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#42174 - 04/23/03 03:39 AM hen or brooder
Chicken Man Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Canada
Hi in may my chicks under a hen are going to hatch is it better to leave them with the hen or take them and put them in the brooder box .

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#42175 - 04/23/03 05:15 AM Re: hen or brooder
Bruce Smith Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 560
Loc: Michigan
It's far better, IMO, to leave them with the hen, but you must provide a secure place for them that has all the amenities. I have a large biddy coop that I keep everyone in for at least a couple of weeks until the chicks are big enough to move well out with the hen. She will take them back into the pen at night. I keep my broodies in the barn, which is an added safety feature. There are lots of dangers to little ones outside. The biddy pen is armored. Its sides are 1/2 X 1 inch welded wire (for rabbit pen floors) on three sides, and wood on the others. There is a solid wood hinged top with a secure latching hook to keep it closed. and a solid wood side door with the same kind of latch. I put a quart fountain on an elevated triangle in one corner and secure it with a little c-clamp through the wire. Feed is in a very small feeder in another corner. Bedding must be arranged so they can get up to this level, or "steps" made out of boards must be fastened so the chicks can get to the feed and water when they are tiny. I've always used straw in the past, but the next batch will be on shavings, and I think it will be easier for them to get around that way.

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#42176 - 04/23/03 06:22 AM Re: hen or brooder
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Leaving them with the hen always gets my vote! If you can accommodate them (Dr. Bruce has great ideas on that), it is so much easier to let momma brood them and it's great fun to watch! I'd suggest some hand feeding once they are a couple of weeks old, otherwise hen-brooded chicks can be a bit wild and afraid of you. To me, the best thing about letting the hen do it is letting her merge the chicks with the flock eventually. It's so much less trouble, in my opinion.

Have fun!
Susie

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