Author Topic: A good mother hen  (Read 5172 times)

Suki

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A good mother hen
« on: February 20, 2016, 07:54:49 PM »
Hi,


I was told once that a good mother hen could any chicks thrown at her at any time and she would just set on them and take them.  I've never this, even with some broodies, has anyone else?

The Malcolms

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 08:34:39 PM »
We have several broodies that will take pretty much anything.  Sometimes a first timer will not take to raising chicks once they have hatched.  We try to set 2 or 3 broodies at a time so we can give them extra chicks if needed.
One bantam Cochin tries to steal other hen's chicks.  We now keep each momma bird in a separate pen with their chicks until the chicks leave to the grow out pens.  Our LF Cochin hatched ducklings and pea chicks for us.  When her babies wanted to swim and fly she was quite taken aback...

Gina Neta

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 06:01:52 AM »
I have a few bantam Cochins.  They seem to be excellent at going broody.  I am letting one sit on a few eggs now - these hens are about a year old so I want to see how they do with chicks.  I love to watch hens raise chicks - the little ones seem more vigerous, grow faster (I swear), and I don't have to do a thing.  The chicks do, however, become more wary of humans than the hand-raised chicks.  I still think it's great though.

Suki

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 07:33:45 PM »
Thanks folks.  Yes I agree about a mother hen.  I forgot I had a Araucana & Rhode Island Red that just take to chicks.  Neither were broody at the time, just saw them and wham!  I tried the Araucana and now at 4 she wasn't interested.  The dogs killed the RIR, so I'm thinking of trying all the girls one at a time and seeing if I get a hit.  Maybe one of those all time broody partridge Chanteclers will take the bait; I'll let you know.

Brownie

John W Blehm

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 02:41:25 PM »
My bantam buffs continue to be the broodiest of all Ameraucana varieties.  I have 4 flock matings of them this hatching season and at least one broody hen in each coop.  Often a few to several will crowd in and share the nest box while other hens come and go to lay eggs in it.  The other day there were 7 bantam hens in one 5 gallon size next box.  The photo below show a few together.

Shari Nees

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 08:19:15 AM »
In the Past,  my frizzle cochin bantams always hatched out other breeds for me, they were great mothers.

You are right, a very good mother will take on any chick, but those are rare, specially in the big breeds.

Right now, I have 1 really good Blue Wheaten AM hen that hatched out some chicks for me and she is a good mother.  Would she take on other chicks... not sure at this point.


I have some d'Anver hens, that are super good broodies but at most they could only handle 2 full sized chicks... within a couple of weeks the chicks would be nearly as big as the bantams.

Lee G

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 12:35:10 PM »
We have a hen like this. She was one of my first Ameraucanas, hatched back in 2010. 'Whitie' has more than earned her lifer status on our farm, and continues to impress me with her temperament and mothering skills. I swear her chicks are smarter than average too. Last year she raised a brood of 25 in a tractor (a dozen she hatched herself, and the rest were adopted over a 3 day period). She's currently living with her adopted 1 yr old daughters, and laying 5+ eggs a week at the ripe age of 6.

She is truly the best mama hen I've ever had.  :)



~ The duty of the breeder today and tomorrow is to create rather than imitate or simply perpetuate -- Horace Dryden

Shari Nees

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 03:31:20 PM »
Very nice Lee!   An impressive number of chicks she is raising.

Jensen Pierson

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2016, 09:50:57 AM »
Funny story about a broody hen at my place. I had a rouge (we all have one) hen that would not stay in the coop for anything. I gave up after two weeks of trying to catch her. My mother went to get on the lawn mower and heard something in one of the old transport boxes. Apparently the Dorking hen desided she was going to be an anarchist and show me up in raising dorking chicks. I have had awful hatch rated for my dorkings so far this season. Well she managed to hatch 15 out of 17 eggs!!! No surprise though considering dorkings are one of the biggest bodied chickens out there. The best part they are all full blood dorking. Since then I have had great hatch rates knock on wood. Atm I have three broody Ameraucanas which all are sitting on 6+ eggs each
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 09:53:22 AM by Jensen Pierson »

Lee G

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2016, 10:31:42 AM »
Thanks Shari. She may not be a good breeder, but her temperament and mothering skills more than make up for that.  :)

Jensen, your Dorking hen is lovely!
~ The duty of the breeder today and tomorrow is to create rather than imitate or simply perpetuate -- Horace Dryden

Shari Nees

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2016, 05:44:34 AM »
You are welcome Lee.

What a stinker of a hen Jensen but its nice she brought home so many chicks!

Think I have my 2nd good broody, this time a Marans. My BW Am and this Marans, have now earned two blue leg bands.

Lee G

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 09:52:44 AM »
I'm on my sixth broody Ameraucana this year, and the way she turned was pretty funny. Due to space restrictions, I've taken to letting the hens brood and hatch their chicks right in the coop nest boxes before moving them. Anyway, two hens had just finished hatching out chicks, and I was right in the process of moving everyone, when another curious hen jumped up to get a good look at what was happening. Well, all it took was that one look, and she was immediately clucking, just like a switch had been thrown.  :o She's been setting faithfully for 2 weeks now, and should have her own clutch in another week or so. Gotta love broodies. 8) (even though they do drive me crazy sometimes, haha)
~ The duty of the breeder today and tomorrow is to create rather than imitate or simply perpetuate -- Horace Dryden

Jensen Pierson

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 12:40:30 PM »
Jensen, your Dorking hen is lovely!

Thanks Lee! I bought some silver dorkings from a guy in Canada last year. Was going to cross them with my very inbred red dorkings but my red males all died! I bought some day old red dorkings from sand hill hatchery. So hopefully this time next year I will have some reds. My silver dorkings are out hatching the Ameraucanas at the moment. Though I did get a buff hen to hatch me some more. She hatched 6 and I gave her 9 more. She's pretty happy at the moment.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 12:44:07 PM by Jensen Pierson »

Suki

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2016, 11:09:24 AM »
good mother hen

Lance Capozella

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Re: A good mother hen
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2016, 06:56:00 PM »
I have a buff orp sitting on a dozen eggs right now.  She insisted to stay on the nest so I prepped up another nest in the brooder with eggs I wanted her to hatch and she climbed right in.  Thats been 10 days ago and I have never seen her out of the box.  Looks like she will stick it out.