. Can't help it, yes watching a broody raise chicks is amazing so I will be around them plenty. :)
 
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Not on topic but....I bought new batteries for my LED flashlight and just snuck out to the hen house to candle the egg....

14 days, very dark egg and then very noticeable movement!

Don't mean to count any chickens before they hatch....but I am jazzed and mama broody is top knotch. Another 4-5 days and we may have a little miracle!
 
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Great news....the little dud egg was NOT a dud at all! Both eggs hatched out last night, got one strapping little cockerel and a tiny little pullet (from the egg I thought was a dud). I posted these pix in the broody thread but what the heck...might as well post them as an update here too.

These chicks seem calmer/bolder (at least so far) compared to last years batch, plus I think only having two will make a difference with regard to taming. Come to think of it last year I had two broodies raising 6 chicks and the momma's would squabble a lot, I think this year will be much calmer which will make a difference.


 
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She is really pretty.

Amongst a bazillion other free range chickens we had years ago when I was a kid was a little banty hen (mixed breed but game) that I pretty much hand raised. When she went broody in her turn she would bring the chicks to us to get fed. We would gather a bunch of acorns that had a hole in them (so it must have been September-ish) and crack them with a piece of broken brick then fish out the grub inside and give it to her and she'd give it to them. I was always pretty good at mimicking the hen food call too so the chicks would start to cut out the middle man and learned to take the food from me. She appreciated the help, but she was that kind of chicken. Can't remember how much difference it made with them since this was MANY years ago. In general I have found that some are just way tamer than others even when all get the same handling/treatment.
 
She is really pretty.

Amongst a bazillion other free range chickens we had years ago when I was a kid was a little banty hen (mixed breed but game) that I pretty much hand raised. When she went broody in her turn she would bring the chicks to us to get fed. We would gather a bunch of acorns that had a hole in them (so it must have been September-ish) and crack them with a piece of broken brick then fish out the grub inside and give it to her and she'd give it to them. I was always pretty good at mimicking the hen food call too so the chicks would start to cut out the middle man and learned to take the food from me. She appreciated the help, but she was that kind of chicken. Can't remember how much difference it made with them since this was MANY years ago. In general I have found that some are just way tamer than others even when all get the same handling/treatment.


Thank you. The broody is actually a retired OEGB Quail show hen about 6 years old (I adopted her last year along with her sister). The chicks are not biologically hers, they are a cross between my young BB Red Bantam and a Ginger OEGB Rooster. The bio mom is very tame which seems to be common for BB Reds.

I think having such a small clutch helps everyone stay calmer too, with a bunch of chicks if one is nervous/runs away then that probably effects all of the others (and the mama).

And yes there will be lots of treats/hand feeding going on.
 
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