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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: Victoria
Hiya,

So I was thinking of putting some eggs I'm incubating under one of my broody hens once they have hatched and see how she goes. I just want to check if how I'm planning on doing it is the best way to go about it. Any advice and feedback will be appreciated.

1. Bring broody hen inside into the brooder box a couple of days before hatch day to get her settled.
2. When chicks have hatched and fluffed up, wait until night and carefully pop them under her.
3. Leave her in the brooder inside for a few days to make sure she's settled and has adopted them properly, and if all seems well, move her outside into a temporary enclosure with the chicks.

One thing I'm not sure of is how exactly I go about putting the chicks under her. Do I lift her back end and pop them between her legs? Or do I do it from the front and pop them just under her chest? Or from the side and under her wing?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:38 pm 
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Golden Swan
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I would get her well settled into where you want the chicks to be raised (I use a small A-frame coop) and get here settled on eggs. When the chicks hatch, wait till they have dried and are mobile and tuck them under her (after removing the eggs). I usually add them at the front. They snuggle under her to the warmth and she usually helps tuck them under. I don't think it matters much when you do it - day or night - as the broody is in the 'zone' and not taking much notice of what is happening around her.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:42 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Plans sounds fine . Have broody settled on some golf balls/plastic eggs. I generally put eggs under her from the front or under a wing - chick under my hand for protection as if she can see she may peck at it/you but it doesn't really matter - depends on which way she is facing. So long as the chicks are just under a few feathers, they will squirm the rest of the way. She will be in a broody trance and probably won't even notice. Do a couple of chicks to make sure that she accepts them - leave some of the 'eggs'. If all goes well add more chicks and remove 'eggs'. So long as she thinks that she is still hatching eggs she will stay ink blotted on the nest.
I do the whole process in a nursery pen outside and don't move them until they need more space.
If you need light use the blue cellophane on the torch method. I have a blue globe in a trouble light for the garage pens.
Most hens will accept chicks during the day - or start at night and add the late arrivals as they are ready.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:16 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: Victoria
Hmm, thinking about the trance/broody zone thing you both mentioned. Since she's gone broody she's been super cranky, growling and fluffing up her feathers, etc. Nothing very trance-like about her, lol. Do you think I'll have issues putting chicks under her? She's a right ol' cow at the moment, lol.

She's been sitting on some fake eggs since she's gone broody so I'll leave them under her. and add chicks gradually like you said Sue.

I think it's a much more sensible idea to have her where she'll be brooding the chicks like you said Nelly. I'm just a bit worried as the weather is still all over the shop here at the moment. I was thinking of having her inside so I can keep a close eye on her when the chicks are put under her and so they can have a few days/week or so in where they are protected from the elements. If moving her so soon after adopting them is going to cause problems though I won't do it.

I'm totally paranoid as I've never brooded under a chicken before, and this is her first time going broody. So it may all end up going terribly! I do want to try and do what I can to ensure the best outcome though.

Thanks for the great feedback, it's really appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:37 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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I would leave her where she is, at least until she has transitioned from broody to mum. Don't worry about the weather. So long as there is protection from rain and drafts she will manage the chicks. They will snuugle under her if they need to.
Growling is good, just be careful that she doesn't get agitated when you give her the chicks and jump around. If she is cranky I would do the process in the dark.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:51 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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I have to move her from where she's sitting at the moment, she's just in with the rest of the flock at the moment. I wasn't going to take her out of the main group until a bit closer to the eggs hatching, that way if she broke broody or rejected the chicks all I have to do is pop her back out with the rest and leave the chicks in the brooder inside.

When is the best time to separate her from the flock? Should I have done it by now?

Thanks again :)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:40 pm 
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Golden Swan
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It wont matter to her if you separate her now as she has cut herself off from them. Even if she comes out of being broody, because she has been separate (in her little chooky brain) it is like being put back in a floc she has been out of, so it really makes no difference to her if you take her out now or later. I would tend to move her early rather than late, once she is genuinely broody, as i think you have less chance of breaking her and her settling in the new quarters.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:24 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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A little update,

I separated her and waited for her to settle in her new home, and today I introduced the chicks to her, two at a time. She wasn't really sure what was going on at first but she's now sitting on them all and I hear the occasional cheep from the chicks, so no one seems to be complaining.

A follow-up question if that's ok. How long will she go from sitting on them to being up and around with the chicks? I'm worried that they don't know where the food and water is now they have been moved.

I made sure each of the chicks had just eaten and drunk some water and settled before I put them under her, but that will only last so long. How can I tell she and the chicks are doing ok? Will she show them the food and water soon?

Thanks for all the advice so far!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:27 pm 
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Golden Swan
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it is normal for the chook to continue to set for a day or so after the chicks hatch. They dont need food during their first day. but if you have put slightly older chicks under her, she will still need the day to wake up from her broody haze. They should be absolutely fine though. If they are hungry they will go looking for food so have it right next to her for the time being. But she should wake up soon and and start showing them about life. Fingers crossed it all works out.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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They will be fine, especially as you have already given them an initial boost (that is also what I do). They will start to venture out from under her within the next couple of days and already know how to recognise food and water. If there are any eggs still under her, remove them.
Sooo - that wasn't so hard, was it? :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:08 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
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Location: Victoria
Cool, thanks for the reassurance!

I removed the eggs with the last lot of chicks (she has 6 now), it was rather weird feeling around underneath her for the hard things among all of the soft fluffiness, lol. I left it fairly dark for her today so she would stay calm and so they can all settle in. I did spy on her a bit, it was so cute watching the chicks instinctively burrow underneath her after only being in with her for a few minutes.

Hehe, I know I was a bit paranoid and worried, but having never done it before I wanted to do it the best I could! I've got another broody hen so I'm of half a mind to let her have the other eggs I'm incubating. But that involves making another pen or at least dividing the one I'm using now so I might just having them in the brooder instead.

Thank you again, I really am grateful for the wonderful advice. This forum really is a goldmine of great people. :)


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