Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea! - broody for a week

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Clarie

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One of our speckledy girls has been broody for a week or so. I kept taking the eggs away and taking her out of the nest box to try and break the habit but she just went straight back in whilst telling me exactly what she thought of me! We have no cockerall so she was wasting her time but that didn't seem to worry her.
Anyway after casually mentioning it to a neighbour he came round the next day with 12 fertilised eggs. Miss Broody is now in her element sitting on her eggs. The other speckledy was also broody but isn't any more. I was hoping they could share the load.
So, we are now faced with the prospect of baby chicks. Wonderful yes but I wasn't planning to get any more hens! Hence the oh dear.
By the way is 12 too many for a hen? It sounds a lot to me. Perhaps I can persuade one of the others to look after some? Although I may now have a problem taking "her" eggs away.
I'm of course pretending to be worried, but really I'm so excited about hatching chicks!!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 16:07 by Aunt Sally »

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Celtic Eagle

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea!
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 13:35 »
She will handle 12 OK   Good luck and have fun
Blessed Be
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Mostly organic 'cept weedkiller and slugs

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Casey76

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea!
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 13:40 »
To play the devils advocate...

Little chicks are fine, but what happens when they grow up to be half boys?  What will you do with them then?

Although unlikely, but if they ALL hatch, do you have space for 12 chickens in your coop and run/garden?

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Clarie

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea!
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 13:55 »
Yes well that's something I don't want to have to face. I'm not sure I could kill chicks, but equally don't want a cockerall. What to do? Even if they are girls we can't keep them all. A couple more maybe but I do have plans to rehome any spares. See, I have thought some of this through!!

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madcat

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea!
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 15:37 »
Maybe the neighbour would like some back?  Or maybe you can enthuse the neighbour on the other side to become a chicken keeper - with the gift of a starter pack of chickens?   ;)
All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about (Charles Kingsley)

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joyfull

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea!
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 15:38 »
so long as you can rehome all the boys or do the deed when they start to crow. I have (when I say I, I really mean my 2 broodies  ;)) have hatched out 11 araucana chicks which although they are supposed to be hard to sex I do have an inkling that 3 are boys, 1 white, 1 black and 1 lavender. The lavender has a possible home, the black will stay here and the white? well that will end up in the freezer if a new home can't be found. This is of course if my method of sexing is correct (it could be 8 boys and just three girls in which case my freezer is going to be very full  ;)  :lol:).
Staffies are softer than you think.

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Clarie

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Not content with the twelve eggs I gave Miss Broody (as she's now been named), she was also sitting on four others when I returned from work yesterday. She's determined to be a mum.
If we do have cockrels and can't bring ourselves to kill them when they're little, how old would be a good age to do the deed and pop them in the freezer?

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joyfull

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when they start to crow  ;)  You may not get much meat on them but it is better than just doing nothing with them and at least you will be aware of how they have been treated and what feed they have been given. One of mine didn't crow until he was 9 months old but 6 months is probably nearer the mark.

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Casey76

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I do have to say culling chicks is *much* harder than culling a full grown bird - psychologically I mean.

As for when to do it... it depends.  My two boys were table birds anyway (though I didn't realise it at the time)  i did the first one after neighbour complaints at 16 weeks (both my boys were early starters and were crowing from around 10 weeks - so just be warned lol).

He weighed 9lbs dressed.

Do you know what eggs you have under your broody?  (oh, and btw, if you haven't already, you need to remove the extra 4 as there is a chance they will explode since they're not fertile)

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Clarie

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Thank you for the advice. Yes I did remove the other eggs - we needed them for tea! As for exploding eggs, oh my that would give her a bit of a shock.
The eggs are all from Marans and are a lovely dark brown colour. Does that mean we'll have fluffy brown chicks? Probably a silly question but I'm new to this chick rearing lark!

And to Joyful: you're right about being aware of how they've been treated. If it's anything like the current lot they'll be spoilt rotten!

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joyfull

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea! - broody for a week
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 12:46 »
the colour of the chicks depends on the parents and also of their parents etc. What colour marans do you have?

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Clarie

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea! - broody for a week
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 12:51 »
I'm not sure they were given to us by a neighbour who told us they were Marans. He doesn't keep chickens himself but 'knows a man who does'. As I say the eggs are very dark. We do have two cuckoo marans ourselves which have black feathers with a greenish tinge, but they're not related - as far as I know!

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joyfull

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Re: Oh Dear I'm not sure this is a good idea! - broody for a week
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 13:01 »
cuckoo should be just that black and white striped, there is also a copper black, french copper black (feathering on their legs), copper blue, french copper blue, wheaten, blue splash etc so you won't know what colour your chicks will be unless you know more details from the breeder  :D
I would just wait untill hatch day - a bit like christmas and unwrapping presents  :lol:

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Clarie

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Quick update: Both speckledy girls are now broody so they're sharing the eggs between them. Three eggs have so far been cracked so I took those away. Now down to nine eggs and all being well, chicks should hatch in less than two weeks. How exciting is that??

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joyfull

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please seperate the broodies (leaving each with some eggs) as when they hatch the chicks they may attack the other hens chicks.



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