The ole fashion way - how to let the hen raise the chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Mozo, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Mozo

    Mozo New Egg

    Aug 17, 2011
    Hi there,
    I have had chickens for about 10 years and just this morning am a proud stepmom of 5 baby chicks. I had a broody hen and posted a request for fertile eggs on Craig's List. Within a couple of hours I had 6 "fertile" eggs to put under this determined hen. Low and behold 5 have hatched! Now I am not sure what to do! The hen is being very protective and sitting on them still. Don't they need food and water? I am used to raising them with a lamp and in a box. I would rather that she do all the work this time but it is very hard to find information on how to do it the old fashioned way!
  2. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
  3. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    How long has it been? They're fine for 48 or so hours under her without food and water, they're still processing yolk. She should take them off to eat though, just give her some time. They need to rest after all the effort of hatching.
  4. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

    Mar 29, 2010
    Lakeview, OR
    They'll sit they're for awhile. But she should eventually get off and take them to find food. Like the above person said. They won't starve for a few days because the yolk lasts that long. It's easy to want to control what's going on but you have to give the mom a chance. Just make sure there's food and water near by that she can take them to
  5. Mozo

    Mozo New Egg

    Aug 17, 2011
    They were just born this morning or during the night. Thanks for the info.... this will give me time to go to the feed store and see what they recommend.
  6. mama knows best. She was once a chick and will know exactly how to handle the little guys because she remembers what it was like to be cared for. It took my hen 2 days to get off the nest with her chicks and when she finally did, it was like she was a chick again. she had to be just as adventurous as the chicks were to explore the world so she wouldn't lose any in the tall grass. those chicks will be all over the place, foraging, drinking, climbing on things, running around; all in a day or two.
  7. Mozo

    Mozo New Egg

    Aug 17, 2011
    Do I need to worry about the others beating up on the little ones? I read this could be a problem but then also read that the mom will keep the old chickens at bay.
  8. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd see how she handles that situation first. Just keep a close eye. If she can't protect them well enough then maybe you can place her and the babies in a seperate area. But I think she'll do just fine on her own.
  9. kannna

    kannna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard
    Mom will protect them if she is a good mother. I usually provide grower crumbles and mom will break them up for them and then she can eat them too. You should also provide them with thier own waterer. If you are keeping them with the big girls make sure the layer pellets are too high for the babies to reach or switch them all to grower and provide calcium seperate. Also, mom will be thier heat lamp and they will crawl under her for warmth. So them being under her is normal.
  10. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana! You've gotten some great answers!! [​IMG]

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