Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Looking after chicks with a broody  (Read 6926 times)

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Looking after chicks with a broody
« on: June 28, 2016, 12:49:18 am »
Hi guys,

Our eggs are under our broody and due to hatch on Sat. I've realised that I'm utterly clueless about what comes next. I've had a search online but most of what I find seems to be to do with incubating eggs and when I do find information about broodies it seems to be contradictory. So I've come here with my questions

1) I need a good poultry book, any recommendations?

2) Chick crumb. I understand they are on this from day 2 until 8 weeks. Do I need the anti-coccidia one? I have 6 hens and a cockerel free ranging over a large garden. My hens are unvaccinated. One thing I read said if they are with a broody they will get immunity from her, another said that you should always use it. I also saw you need mixed grit for them. Mine has some really large pieces, is that ok or  do I need to grind it up more?

3) Housing. I currently have this but it doesn't seem very big once there is water and food in it. Do I need something bigger for them once they have hatched.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wooden-triangle-rabbit-Hutch-Easipet/dp/B00BU27SUC/ref=sr_1_10?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1467070922&sr=1-10&keywords=rabbit+run

Maybe like this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/VivaPet-Outdoor-Octagon-Protection-55-inch/dp/B0064NOR5G/ref=sr_1_4?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1467070922&sr=1-4&keywords=rabbit+run

4) Once they hit 8 weeks I saw one article saying to take the hen away at that point. Do I need to do that? When can I integrate them with the rest of my flock? I also saw one place saying to separate out the cockerels at 18 weeks I think. Do I then keep them on for a bit longer until they are ready for eating or can I keep them in with the others until they reach that stage?

If you have any other pearls of wisdom for raising chicks with a broody that I haven't asked for, feel free to give them!

Thank you all. Hopefully I will soon have some pictures of happy chicks to share with you.
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 01:27:16 am »
do you mind if I hang onto this thread too @Dans ? its just am in a similar situation :-[ Mine are speckled sussex hoping they hatch ok, due friday they are :excited: does it matter either breed or is it the same with every breed? Q4 that is. Sorry for hijacking the thread :innocent:
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2016, 08:50:47 am »
Your co-op should be fine for a few weeks at least,Dans.

You can pop the chick crumbs in as soon as they hatch.Mum will eat them too. I think it is a matter of preference whether you use the medicated crumbs of not.Most people!e that I know don't use them .... I suppose it depends on your circumstances. You can't eat eggs from hens that might manage to eat the medicated crumbs... if for example you move the coop and crumb is left behind in the grass.So that maybe a consideration.

Our chicks leave mum when mum decides that the time is right. She will make it quite clear that she has had enough and probably move back to her original pen leaving the chicks behind! Time that this happens varies a lot with ours. The pekins usually leave theirs by 8 weeks but other breeds later.

Once our chicks are feathered and a bit stronger we let them free range with the other hens. Mum will protect them. Just watch carefully to begin with and check your flocks reaction. Also consider other dangers that maybe specific to your location ..... cats, sparrowhawk etc Our flock are used to new arrivals and only have a quick look and our cat takes little notice once they get to a certain size.

We leave any cockerels with the flock until they become a problem! We have had some that never caused a problem but others would try to snatch at hens  to tread them and would have damaged them if not separated ..... gang rape!
Pekins cause few problems but larger breeds seemed more problematic. Think the little pekins are kept in check by the big Rhodie cockerel ....so flock dynamics.

Never given our chicks any grit but you can buy special chick grit ... we give it to our quail!

Fingers crossed for a good hatch ..... have fun!

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 12:46:53 pm »
Chick crumbs then growers pellets.  Mama will probably be OK to take away from them when she starts to lay again, or some are happy to stay with the chicks for much longer.  I separate out the cockerels when they start crowing - at that point they're also capable of treading.  I put the boys in with a Peacekeeper - a cockerel at least a year older who will automatically become the top of the pecking order (apart from a few hackles raised by really dim youngsters) until the following Spring, by which time all those unsuitable for breeding will have gone anyway.

Before you let the youngsters out with the free ranging birds I recommend worming the flock as the youngsters will be na´ve and could pick up a heavy worm burden very quickly.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2016, 10:08:40 am »
As far as chick crumbs are concerned - as a beginner I would advise using those with coccidiostat. The coccidia oocytes are everywhere and will hatch out in damp conditions. There is no immunity transferred from the broody, so unless you can keep the chicks' environment totally dry you are at risk of them getting coccidiosis and dying.

However, if you feed the chicks some whole corn or wild bird seed, +grit with their chick crumbs then the action of the grit grinding up the corn/seed in the gizzard will also grind up the oocytes and does provide very good protection from coccidiosis.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 10:52:31 am »
Thanks again guys.

Ended up with medicated crumbs as the feed store only does that. She did say no withdrawal though so will have to check, I took a picture of the bag though as she sells smaller quantities. She has in the past tried to sell me very x as a wormer so I don't completely trust her.

Should I have the checks within sight of the rest of the flock? Currently the broody coop is in a shed on a concrete floor away from the others (free range at the back of the house).

The broody coop just seems to small with the drinker and things in. Should I let mother hen out to stretch her legs?

Any book recommendations?

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 04:26:27 pm »
If the broody coop looks too small - then it is.
Ideally the hen will want to walk about with her chicks and have somewhere to scratch.
Can you not make some sort of run to attach to the broody coop so they have somewhere to move about?

Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2016, 05:10:12 pm »
I hatch a number of chicks and through time I don't think it's a good idea  to have broodies. if the chicks are important breeding stock I would not bother. Naw I use 2 broodie  boxes 8 foot long split in 3 or 5 or 1 big one heat light the number lost out of 250 chicks only 1. Broodies I sex the chicks and put them under the hen. Problem going out and chilling tangle up in fether's puddles etc. Crows etc i have lost a lot in the past. So I only brood if I'm selling whith the hens or eggs that were free. Boodies are good if made from sickies.  I use silkie cross. The first time one  nests  she has 1 egg and iff all go's well a green leg band  a good mother. Iv got some legbars hatching Saturday and the 3 broodies will have them. I won't let them out and they will be together sext until six weeks.. Feeding the broodie I give them boiled eggs mackvities ground up dog food to get them back in condition. The brooders are the best bit of kit 3 ceramic heat lamps. Water cups and backing trays for the food. I always change the cockrals every season no matter haw good. Eggs comes from well known breeders from UK lines. The other thing I do is hatch 5 chicks from my line and Mark there legs and look at  haw they hatch and grow and haw they finish I then no haw good the stock is. This season iv kept three cockerels and 5 hens. I've also got young hens to fill the places from the old hens. Its important to improve each season.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 05:16:19 pm by Victorian Farmer »

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 05:37:42 pm »
Without seeing the hen, coop and offspring it's difficult to say whether or not they have enough space. I don't think it would be a good idea to let mum out on her own ..... you want her to keep her mind on the job as it were!

I second the other post and would make a little extension to the run if need be. Mine usually move with mum to a larger coop once a bit bigger. They stay there with mum until she's had enough and moves out and then on their own in there until old enough to move in with the rest of the flock .... at around point of lay.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 09:46:14 am »
Thanks guys. We are sourcing one of those metal cages that we will use to give them more space.

In the mean time we had one egg shell at the front of the broody on Sat night, sunday morning we had three chicks, one egg with a hole in it and 3 eggs doing not much. Sunday night it was the same. At what point do we give up on the one with the hole in it and the others?

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 10:14:03 am »
Has the pipped egg made any progress this morning, Dan's?

Can you see or feel movement in the egg?

If you hold the remaining eggs to your ear can you hear the chicks cheeping
?

We sometimes give the eggs a slight misting with Luke warm water from a plant spray bottle if it looks as though the membrane is very dry .... like you would if hatching in an incubator.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2016, 01:06:08 pm »
Well I went out this morning and the egg with the hole had finally hatched. Another little black chick mostly hiding under mama.

Unfortunately mama hen is sitting outside the nest box and the other three eggs are cold. I think she may have given up on them. I'll see if I can hear anything.

4 out of 7 (9 to starthe with but 2 went rotten) isn't too bad for a first time (hen and us) is it?

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2016, 01:21:29 pm »
Went out to check the remaining eggs. Mum wasn't on them but one of them had a pipping sound even though it was cold. Should I put it under where mamma hen is sitting now? No sound from the other two.

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2016, 01:27:43 pm »
Yes, pop it under her and check during the afternoon that she stays on it .... sometimes they lose interest because they are so preoccupied with the chicks .... especially if they start to venture outdoors. You could try locking her in the shut in part of the house. She may then settle down as if nighttime .... just make sure she isn't distressed as she could hurt the chicks. I'd pop the other two under her as well if you can.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Looking after chicks with a broody
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2016, 06:19:33 pm »
Ack this is stressful.

Went in to pop the eggs under her, only to see outside of the coop. She clucked at it when I came in and it squeezed it's way through but need to secure the pen.

I was heading out so I locked her into the nest box area with the chicks and water and crumb and eggs. She was a little upset at first but then settled.

Checked on her when I certainly back and is on one side of the nest box with the chicks and the eggs are on the other. Does that mean she has completely rejected them? Is there anything I can do to help the chick that is pipping? I don't have an incubator but I might be able to see if anyone can help me out locally.

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

 

How long does a hen need to be broody for before day old chicks? How many chicks

Started by Steph Hen (11.95)

Replies: 18
Views: 5640
Last post April 28, 2014, 10:19:45 pm
by Steph Hen
Broody hen wants some chicks

Started by SouthMains (11.12)

Replies: 0
Views: 1196
Last post September 03, 2012, 09:27:18 am
by SouthMains
when to take chicks away from broody

Started by lord flynn (11.12)

Replies: 4
Views: 1713
Last post August 04, 2013, 04:27:14 pm
by Marches Farmer
Will a broody accept chicks?

Started by Womble (11)

Replies: 3
Views: 1670
Last post June 06, 2011, 08:07:32 am
by Womble
how to put hatched chicks under a broody

Started by ellied (11)

Replies: 3
Views: 1289
Last post March 06, 2016, 07:16:43 pm
by Marches Farmer

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS