Beekissed

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As per request, I'm starting a thread on broodies. They are those things that make us go crazy each spring and summer, but also increase our food production in the most natural of ways. If you have broody questions or broody information to ask or impart, this is a thread for that.

Whether you let them hatch their own or you use them to raise foster chicks, they are a valuable part of food production on a homestead. They are the experts at incubating and raising chicks, making chicks into healthier and more socially balanced flock replacements.

These two sat individual clutches at the same time and combined them right after hatch.

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This broody was gifted 20 meat chicks from TSC and raised them all to full growth out on the land.

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Show us your broodies, give us your broody tips and tell us what you breed for/cull for/plan for in a breed or flock to insure you have broodies on hand to raise your next generation of food.
 

Mini Horses

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Just want to add -- for those who have never experienced hen raised chicks. Beyond the fact that they take over the need for heat lamps and housing for that stage of life, they teach them to be a chicken!! To forage, watch for danger, run to safety, come when called (yep, to humans who call, also)....go to roost, learn hierarchy of flock, join into the flock as members. ALL the things we try to do as "foster" moms and often have trouble doing.

Like Beekissed as done, you can often use a broody to adopt those day old chicks. Personally, I find ALL these things just so great for my home flock dynamics that it is worth the few weeks of eggs that hen stops giving. If you WATCH the little family on a day to day basis, the instincts of these birds is just amazing, and their mothering so very sweet and protective, while still teaching SS ways. A learning experience, for sure.

Look at the pics. Did I mention the absolute CUTE factor? Hug a broody! :celebrate
 

Mini Horses

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Had two hatches earlier, now 11 chicks on their own about 2 months old. 2 hens currently setting....another sat and no eggs hatched. I have roos, most hens are being serviced but the early eggs did far better. Hoping the current two hatch theirs.

I'm thinking the weather has some effect and, the roos may need a rest also!! Have some hens who are favs, some who are not interested! It's a crap shoot. Not incubating any this year. No time for it all....esp the after the hatch part.

The chicks were well integrated into the flock and are not being picked upon by the adult hens. They know how to forage, where the coops, water, feed is when it's time. LOVE my hens for doing all that for me. The only step I have left is to divert them into the large coop solely. They go in there but want to sleep in their hatch shelter. Awaking in the large coop and a few days unable to leave the run will get them acclimated to roosting there.

Did I mention....I LOVE my broody hens ? !! :love:weee
 

NH Homesteader

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Ok, so, I'm fairly new to broodies. Have had chickens for years but they've never gone broody. One of my hens hatched out 2 chicks earlier this summer (only 1 made it). Anyway, she has since hatched out another gang of 4. And she takes care of the babies and the older one. And I swear, the older baby babysits the little ones. She'll take off with them, or half of them, while mom is elsewhere sometimes. Is this normal? Strangest thing I've ever seen! Lol kinda cute though!
 

Mini Horses

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Sorry, Icer. Miss Lydia...hmmm, definitely a spike.

So my "musical chair" chick decided Independence Day meant freedom. Nothing this AM but, few min ago I looked over the wall at the lady in waiting and saw this fuzzball peaking out. Dry and warm but can't stay as her eggs are due 7/8. Afraid she may abandon at this last minute if it stayed, so I quickly removed the chick and have it inside by a bottle of hot water. It's fine. In a few days I will sneak it back with new hatchlings. Others are 6 days and too mobile for this one....guess I'll broody it till weekend when others hatch.

Uncovered for a quick-pic....
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