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What to do after a broody hen hatches eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sillychicks123, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. sillychicks123

    sillychicks123 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a broody silkie now who reallllyyyy wants some babies! I was wondering, my friend is thinking of getting some fertile eggs to let my chicken incubate for her, and she will take them once they are hatched, but will that cause my silkie to be depressed if she hatches the chicks then has them taken away from her after the next day or so? Would that make her broodiness worse? Im not able to keep the chicks so she would pretty much only be able to have them for a couple of days before my friend comes and gets them. Any thoughts? Please comment bellow! Thanks!!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO, the chicks should not be remmoved from the mama until she is ready to stop mothering them, which is usually several weeks. Perhaps your friend could keep the mama and babies til this time. If you remove the chicks when they hatch, the broody will probably stay broody, and may become distressed as well. If the chicks are going to be removed at hatch, it would be best for them to be hatched in an incubator.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I agree with Flockwatcher. One of my hens lost her chicks to a predator attack a few years ago and she was so upset. It was heartbreaking seeing her round around day after "crying" and she was never the same afterwards. IMO it would be unkind to let her hatch chicks only for her to lose them. Would it be possible for your friend to keep the hen for a few weeks and let her hatch the chicks and keep them for a few weeks?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  4. sillychicks123

    sillychicks123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Awe poor baby! And my friend was originally interested in getting pullets, so it may work out for my to keep her and the chicks for a few weeks, but I'd have to talk about it with my parents. If i let her hatch egs, would it work out if I just segregated a piece of the hen house off with chicken wire to seperate my broody and the eggs from the rest of the coop, and then once they hatch just let her take care of them for a couple of weeks until she looses interest in them?
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Yes, you can do that, or just let her raise the chicks with the rest of the flock. A good mom will protect the chicks from the rest of the flock members. She should wean them when they are around 7 weeks old, but that's average. Some hens wean a bit sooner and some later.
     
  6. dave3003102

    dave3003102 Out Of The Brooder

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    Its always better to have chicks with their mom and raise them naturally, mom will teach them to eat and Foraging, but if you are free ranging them then lots of predators will be in chance to snatch them if its well protected then its ok, so I occasionally raise the chicks in brooder but not always and did not felt any behavioral changes in them. Separating the chicks from the mother is like to break broodiness just after laying eggs. If you want to separate chicks from mom keep them away so mom can not hear the peeping of her chicks otherwise she will be restless, uncontrolled and depressed unable to seeing them.
    Goodluck.
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think chickens can "miss," nor feel sadness, at least mine don't. The only times I see a depressed chicken is when it's sick.
    My hens are mean and must have their own pens when they have chicks or they attack each other and try to kill the chicks. Sometimes I don't have any extra pens so I take several hatches of chicks and throw them all together in a brooder/grower pen and the hens go back to the layer flock.
    When I remove chicks from a broody she walks around puffed up & clucking for a day or 2 then gets on with her life.
    I'd rather keep a hen & her chicks together but it's not necessary; chicks can take care of themselves as soon as they jump out of the nest.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course we can't know what the animal is "feeling" when it "appears to miss" another -- but these distressed behaviors are observed in many species, from chickens to killer whales and elephants. It may simply be due to an instinct to protect the young -- but it's pretty evident it is some sort of distress.
     
  9. bbyblueyes3

    bbyblueyes3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!!! I have been wondering what to do... I have a hen sitting 4 eggs... They are scheduled to hatch during a time when I am supposed to be out of town. I am hoping they will before I leave. Anyway, I was worried about the other chickens. I have one that is "moody". When we added a couple she was a little aggressive. And have been trying to figure out what to do. I was also wondering if I needed to make any modifications to my set up for their safety...
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  10. bbyblueyes3

    bbyblueyes3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first time having any hatch out. I hope she will be a good momma. This is her first time too.... Will the babies need to be able to get back in the nest? Or will they stay in it for a few days. I may have to get my hubby to build a ramp or something.
     

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