baby chicks for broody hen - daytime OK ??

Natilie70(z8 E Tx)June 12, 2008

I know I see it is suggested I put the baby chicks under the broody at night. Question is - would it hurt to put them under her during the day ?? I proved to myself what I have been suspecting lately and that is she is NOT leaving the nest to eat or drink or poop. I have put her outside a few times lately to hopefully get her to drink and eat. Not sure I have been successful there. She has been sitting almost 3 weeks now and I'm going to the feed store in the morning to pick up some day old chicks that arrived there today. I had a shipment with work I had to get out and did not make it to the feed store before they closed - but I did make it to UPS for my shipment. Sometimes work has to come first. Anyway, I am worried about her and thought if I could get the chicks under her sooner, she might get up and eat and drink sooner also. She is a silver laced Cochin and raised 1 chick about 1 1/2 years ago. the chicks will be black sex-links. The other 2 hens are in another pen that I can move about so they are getting some grass and bugs to go with their food. Any help would be appreciated.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

The reason people recommend placing chicks under a hen during the night is because she will be more apt to accept them as HERS when she wakes up in the morning and BAM--eggs gone, chicks in their place! Of course, make sure she has eggs to sit on before the chicks arrive and make the switch as smoothly as possible, with as much darkness as possible.

Trying it during the day, in my experience, results in the hen freaking out and trying to get AWAY from what she presumes are some OTHER hens' chicks--she expects their real mama to come along and clean her clock. I'd have a brooder box standing by and ready to go just in case she doesn't accept the chicks.

It's normal for broody hens to only come off the nest for a few minutes each day to eat, drink, poop and maybe dustbathe. Unless you are standing there watching her the entire day, chances are you won't see it.

Also, to answer your other question, give the chicks something with traction for bedding/to run on. Pine shavings, straw, dirt--it's all good. Avoid slick surfaces like newspaper, which can cause the chicks' legs to splay when they cannot grip it with their feet.

Good luck with your chicks, cochins make great moms. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 3:45AM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Hi Velvet
Thank you for your excellent advice. It has been a couple of years since I have been around, but I can remember you always having good advice. I had not thought of her freaking out thinking they belonged to someone else. They will go under her tonight. The bedding on the floor of the coop is fallen leaves from last fall. After some reading, I got 2 cochins for moms 3 1/2 years ago. Lost 1 to a canine slaughter of a bunch of the birds. With the other 2 hens also 3 1/2 I figured it was time to give them some help. I have a Delaware and a black sex-link. I wanted a golden, but not available for 6 weeks or more. I think that would be late, but also for sure she would not be broody then. So

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:13PM
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