Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Could I try this??  (Read 799 times)

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Could I try this??
« on: March 24, 2021, 01:22:20 pm »
I have not had bantams until recently- naively thinking they would be like normal hens but smaller! They are very pretty birds ( Sussex/buff cross) but have proved to be bolshy at the best of times (which is probably aggravated by their lockdown)  but now three have gone broody they are positively grumpy and aggressive. 😂
I have tried all sorts - closing the nesting boxes, putting them outside (under nets!)  to ensure they exercise/ eat and throwing their treats around to make life exciting but they run back to the boxes the very first opportunity they get.

I don’t really want any more hens at the moment and as they are determined to sit have thought of offering a couple to anyone near me who wants a broody.

However my neighbour has Cayuga ducks and we regularly get eggs to eat passed over to us. Could a bantam brood a Cayuga egg? To be honest I think they would sit on anything but could they cope with the hatchling? Anyone done this.

cans

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2021, 01:53:02 pm »
Have seen a game banty sit on a goose egg and successfully hatch and rear the gosling, so nothing ventured.....

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2021, 04:08:11 pm »
Have seen a game banty sit on a goose egg and successfully hatch and rear the gosling, so nothing ventured.....

I'm trying to imagine - what a sight that must have been !   :D

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 06:40:24 am »
Two things I have heard. Firstly ducklings are not waterproof until they are 6 weeks old- the mother preens them with her oil, so they will get waterlogged and drown otherwise. Secondly a story of a hen that hatched ducklings and took them outside where they immediately went to the pond and the hen drowned trying to save them. So keep them well away from water if you do hatch.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 08:52:58 am »
Do you really want to hatch anything? Just because a hen is broody doesnt mean you need to give her something to hatch. Either put them in a sin bin until they cool off (could take a week or more) eg a dog cage raised on bricks so air can circulate underneath, or my preferred method which is to give them each a couple of golf balls to brood. Take the golf balls away after a couple of weeks and the hens will think they've hatched. Their hormones will reset after a few days and they will return to normal behaviour.
Bantams of almost any breed are more prone to broodiness than LF so it's a problem you'll encounter over and over again so if broody hens are going to be a nuisance for you then swap them out for something less likely to go broody.

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 09:07:30 am »
Richmond's technique is a good one. Put them in a puppy crate (or similar) raised on bricks to allow air to circulate. Obviously with food and water. Three days and night without a nest to sit in and they forget the whole idea.

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 10:05:37 am »
All good advice. Thanks. Don’t think I will try the ducks then.  I will try the golf ball idea as it seems this is going to be a feature of life for a while. I ‘loaned’ out my dog crate and never seen it since 😂

cans

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 11:05:48 am »
Mum and gosling

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 12:42:16 pm »
We had a hen hatch a couple of ducklings unknown to me till they appeared.  Our hens and ducks all lived together in a big area with a barn.  The hen went ballistic any time the babies went near water, so we fenced off the pond till they were big enough to preen themselves and be able to float.

Unfortunately we lost one that had got into a plastic basin that was just lying around and drowned after a huge deluge one day.  I had gone down to check them as soon as the rain went off a bit but I was too late.  The other one was in the barn under it's mum's wings and grew up to be a handsome Swedish Blue
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2021, 02:50:00 pm »
Still pondering this. We have an outbuilding / area of fenced grass that with a bit of tweaking could provide a  set up that could accommodate ducklings until they are able to float safely.
If I did hatch ducklings would they stay with ‘mum’ and if so what should I feed them together? Should I separate them and put them in a brooder box?

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2021, 09:33:52 pm »
They will stay with the hen mum up to a point but then the issue with water will arise. You could keep them off water till they are feathered, then wean from mum and gradually get them onto water, shallow bowls initially.
Feed-wise they will need waterfowl crumb/pellet to give them the correct amount of protein. If you feed ordinary chick crumb they will develop angel wing, a deformity of the primary flight feathers caused by too much protein. The hen will be fine on this and if you wean them promptly at 6 weeks or whenever they are fully feathered then she can go back to her flock and a normal diet and ultimately come back into lay.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2021, 10:34:16 am »
@Richmond

At what age is it safe to give ducklings layers pellets?  Some time ago I got 4 Shetlands from a fellow smallholder and one of them developed angel wings over a period of about 4 months  They were about 8 weeks when I got them I think, and from memory he seemed fine at that point, but I didn't know of the condition so hadn't been looking for it. 

I gave them duckling crumbs for about another 6 weeks and over that period his wings started to change.  They might have picked up some layers pellets but my hens usually scoffed everything I put down very quickly.

Do you think the damage had been done before I got them?  Or could it have been genetic?  They did hatch two females and they were both fine.  I don't have any of them now and have moved so cant have anything as noisy here, but I've always wondered.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2021, 12:27:46 pm »
The damage would probably have been done before you got them, most likely within the first 4 weeks when the wing joints are developing. It's often not noticeable until the feathers start growing in an odd direction but by then it's too late. It's unsightly but harmless, although in some flocks can cause the affected bird to be bullied, particularly with geese. For some reason males are more susceptible than females.
Ducks that are POL and older can be fed chicken layer pellets with no issues.

waddy

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2021, 04:30:36 pm »
We have the last two years hatched ducks under broody hens (admittedly full sized but size should just mean fewer eggs). We just give them a shallow bath (like a seed tray depth until they get used to it then a deeper) one before they are let loose on the pond when they are bigger. They still know they are ducks (unlike turkeys hatched last year under hens which still prefer hens company). They don't have any problems with the existing duck flock.

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Could I try this??
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2021, 08:50:11 am »
Well I think I will give it a go. I realise I will have to be vigilant tho. I read that the humidity required for the egg to hatch is regulated by mum duck who is likely to get into water occasionally during her ‘sitting’. Is there anything special I should provide for a sitting hen.

 

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