What do I need to do after broody hen hatches her chicks?

kimmom

Songster
9 Years
Feb 20, 2010
102
0
109
What will my job be after day 21?? When the chicks hatch do I need to move them to safe area? How do I make sure the broody hen and chicks don't get food mixed up etc. They are in a corner section of our coop that is small and fenced off. Will they be OK there? Do they need a heat lamp or will she keep them warm enough? Its fairly mild here on the west coast! When can the chicks go outside? SO MANY questions, sorry!! Thanks for any advice
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rancher hicks

Crowing
11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
17,685
900
476
Syracuse, NY
As long as she's quarantined away from the other birds and the chicks can't get out and she has enough room to get up and move around she's fine. For the first few days you may not see the chicks or even know how many there are. If you do want to check her after day 21,22,23 or so to see if any did not hatch? Do at night w/ a flashlight. She should have her own feed and water. I put sugar in the water after the chicks come just cuz I like to and I figure it can't hurt. Moms will show the chicks how to eat and drink. Moms speak to their chicks which is kinda neat to hear. Her chirping are understood by the chicks. I toss in some scratch or give it to her by hand and she sets it down and call to the chicks to come and eat. She drops it on the ground and pecks at it to show them how to eat. If she's like my two a Dominique and CM , she won't let you near the chicks. She can be very adamant, so be careful. One the other hand I had two bantam friz's and they were ok w/ me picking up the babies. It all depends on how much they trust you I guess. I would switch her to chick starter too. It won't hurt her. Bit's of bread. She'll take care of them. I have a heat light but it's been colder here so you may not need to.
 

naked_heels

In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 20, 2008
95
0
29
Des Moines, IA
Probably 60's degree in the west coast now? you can use 40watts heat lamp and don't worry about mixing the food, just give them chick starter miss broodie will take care the rest. Leave the door open during the day, they will go outside when they feel like it's time.
 

kimmom

Songster
9 Years
Feb 20, 2010
102
0
109
Thanks for all the feedback! My only worry is she is in the coop with all the other hens, just fenced off in the corner. I do have a plastic dog carrier I could move her into though.. Maybe that would be better? Then I could let them outside supervised?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,251
20,024
907
Southeast Louisiana
You may have already decided this, but one quetion is whether you isolate the broody and chicks from the rest of the flock. Although this link is tilted to my way of thinking, it does give some considerations and other people's opinions. It might help you. To me, how much room mama has to work is the prime consideration in this decision.

Raise with flock? thread
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=215937&p=1

If you do isolate the hen and chicks, make sure the fence is secure so the chicks cannot squeeze through and get away from mama's protection. If the chicks get in with the rest of the flock without mama being able to protect them, the other hens will probably kill the chicks.

If you isolate them, mama will do well on chick starter. She does not need the extra calcium as she is not laying eggs.

If you do raise them with the flock, I'd suggest making a secure space for the chicks to eat and drink that the others cannot get to. A milk crate, a box built out of slats, whatever, that can be set over the food and a shallow water dish that the grown chickens cannot get to. Openings about 2-1/2" seem a good size as long as the food is far enough away so that the hens cannot reach through and get to the food. I'm not suggesting this for the chicks protection fromthe other hens. A good mama will take care of that. It is just to give a place you can feed the starter without the other hens getting to it and give the chicks a water source low enough for them to get ot without the bigger chickens messing it up.

Regardless of whether you isolate them from the flock or not, you do not need to provide heat. That is mama's job. Her heater never runs out of fuel and is never disrupted by power failure.

Good luck!!! Exciting isn't it?
 

txchickie

Songster
11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
1,405
14
161
Texas
What has worked best for me is to provide chick starter for both mom and chicks and leave them alone!
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Unless it's negative temps outside, mom will keep them plenty warm enough.
 

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