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Now hatching in the coop - food and water for the hatchlings?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have to admit I haven't thought this out much. Last year we hatched with an incubator and I fussed TOO much and lost most of the eggs/chicks.


This year we slipped fertile bantam eggs under our full size Australorp. Two others int eh flock are a Welsummer and a Light Sussex, both full size.


Mama is nesting on the floor of the "upstairs bedroom" in one of those pre-fab coops you get off ebay. The other girls have been laying eggs and somehow they end up under the mama. I disturbed mam by accident this morning and she got off the nest to reveal one fluffy We've now got one chick (yay!) and one pipped. Candled the eggs and withdrew 2 out of 8 last week. 4 more (??) I picked up the baby (hope that was ok!) and the Light Sussex pecked at her in my hand. Mama hadn't bonded yet, but ran back up pretty quickly when she heard the peeps.


The Welsummer has gone up and peacefully layed an egg. I'm a little surprised there wasn't a fuss!


A few questions:

Has mama hen been getting up to retrieve the new eggs, and if so are we looking at a low hatch rate?

How soon do the new chicks need food and water?

Should I move the mama and chick down to floor level in the coop?

Are pine shavings ok bedding for chicks?

Lastly, i noticed small black mites a few days ago and did a minor dusting, but didn't change the bedding. No mites on the eggs I gathered today, so that's a good sign, but mama hen's wattle is a bit pale. Could that be becasue she's been sitting for 3 weeks? Or is it more likely the mites? She is not lethargic.


Thanks for any advice!



post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

We've blocked the door so the little ones cant fall out. #1 chick looks great. #2 chick still peeping in it's shell and #3 chick has pipped and is peeping. Given them food and water. Mama was hungry!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 


Edited by HarrisonCreek - 11/13/15 at 9:41pm
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

post #5 of 6
Once the hen feels hatch is complete she should get off the nest and bring her chicks out to feed and drink. Usually about 24 + hours. If other hens have been adding eggs to her nest over the 3 weeks and they are fertile she will most likely abandon any unhatched eggs as her priority becomes the newly hatched chicks.
I used shavings and my hen and chicks were fine ~

Just make sure the crumb and water is close enough and the chicks can't drown in the water. When my hen went broody I seperated her into another coop and run, the coop was an upstairs one and for the first few days I moved them up and down the ramp untill they got used to it. After that they soon learned to follow the hen and she started taking them unto bed.

Her being pale is likely because she has been sitting but if you have seen mites I would clean the bedding out and treat as soon as you can.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Update: Two fluffies and another just hatched. One more sipped and one piped. The other I'm not sure.


We got interrupted by the Sussex and I scooped her out of there becasue she was nosing around under mama, literally! The Sussex needs to lay and egg and I've given her alternatives, but she's Very Curious. I tried to let her in there again, and she saw one of the fluffies, but I'm worried that she's going to peck at them while mama is still sitting on the last 3 eggs.


So I locked the other hens out of the sleeping coop for the day. I'm not sure how this is all going to go. :fl  I'm thinking I need to set up a second coop, or maybe if I slip the big girls in after sleepytime and give mama another chance to manage the situation once they are all hatched?


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