What to do with broody hatched chicks

Mister B

8 Years
Feb 7, 2013
NW Alabama
I have a hen that went broody last Spring and I expect she will this Spring too. I really want to see a hen hatch her own eggs, so I will leave her alone. But I want to know what to do after they hatch. Will she feed them like other birds? The nesting boxes are 3-5 feet off the ground depending on which one she uses at that time. Will she leave them in the box? Do I need to take them down? Where will she keep them? Just some helpful ideas please.
Most hens will take care of their chicks. You shouldn't have to worry about it. As soon as they hatch and can walk around, they'll be hoping out of the nesting boxes. I suggest lowering the boxes to the ground because when the chicks fall out, the hen won't leave the nest to tend to them until all her eggs hatch. If you lower the nesting box, the chicks will be able to get under the mother to stay warm. Once all the chicks hatch, the mother will walk around and the chicks will follow her. She should teach them how to scratch around for food. I suggest that you maybe sprinkle some food on the ground so the chicks can peck at it. If the mother doesn't take care of the chicks and neglects them, I would take them away and raise them somewhere else. If you have any other questions, ask me any time. Hope this helps!!!
I had a hen hatch chicks in a nesting box. My nesting boxes are large (really to large, thanks to the FIL) so I cover the entrance with hardware cloth as soon as I saw the first chick. I gave the hen food and water. As soon as they all hatched I moved them to a separate pen. I was afraid the other hens would hurt the chicks. She would have cared for them herself, but due to the fact that I had limited space, as soon as they were eating well I decided to raise them in a brooder. Surprisingly this did not upset them or her all that much. If I do it again I will have a large chick safe run where I can leave the broody with them, it is a great experience, and really less involved than brooding them yourself.
Chickens don't feed their chicks like for instance a robin mother or sparrow will bring bugs, worms to their babies. But wild birds aren't able to walk soon after hatching, they are barely feathered etc. That's to keep them in the nest until they are mature enough to fly.

A chicken mother will show her kids were to find the feeder, how to scratch for bugs in the ground, where to find water., teach them about dust bathing etc. If the hen is indifferent or dangerous to her chicks, they should be taken away and raised in a brooder.
I always move a hen with eggs into their own separate area from the rest of the flock so the chicks don't get picked on. Keeping them at ground level works best. That having been said, if a hen were to hatch in a nest box that is high up- the chicks will eventually jump down to follow momma and possibly hurt themselves.

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