Wanting to give my broody hen 2 chicks - bad idea? ***Update

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Haunted Chicken, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bantam hen who is broody for the second time in 3 months. She is determined to hatch those golf balls. She's 2 1/2 weeks into it this time. Last time it took me about two weeks to break her of it, but this time she seems even more determined. I've been wanting to add a couple more hens but dreaded the whole mixing the flock together when the new girls are big enough thing. I've always heard it's easier if a momma hen introduces them. She's my only Bantam, however she is the head hen of 4 Ameraucanas and 1 RIR. I'd like to add a silver laced wyandotte and a welsummer. Am I opening Pandora's box trying to do this?

    I only have room for a small dog kennel in my coop to use as a brooder. (good sized coop, just an odd lay out to add a large kennel) How ever I have a huge kennel and a smaller 4x8 run I can put them in once they feather out a bit or during the day. I still want them in the coop for warmth at night. I have access to a heat lamp in the coop if needed. (or if she rejects them)

    Thanks for any and all opinions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  2. BackyardCountry

    BackyardCountry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Own Little World....
    yes. i would give it a try, and if she rejects them, its not like they'll die, just move them somewhere else. Good luck!
     
  3. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone have any experience with this? [​IMG]
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2011
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    Put the babies under her at night, when its nice and dark. You'll probably want to watch for a few minutes. If she accepts them, she'll make soft clucking noises like she's talking to them. I try to get out to the coop to check them as early as possible in the morning just in case. Good luck!
     
  5. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    We've hatched golf balls several times and it works terrific. You don't even have to give her the same number of chicks as golf balls [​IMG]

    I take day old chicks and slip them under her at night and take away the golf balls. The only time I had a mom reject them, I did it during daylight hours and I'm sure that was my mistake. I gave her the same chicks in the middle of the night that night and she was just fine with it.

    The dog kennel will probably be fine. We use those within our coop as brooders too. I would recommend that you cut up a cardboard box and make about a 6 inch tall strip to line the inside :"wall" with (at the base.) We find that this keeps the babies from popping right out between the wires by mistake - it also keeps the bedding inside the kennel when they get to scraping it around with their feet.

    I try to wedge a stick in there across the middle after the babies are starting to try flying, just to give them something to hop up on.
     
  6. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I just went out and set up a brooder for her. I borrowed a decent sized one that fits in the coop. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I set it up she left the coop and joined the flock out in the yard. Hope she goes back in soon. I was just about to go pick up my chicks. I figured she was getting close to the end of being broody, it's been 3 weeks. I called 6 places looking for the silver laced and finally found one. And now mama flew the coop! [​IMG]If she comes back in I'll try the midnight sneak tonight.
     
  7. Good luck. Be sure to let us know how it goes.
     
  8. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The kennel I borrowed has a 5-6" pan on the bottom. How lucky is that! hopefully it will be enough. I'll go cut some strips and have them ready just in case. Thanks for the tip [​IMG] Oh I'm getting excited.
     
  9. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
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    I put two chicks under her at 11pm and she pulled them in tight with her wings. Checked at 11:30, 12, 12:30 lol. All was well. They were fine when I left in the morning to go shopping. I found one dead when I returned. I feel so bad it was my fault. It just makes me sick. When I first moved my broody into the brooder she freaked out so I put her nest in with her, she immediately calmed down. I was going to remove the nest as soon as I got back this morning. The baby climbed out and couldn't get back in and got too cold.

    The second chick didn't act too well after we got home from buying her. (an hour drive) We thought it was from the trauma of traveling home in the box for an hour. I debated whether I should get another chick in case she didn't make it and I'd be stuck with one chick again. I decided to give it a try and finally found somewhere with 3 day chicks. I brought it home and put it right in with the mama in the middle of the day. She grabbed the chick with her wing and pulled her in. What a great first time mama. She keeps trying to get the sick one to eat. She brings her crumbles and even breaks them up for her. She drinks but wont eat. I added some warm water to some crumbles and got her to eat a tiny bit and added poly visol to her water. I also added a heat lamp on the other end of the brooder in case one wonders off again.

    Oh I hope this chick pulls threw. I've never lost a chick before. I couldn't bare losing two. The new chick is full of energy and loves running across her mama's back and pecking her eyes. I can't believe what this mom puts up with. She is my head hen and wont take any pecking from the other hens. But she just sits calmly while this chick harasses her.
     
  10. That's an awesome story. Sorry you lost a chick... I hope the other two pull through... Sounds like your mother clucker is doing her job well!
     

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