Who is using a surrogate hen instead of a brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by michpetea, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. michpetea

    michpetea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm starting to feel better about my chicken obsession now I've been visiting the boards frequently. (Thought I was going to enroll in a 12 step program). We purchased two day olds on the weekend. The first night they spent in the house in a homemade brooder as the introduction to our broody hen didn't go as well as hoped. I tricked her the next morning with hard boiled eggs - replaced them with the two babies. Within 5 minutes she had adopted them. They both seem to be thriving. Every day I bring them out of the brooder house 3 foot x 4 foot shed and let them poke around in the garden. I free-range all my girls in the garden daily - enclosed 15 foot x 40 foot plot.

    My new mom is not soiling in the brooder, but comes out and has the largest stinkiest poops. Is this normal? Is there anything else I should be doing? I keep a light on in the brooder overnight, no real heat source, just an amber light. Is this okay, I don't want them in total darkness. Is this okay for the new mama?
     
  2. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I love to have my hens raise the chicks. Twice, I have timed the purchase of day-olds to the hatch date of our home stock. These "blended families" of chicks are healthy & hardy; they are well socialized to eachother and it is easier to introduce the babies to the flock. There's alot to be said for the protective role of a mama hen! (I do wait until they are 3-5 weeks old, though.)
    I brooded my very first birds inside my home. It was fun; however, I found I am way too fussy to ever deal with chicken stink in my house. Never again. No more worrying about lamps or brooder temps, either. It is a treat to go out to the coop and know that the babies WILL be warm & fine.
     
  3. shawnm2639

    shawnm2639 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodlake Ca
    Put a chick under a broody??? oohhh ooohhh this is my lucky day...

    Ok this is really bizarre...I had a hen go broody while the roo was locked up. I was hoping the eggs were fertile but it seems that only one egg hatched...she is cruising around the yard for 3 or 4 days with one little bar rock chick and all of a sudden this morning a hours old hatchling shows up with her. I cleaned out the 8 eggs that didn't hatch and she moved to the shed to care for her one and only. WHERE did this little guy come From? I know... I know.... only I can figure it out but I have searched high and low for a nest but no missing chickens. [​IMG]

    I was going to try and put the little guy under a broody hen that is also I fear laying on infertile eggs...it is best to do this at night? She has been broody forever.. sitting on 8 eggs (I have been lazy and not candled the eggs) and I am wondering how to get her out of her bucket..lol I think a chick would maybe do the trick and dear hubby won't have one more thing in a box to care for [​IMG] while I am at work.
     
  4. shawnm2639

    shawnm2639 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodlake Ca
    Quote:I don't know if its normal but how cool is that?? And I am guessing mama is ok with or without the light as long as its not heat cuz she has nuf heat of her own....I agree having the hens take care of the chicks is soooo much easier.
     
  5. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    what breed/age of a hen should i get to sit on eggs and raising chicks. i would like to get chick to grow up to be my mother hen
    thank for any advice
     
  6. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:The chicks do not need a night light, they should be sleeping under mama hen anyway to keep warm. The hen's pooping outside and saving it up so as not to soil the nest is totally normal. The chicks should be getting starter feed (medicated if you use it) and the mama can eat it too as she won't be laying for another 6 weeks or so.
     
  7. okiehen

    okiehen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2007
    Oklahoma
    I have been hatching eggs in the incubator and under broody hens then giving the incubator chicks to the hens.
    I set the eggs at the same time so I can put the chicks with the hens. Works great, I have 1 hen with 16 chicks .
    Also have 5 more with chicks, and 1 more to go this weekend. All of my hens have there own brood pen out side no light.

    what breed/age of a hen should i get to sit on eggs and raising chicks. i would like to get chick to grow up to be my mother hen
    thank for any advice

    Breed lots will go broody and raise chicks; silky -cochin-orpington- game- ameraucana-to name a few.
    age 1st year layers will and will every year after some will brood more than once a year.
    My game hens and buff orpington hens all have been broody some twice this year.​
     
  8. Pelican49

    Pelican49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Oklahoma
    These hens are my first experience with chickens. I got them from a local feed store last summer when they were only a few days old. I have 3 Cherry Eggers, 1 Brown Leghorn, 1 California White and a sweet Gold Laced Wyandotte (dottie). Dottie was the first to approach me for petting. Anyway... about 4 weeks ago Dottie went broody. Now I'm not that familiar with chickens except what I've read here. But she's on the nest ALL the time, so I guess that constitutes Broody. My girls have 3 nests available but insist on all laying in the same nest. So, apparently Dottie gets up when someone wants to lay, then gets back on the nest. I thought the move from the old house to the new one a couple weeks ago would break her Broody cycle, but no. So, I figured, what the heck and got 10 probably fertile eggs from my daughter's friend. I put them in the nest and Dottie was happy to set on them. I marked them so I could tell them from the infertile eggs my other girls lay. Each day I move Dottie off the nest to retrieve the eggs that are fresh for us to eat. Is this normal for her to keep letting the other girls lay in the same nest? Weird. These eggs (if they hatch) are due this coming Sunday/Monday. Do I need to separate Dottie's area from the rest of the girls? Will they hurt the chicks? Will the other 5 continue to try laying in that nest with chicks in it. Jeeeeeez. What a flock.
     
  9. shawnm2639

    shawnm2639 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodlake Ca
    Same thing happened to me...all my girls kept laying in the same box where a broody Old English Banty was sitting. I was not smart enough to limit the eggs by marking and taking out the fresh one. When her chicks hatch she will stay for a few days and then take them off the nest to let the other girls get back to alaying.
     
  10. okiehen

    okiehen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2007
    Oklahoma
    Quote:Yes its normal for the hens to keep laying in the same nest. Chickens are creatures of habit.
    Yes if you want live chicks, most hens will fight with the broody and kill the chicks.
    Yes the hens can and could kill baby chicks, sometimes hens in a flock will be fine with a broody and chicks but why risk it.
    Yes the hens will keep using the nest -hen chicks and all, this will make broody very upset getting a fight going with loss of chicks.
     

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