Safe number of chicks can cochin raise.?

Natilie70(z8 E Tx)March 31, 2010

When my cochin goes broody - I want to slip some day old chicks under her when the time is right. To get what I want, it looks like I'll have to order some. More than I want, so I'll let her raise the most important ones and I'll work with the others. What is an average number of chicks a hen can easily raise.?? 5 or 6 or what ?? She has done this before. I don't want to overwhelm her and have some die from exposure. Just don't know what is an average number of chicks most hens raise.


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Naomi Miller

I assume you are speaking of a standard cochin as there are also bantam varieties.....but if you are speaking of a standard then I can only share personal experience with you. We let one of our cochins go broody last Spring since it seemed every time we took eggs from her she would just move nest boxes and adopt more so we decided not to fight it and let her set on some mixed eggs.....she hatched 7 and had no issue with keeping them safe and warm in early Spring, it was April I believe.... just remember that a hen has a built in clock and just because she goes broody today does not mean she will accept chicks tomorrow, lol.... not saying you must wait the whole 21 days before she will, but there needs to be time enough for her to feel she has done her job.... then again, occasionally, I have had a hen who would take over raising new chicks when she had not even been broody.... the actual mother continued to set her eggs and the surrogate took the new babies and raised them as he own....just depends on the hen....good luck and Happy Spring

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

You are correct - I am speaking of standard size. I forgot to add that. I appreciate your info - 6 would be more than enough for me. How interesting about the other hen and not even being broody.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:58AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

You don't want to give her more eggs than she can properly cover, or you'll have few or none hatch. I usually go with no more than 5-7 eggs, and that's bantam eggs for a bantam hen, standard eggs for a standard hen. If you want a bantam to hatch standard size eggs, I'd just give her 2-3, depending on her size.

You'll need to house mama and eggs/babies separately from the rest of the flock--other hens can and will get jealous and fight over the eggs/babies, which can hurt or kill them. First-hand experience talking here from years ago, stupid me. :( Also, remember that mama can't be everywhere and she'll have to be able to fight off bullies.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 6:02AM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Velvet - I was hoping you were still posting. It has been an age since I have been up here. Your knowledge has always been huge and valued. 5 or 6 will be more than sufficient for me and that is good to know. Have to stay with standard size as Hawks have a field day with bantams around here. I may end up having my feed store guy order what I want mixed with his order from Ideal when the time is right for her. Means I won't get some of what I want, but I won't have to raise any either. I'd rather let her do her thing and besides, she can do a better job. I think last time (several years ago), I put the other girls in a tractor and left her and the chicks in the coop with a separate side yard until they got bigger and then I put her and the chicks in a tractor too. "Little Mom" is a silver laced cochin and she is so sweet and gentle. She turned 5 Last month. I figure any eggs I get from her is a bonus - I think it is time for her to have a replacement to "train". ha ha She raised the 5 hens I have now. That's her job. They are 3 now. Little Mom was a survivor from an earlier disaster. The other girls are young enough, but I'm not sure how many more years Little Mom will be going broody and be young enough to raise a few chicks. Debated staying with a cochin or going Brahma as they say both are gentle. sorry - rambling again.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:45PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

When we were kids my grandmother would slip some extra eggs under a brooding hen. I don't remember how many. The most interesting thing was an uncle of mine liked to slip a duck egg under a hen that nana was not watching to carefully and we found this to be most amusing.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:46PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Oops, I misread--I thought you were asking about EGGS, not day old chicks, sorry. :) If she doesn't have to cover eggs and hatch them you can get away with more. But still, yeah I wouldn't give her more than 7 or 10 chicks, depending on the breed. If she is a huge standard Cochin and you give her itty bitty bantams like d'Uccles to raise, obviously she can cover more. :)

I do so love Cochins, they are my favorite breed.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 6:01AM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Velvet - Not a problem. Some other posts mentioned EGGS so was a logical thought IMHO. Still, "Little Mom" is a big standard Cochin - maybe I should have or should show her, she's beautiful - she looks show quality to me with lots of long feathers on her shanks and feet - but, I know nothing about showing - even at the local fairs. That's ok - it's probably stressful on the birds and I wouldn't want that. Anyway - I do see what you are saying, but 5 - 7 is still more than plenty for me.
I did once before, and will this time, make sure she has been broody long enough and then beat it to the post office or my feed store when the chicks arrive so I can make sure they get some sugar water and then put them under her that night -- in other words, not ask her to accept some of the chicks that maybe a week or more old already like at some stores. Don't think that would work from what I have read in the past. Not willing to try, but most importantly, I'll get what I want this way. Thanks
I'm in Northern East Texas (lots of trees and lakes) - my coop is big, tall and well insulated with lots of air flow, a big shade cover(like a porch)and now the trees are giving it lots of summer shade. I know she is bred for cold weather and when the winters get down in the 30's she is fine. Thankfully she does not seem to suffer in the summer heat and I'm happy about that. The heat was part of why I was wondering if I should get a Brahma mom this time instead of another Cochin. Both are supposed to be kind. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:50AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Pictures. We need pictures of her!!

I'm going to get fresh pictures of my baby chicks this weekend, I'll update my Chickam thread (if I can dig it up) with them.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 3:17AM
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