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What do I do? (Broody and eggs)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FombellClucks, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. FombellClucks

    FombellClucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Our precious Silkie just decided she wants BABIES!! And has been collecting her (and everyone elses eggs) for a few days now. (We just hatched out 6 eggs in the incubator and have 6 healthy chicks hanging out in the house) SO my questions are, Do I remove her from the rest of the flock? - 4 roosters (who all get along) and 9 other hens share her coop. The nesting box she is in is about 2 feet off the floor of the coop, will the chicks get hurt (or worse) when they hatch and try to get out? My son wants to take the chicks from mom when hatched and bring them in, since it is Oct. and going to be getting pretty cold...good idea or not? Will mom get sad or depressed? Would bringing her and her eggs into the house and putting her in the indoor brooder be better for her and her eggs? Would she accept "our chicks" after these ones hatch to have a big brood following her? Sorry for so many questions, we just started this chicken world in the Spring and this is our first winter with them. First broody hen. (and have become my son's world...he's going to be a chicken for Halloween if that tells you anything) Thanks for any help.
     
  2. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well bringing them inside wouldnt hurt or u could put them in a garage, or just put a heat lamp over them in the coop. if you dont want her to hatch eggs since you have chicks already at night you could sneak a couple under her and take the eggs, she'll just think they hatched. i have a silkie that adopted 3 chicks in the middle of the day, silkies make great moms:lol:
     
  3. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    NOOOO do NOT put older chicks under her...That almost always ends in tragedy.... If you don't mind the smell of broody poop in house, then by all means you can move her and her eggs inside to hatch. I cannot and never will take chicks from mother who has worked so hard to hatch them unless she has shown aggression. I've never had that happen to me but I have read it does happen. 4 roosters and 9 hens sounds a bit much too. Unless you can separate the roos out for breeding I would certainly dwindle it down to 1 roo at best 2. Your hens will be overmated and very sad/pathertic looking if not bleeding from their backs. I had 1 roo to 10 hens and it was still too many roos! He was really overmating them and they were very unhappy and pathetic looking...They are rooless now and couldn't be happier and healthier looking..Anyhoo back to chicks. Do not put the chicks you already have with her chicks she hatches unless you are completely supervising them-They will be 4+ weeks at that point and beyond the need for a mother since you have already showed them where to find food and water in their brooder. If you leave broody mom in coop-the chicks have no way or reaching food and water-2 ft is too far of a drop for them to go up and down for a long time. Can you put her in a BIG cage in coop with food and water? That way everyone is still around and the other hens DO NOT continue to lay eggs in her nest.
     
  4. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have never had problems with hens regecting chicks we put under them. 1 chick we got from a hatchery got kicked out from the rest and was getting pecked on from the others so we just put him under a hen with a newly hatched chick, he was like 1 1/2 weeks old at the time and we didnt have any problems, we have had alot of hens adopt chicks over the years
     
  5. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:I get that BUT her chicks will be 4+ if not over 5 weeks old by the time her next batch hatches-not a good situation for those chicks to be put in.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If she were mine I'd either leave her in the nest she is in, or put her in a separate pen in the coop -- although broodies really resist being moved and may abandon the eggs. And I would mark the eggs I hope she will hatch, and check daily to remove any that have been added, if she stays in the same nest, in with the flock. The chicks should be fine 2' off the floor. Many a hen has hatched her chicks in a hay loft a lot higher than that. When the chicks jump out of the nest, she should just cover them in a different spot, wherever they all gather. She will do fine keeping them warm even in cold weather; heat lamps are IMO a poor substitute for mama's warmth. And there's a good chance she will not accept your other chicks -- although you never know til you try, I once had a broody adopt some 3 week old chicks. Mamas can get pretty freaked out if their chicks are removed from them in the first few weeks.

    A lot of people recommend separating a broody, and it does have its advantages. You can collect eggs for hatching on your kitchen counter, then mark them and place them under her all at once, so they will more or less hatch all at once. If you let her collect them, she is likely to abandon the last ones in order to care for the chicks. It also gives you a chance to get her settled in her new spot, her broody pen. It also avoids other hens trying to lay in the same nest, or the broody stealing other eggs and adding them to her nest. (Yes, she can pick them up and carry them.)

    When you think about it, chickens have been hatching eggs in with the flock for millennia, although they usually do try to find a hidden spot, then emerge with the chicks a few weeks later. Hopefully your son will get to see the process as it has always happened! And get to watch a few actually hatch, too!
     
  7. laceynoelle

    laceynoelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Reno
    Quote:I get that BUT her chicks will be 4+ if not over 5 weeks old by the time her next batch hatches-not a good situation for those chicks to be put in.

    x2. Thats a bit too old. I can see like 2 week old chicks, but even then they probably wont listen to mama hen as much as they should. A couple days old is best when adopting out chicks to mamas. Just let her sit, and make sure she doesnt get too cold with the chicks.
     
  8. weeders n feeders

    weeders n feeders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I gotta ask - just how does a chicken pick up an egg and move it to another nest?
     
  9. FombellClucks

    FombellClucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Well I don't know if she's picking them up or not but my son DID witness other hens jumping up into the box with her and laying their eggs there. Kinda like "Hey, since you aren't going anywhere or doing anything, Do you mind sitting on this for me for a while?" I thought she was on 5 eggs...here when we checked and were able to get her to lift her butt there are 14 under there and I don't know which ones have been there longer or not. Would putting them in the incubator and just taking them from her mess her up? We didn't mind more chicks but 14 (and probably counting at this rate) is a little overwhelming. If we can sneek out the eggs while she "snap out of this"? Hubby is none to happy about the chicken trying to hatch eggs...he just wanted the eggs!! We are trying to rehome roosters but they are still in there at this point.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:They tuck it under their "chin," if they can't roll it. Really truly. I have often wondered if some tuck them under their wing.
     

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