Will my broody raise the chicks? What next? Help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DCS, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. DCS

    DCS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2008
    So I wasn't expecting hatch until tomorrow, and I've got a little chick already, with several more pipping!

    The nest is up high, so I will somehow either move it or the babies...

    I guess my questions are, is there any way to know if mom will raise the babies? I would hate for her to abandon them when I could stick them in a brooder. But if she'll do the work, why not let her? I only have layer pellets in the coop - I know chicks shouldn't eat too much calcium, but how do I make sure the babies only eat starter? Put the nest in an x-pen in the coop? I guess I have a day or two to figure this out while they hatch and absorb yolks, but aack!

    I'm in Florida, and the temps aren't bad, so that isn't an issue.
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    She needs her own pen but she should raise them just fine. Feed only starter, it wont hurt her. You could also make a box with very small door on it to feed the baby food in. Then hang the food for her up to high for the babies to get to.
  3. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    Your broody will love you if you put chick starter in there! It's best for the chicks to eat, and the hens like it also. She won't be laying for a while since she's mothering chicks, so she won't need the extra calcium in the layer pellets.
  4. Chooksaurus

    Chooksaurus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    NW WI
    We left our broody who sat 21+ days right in the coop with her chicks and she is an excellent momma! She protects them and shows them where to get all the good treats.

    Another broody who only had eggs under her for the last day to break her broodiness ended up abandoning her 2 chicks. However, those 2 chicks are surviving on their own in the coop because they have a nice little spot that they can hide away from everyone else and come out when they are hungry/thirsty. The other hens leave them alone just fine, but the first broody apparantly sees them as competition for her own chicks and gives them a real hard time. I will be building a little better shelter for them as they are outgrowing the first.

    I feed grower as free-choice for everybody with oyster shell on the side, and didn't bother with starter for the chicks as the other hens would eat it before they could. There was no realistic way to ensure that only the chicks would get starter without building them a separate living quarters in the coop. Too much work.
  5. The Chickens' Maid

    The Chickens' Maid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Momma and babies need to be moved to a separate coop/cage/dog kennel as soon as the last chick hatches (or sooner, if you can move the whole nesting box without disturbing momma). Our silkie hatched out some eggs in a nesting box in our coop, and we lost one to falling out of the nest. Another hen chased the momma out, and momma couldn't keep track of all the babies. They get very curious and start wandering around very soon after hatching!
    Keep a close eye on those chicks and momma! Congratulations!
  6. Luke0987654321

    Luke0987654321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    move her to a nest near the ground.
    I would just leave her whith the chicks, and the other chickens. [​IMG]
    Just keep a watchfull eye on them for the firt couple of days.
    If you have a rooster in there with them he will protect them,
    also normally when a hen has chicks she automatically switches
    to being the top dominant hen, normally when the chicks feel cold
    they all huddle under momma hen and she gives them a heating sesion
    and when they are nice and toasty they resume to their daily activity.
    Its so cute ad lovely to watch momma hen with her chicks running around
    the yard together. [​IMG]
    Mum knows best is what i say. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i keep my broodies in a separate area, like a rabbit hutch or aviary, for the first several weeks. The mother hen should care for the babies just fine. i put in a waterer (with rocks or marbles in it for the first few days) and ground up chick starter only, no lay crumbles. i grind up the chick starter for several weeks as i raise bantams and don't want them to choke on big pieces.

    If your mother hen is a good protector, you should be able to introduce her and the chicks back into the regular pen after a while, perhaps two weeks. Some people let mother and chicks into regular pen earlier with no problems. But i've seen some nasty little silkie fights when trying to reintroduce a broody with her chicks. i had Lt. Ohura out raising babies. In her absence, the number two hen (Twinkle) became number one and didn't want to give up the title when the Lt. came back with her kids. Things got ugly. So, you just have to watch and see how things go.

    Good luck! Nothing cuter than a mom with chicks.
  8. Luke0987654321

    Luke0987654321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    the fights normally are because you separate them in the first place,
    if you have them with the other members of the group from the beginning,
    then they dont fight, in case of fighting then do separate them in tho a diferent pen,
    again, allwais keep a watchfull eye on them
  9. killer_diller_chick

    killer_diller_chick Out Of The Brooder

    Leave it to a Dorking. They are the best bird. I just pick up 2 hens on Sunday.
    I can't wait till they go broody and hatch me some chicks.
    Going to read everybodys post so I can get all the info I need for my girls. Keep the info coming:clap
  10. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    I bought a small rabbit hutch and it makes a great home for a broody and her babies. There is room enough to move about and keep water and food inside. It was summertime so I just left them in it outside the coop . I made sure it was predator proof. Then each morning I opened the little ramp door and when she was ready she started bringing them out and showing them how to scratch and dust bathe. It was very convenient. They had heir own little chciken yard and coop.

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