Tips on my broody foster plan ...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chick-habit, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2016
    los angeles, ca
    We have two sizzle Cochin and one smooth silky that all take turns being broody. We want to add to our flock and we'd like to add chicks. The next time one of our girls go broody we will make a comfortable space for her and put some fake eggs under her to encourage her broodiness instead of our usual action of trying to break her broodiness.
    when she's been broody for over a week we will go and get one or two chicks from our breeder and at night with no light we're going to place them under her and monitor the reaction.
    The next step is what I'm not sure what to do but this is what I had planned. because our nest box is not accessible to the chicks I wanted to take a dog carrier and make a nest out of that with pine shavings and put it in the coop. mama and babies can stay in that nest box/dog carrier and be safe at night and still be in the coop and part of the flock. during the day I can open the little door to the dog carrier/nest and let them integrate with the rest of the flock and peck at the ground in the coop and secured run just like the rest of the flock does. They would also have food and water that's easy for them to access. What do you guys think?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Sounds like a plan to me.

    I do have a few suggestions....

    Wait more than a week after she goes broody. Aim for about 3 weeks, the normal time for egg incubation. You can cut it a bit short, but I would have her set at least 2 weeks. True, chickens can't count, but broodiness is hormonally controlled. You need to give those hormones time to go through their natural cycle. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a broody refuse to take chicks cause her hormones are telling her she still needs to incubate eggs, not care for live chicks. So just give it a little more time.

    I'd try to get her to set where ever you want her raising the chicks. My broodies just take over a corner of the coop, I don't make a special nest or anything usually. If anything, I just tip a plastic tote on it's side and let them use that. A kennel would work, if she likes it. It just needs to be large enough for momma and all the littles to fit in there up to about 6 weeks.

    If they're secure in the coop, I'd see no reason to lock her and the chicks in the kennel at all. Let them put themselves to bed and then get up and do their things during the day. You might leave them in it for the first day or two, but after that let everyone together.

    And enjoy! Watching a broody raise chicks is one of the best parts of chicken keeping. And so, so much easier than brooding them yourself......
     
  3. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2016
    los angeles, ca
    Thank you!!
    It's been a week in the broody breaker so I chsnged the broody breaker into a cozy nest. I placed 3 plastic eggs scattered inside to see what she would do. She scooped them up under her and it was so sweet I could cry. Then she started putting pine shavings on her back. I'm thinking of getting the chicks in 2 weeks.
    To take your advice I'm now going to set up the kennel or a tipped bucket the same way and see if she'll accept that as her new nest and I'll put that in the coop with the other girls!
    Before we secured the bottom of the coop with hardware cloth we had a teenager who wasn't roosting yet, yanked on by a predator through a small gap between mulch and the coop. After 2 different vets and an over night stay (and my husband and I crying in the waiting room) we had to put him down. Since then my chicken safety paranoia is high and explains me wanting to lock them up in the kennel at night. It's probably better for them not to be, so I plan to take the little door off all together. The night our chicken was attacked we secured the bottom of the pen by laying the coop on top of hardware cloth and wrapping it up to the coop and stapling it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016

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