Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by phelanwolf, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. phelanwolf

    phelanwolf In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2014
    so i want to raise more chicks, last time i got some from TSC and kept them in one of those medal troughs. it was fun but it was pretty crazy cuz i have two dogs who really wanted to eat them and the chicks kept getting out. i thought it might be easier if i let the hens do all the raising, but i dont have a rooster so i thought i could order fertilized eggs online and then place them in their nesting boxes. i doubt this will work, but i really dont know what else to do! please give me suggestions!
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Crowing

    Apr 3, 2014
    Well the hens will only raise the chicks if they go broody first. Otherwise you'll have to brood the chicks.
  3. MyLittleRedCoop

    MyLittleRedCoop Songster

    Jun 21, 2012
    My Coop
    Always have a back-up plan...

    I waited for my gal to go broody. Then I moved her to a safe location, so none of the other gals would get their eggs mixed up with the "real ones" she was setting on. It's kind of a make-it or break-it moment, as moving her can either go as planned or can break her being broody.

    My gal stayed broody, so I did a happy-dance and ordered some special breed eggs to hatch. They came in the mail a few days later. I let them settle for 24 hours, pointy-side down. Then I carefully brought them out to the coop to put under my broody hen... Only to discover that she had decided not to be broody anymore and was up on the roost with everyone else. ((sigh))

    So I had to fire up the incubator (I was not going to waste all those good eggs!!) and ended up raising them without a mama in the brooder. Grr!!

    I've found my Marans gals to be infrequent and fickle brooders (broody for like 10 days and then done with it all). But 2 of my 4 Australorps have been great brooders and mamas.

    As a last-ditch effort, I've read that some hens will brood very, very young chicks that aren't theirs if you bring them out at night, with dim light. They hear the peeping and MAY react by trying to hover over them with their wings part-way open, or try to tidbit them or call them over for food. But you have to be super-careful and vigilant, as it can go very badly if it doesn't work. I tried it once with one of my Australorps who had previous mothering experience. She allowed them to peep around her as she stood there, but then started eating their food and popped one on the head when I tried to eat, too. She was quickly escorted out and I just brooded them myself.

    Good luck to you!

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