runningtrailsApril 2, 2009

Is it too early now, in zone 5, for chickens to be setting on eggs? We would really like peeps this spring and we want to leave eggs in the nest to encourage some hens to go broody. When is a good time to start this. Is it still too cold to start this?

Also, I understand that the mother hens and peeps will need to be separated from the flock, but can there be 2-3 mother hens and babies in the fenced nursery area together? Will they fight or harm each other's chicks?

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Depends on the hen. I have had hens share chicks. I have had others try to kill the chicks that were not their own. I have had hens steal other hens chicks. I have had hens that could care less if theirs chicks were stolen. IMO for safety sake have only one hen in the nursery at a time. Becky

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:11PM
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I have a banty hen in the broody cage due to hatch any day.We have had some miserable cold rainy even snowy weather one day and lovely and warm the next.I have always kept my broodies separate in a safe cage.We lost chicks to a rat thru a good cage the first time we raised chicks.I am in the southernmost part of zone 5.Will let you know what I hatch out.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Do let us know how it goes PosyPet!

I would love it if they would share chicks! That would be so sweet but all my hens are not that sweet, unfortunately.

A cage is a good idea. We are considering fencing off a corner of the coop for the nursery area.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 5:23PM
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Finally heard Peeps!She hatched out today-at least 5 chicks,maybe more.One probably won't make it.It's supposed to get down to maybe 20' next week.My husband asks if I need to bring them in the house!He built me a good broody box with a boxed area at one end from hardware cloth.I have it all tied up with plastic to keep down the drafts.I think they will be okay.I never know when to take out the unhatched eggs.Probably tomorrow.I should candle them but hate to upset the hen.Posy_Pet

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Congrats on the new babies!

Won't the hen keep them toasty underneath her wings at night? I don't want to have to bring mine inside. Maybe we'll wait until it's quite a bit warmer before trying to get a broody hen.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 6:09AM
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She had 5 chicks and the one did die,and one bad egg.I don't know what happened to the 8th egg??I should only put 6 eggs under these small hens.They will be fine.Chickens in the house would be REAL STINKY!We are going to get really cold weather.Sounds like it will spoil the fruit and flowers we already have.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:47PM
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We got a big snow storm yesterday. It look sunny and clear today. We always get one last big snow storm in early April, every year. Now we should be okay.

None of our hens are brood yet but we'lll work on it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:05AM
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