What would you think of this experiment?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PaulaJoAnne, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    I had a brainstorm this morning.
    We have lots of layers, many of them being Cochins.
    What if this summer, rather then me needing to have a special brood house for our meat chicks, I waited till I had several cochins go broody, and gave them the meat chicks to raise.

    Does anyone think that would work?
    Granted, I would still have them penned for awhile, seperate from the main flock, so as to make sure their (all natural) grain was ground for them.

    Or shoudl I scrap the idea.

    Lat year, we had a huge tractor, and also let them free range for the most part.
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    Ya it will work. I do it all the time during the summer time. I have red sex links and broilers all summer long. Anytime a hen goes broody I just toss a chick underneath her at night... after a couple of weeks in the tractor the chick goes to grow out with the rest of them.

    It works great for me as the hen is no longer broody and she will continue laying in another week or so... I band her.... as broodies don't make it to the second year of production. They are the first ones to go in the fall for soup chickens.
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I don't generally eat my broodies, I need them to raise chicks for me, so I don't have to do it! I give chicks I hatched in the 'bator to broodies all the time. Works great, most of the time. Some of mine are so maternal, I don't even have to sneak the chicks in.

    Read over in the Incubating and Hatching Eggs section, there are tons of posts on this very subject, along with many methods of getting the babies fostered. It's a great relief to me, not to have to brood the chicks myself. I love letting hens do what hens do best. So much better than a box full of peeping, pooping, dusty chicks in the house, that I have to clean up after every day.
  4. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Everytime I have had a broody hatch chicks outside, they slowly one by one come up missing. The last ones had one chick that made it a long while and then it was dead one day. I believe it got too cold. I have a cage that is up off the ground though and once I get all those EE's out of it, I might save it for a broody. Hopefully nothing can get the chicks in that cage.
    On another note, my large brooder left the closet yesterday. Phil just happened to mention one more time about getting the chicks out of the closet and I snatched them up and took them out to the greenhouse. If even one of those little chicks gets too cold and dies (18 degrees last night), he will surely regret bothering me about them!
  5. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Good to know others have tried it.
    I think what I will do, is get just enough meat chicks for one broody, and give it a try at the beginning of summer.
    I will keep them "kenneled" for a time.
    If it is a flop, I will still have time to go back to the proven method of brooder light.

    Thankfully, I can but chicks locally, so that cuts down on expense!

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