Farming forum: Chicken tails

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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Nov 1, 2013 3:28 PM CST
I'm having a chicken- chick tale unfolding right now!

Recently (about 21 days ago) two of my hens went broody. Over the past 3 weeks, Fancy and Honey have been dedicated brooders. It wasn't planned of course, so I have no idea how many of those eggs they are laying on are actually fertile.

This is my first time having chicks, so I don't really know what to do. I'm worrying if I should get some heat lamps, etc. for the chicks when they arrive. My much more informed about chicken matters, DH tells me to just let them be and let nature take it's course.

Today, I was soooo excited when I heard chirping coming from the coop. I peek in there but I can't see anything, I can only hear there is chirping coming from under the hens.

A little while later, I hear noisy commotion out there. I run to see what's the problem. As I approach I see Fancy and Honey, the two brooders are squawking and flapping, freaking out really. As I get closer, I see a cute little orange chick is running towards them, chirping and they are freaking out, flapping and trying to kick the little chick away, as if they are scared to death of this little chick coming towards them! What??? So I pick the little chick up because I'm afraid for its life. Then I see another little, black and white chick is upsidedown, at the edge of the coop, kicking its little legs. OMG! It looks injured! So, by now, here comes hubby. He just arrived from out of town! The two hens are still screaming and carrying on, all of the rest of the flock have dissappeared, no where to be seen. I tell him the hens are acting like they are scared of the chicks!! ??

Fast forward, now the little chicks are in a container in the spare bedroom. Look how cute!!!

The two broody hens are back on the rest of the eggs?

Now, let's see how round two goes!

Please tell me it will get better! I've already decided they were unprepared for motherhood. Now the next hatchlings won't be as scary and soon everything will be okay and we can mingle those first two chicks back with the flock.

Thumb of 2013-11-01/wildflowers/6265b1 Thumb of 2013-11-01/wildflowers/aba31b
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Nov 1, 2013 4:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Nov 1, 2013 4:58 PM CST
I tried googling something about chickens being afraid of their chicks... I couldn't find anything.

Here they were three days ago. All of the hens were hanging out in the coop with the brooders (except one hen, the crazy one that I can tell many crazy stories about).

I thought they were all being mother hens waiting for the magic moment when the chicks arrived. I also thougt they are making a big mess in the hen house!

Thumb of 2013-11-01/wildflowers/fc7965
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 1, 2013 5:25 PM CST
I would separate one of the broodies from the rest of the flock and give her all of the eggs. Hens often attack other hens' chicks. Keep the chicks inside with a lamp for warmth. You may be able to reintroduce them after the other eggs hatch - if they soon do. Just put them under the hen at night.
Porkpal
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Nov 1, 2013 6:02 PM CST
Thank you Porkpal. This experience is very interesting. The brooders, Amaraucanas are probably only about one year old.

I have always enjoyed my hens. It's been less than a year since we've had the rooster. I'm really happy with him, although the hens might disagree.

I used to have all one breed, but the hawks took out most of my hen flock, except Tootsie. She's my only original hen, a New Hampshire Red. I've read that it's not good to mix chicken breeds. I have observered this to be true. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 1, 2013 7:23 PM CST
I keep a mixed flock because people like a colorful variety of eggs. There are definitely breeds that are more aggressive and breeds that are meek. I get away with my mixture mainly because there are large numbers of each.
Porkpal
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Nov 5, 2013 3:34 PM CST
The little guys are so cute!
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Nov 7, 2013 2:36 PM CST
I agree Do people still dye them colors and sell them for Easter??
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Nov 7, 2013 2:43 PM CST
Not here. It is illegal to dye them now.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 7, 2013 2:59 PM CST
There is actually a technique by which they are dyed while still in the egg. I think it is allowed here.
Porkpal
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Nov 7, 2013 6:56 PM CST
Folks here dye their little white fluffy dogs for our Easter parade, which I find rather bizarre. I assume it is some sort of temporary thing but have never ventured an inquiry. I find the whole thing a bit repugnant. Just me.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
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gingin
Nov 7, 2013 8:40 PM CST
porkpal said:There is actually a technique by which they are dyed while still in the egg. I think it is allowed here.


and the embryos aren't harmed??? I find it amazing what some people will do for a $ Glare
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 7, 2013 9:43 PM CST
The in-the-egg dyeing was originally used for some sort of population study in wild birds and is apparently harmless.
Porkpal
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Nov 8, 2013 10:15 AM CST
that makes me feel better I tip my hat to you.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Nov 8, 2013 11:55 AM CST
Ten chicks have hatched. (The second one that I found laying outside didn't make it.) We now have them set up in the garage with a heat lamp in a big trough. It just seemed like a much better idea, just to eliminate all of the drama. Our hens are all free roaming during the day so it was going to be a problem keeping the chicks in the coop, they were chasing the non broody hens out, freaking them out too. Plus it was pouring down rain for three days.

This way it's less stressful for all of us. Smiling

I need to take some more pics, they are growing so fast! This was taken before we moved them to the trough. They were reaching for the light!

Thumb of 2013-11-08/wildflowers/ba0a7a
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Nov 8, 2013 12:03 PM CST
Oh, they are so cute. I hope the all grow up to be hens. Smiling
Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
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grizzlyjoe
Dec 13, 2013 6:41 PM CST
Are there any updates? We are waiting for one of our hens to go broody and we are going to do the same. Would love to hear some good news!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Dec 14, 2013 4:44 AM CST
What kind of chickens do you have Joe, some of the newer chickens have the broodiness bred out of them. Some that still get broody are the Brahmans, Wyndotts, and Cochins. If you put one of these breeds that are laying eggs in a smaller pen with a rooster, and a nest, they will go broody when they fill nest. If that's not the eggs you want to hatch, you can switch them out. It's important that they lay the nest full of eggs though.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Dec 14, 2013 11:33 AM CST
My broody-girl is a buff orpington.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Dec 14, 2013 2:06 PM CST
The old style Buff Orpintons would go broody, some of the newer production types aren't as reliable.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Dec 14, 2013 2:52 PM CST
My Buff Orpingtons are clearly of the old school.
Porkpal

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