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Mother hen pooping in nest with new chicks

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

I have a 1st time broody who, this weekend, started hatching her eggs. I've got 3 so far (1 hatched 3/20, 2 hatched 3/21 and now another one is pipping (3/22). She is in the coop in a popular nest box - but I have it blocked off at night/early morning while the girls and roo are all locked in, until I open it up the next day. 

 

She's doing great! I put chick starter and water in there with them and she's taught them how to eat and drink and it's adorable. She is still waiting for the last two eggs though. And she hasn't gotten off of them since 3/21! I unblock the nest so she can get out to defecate and do what she needs to during the day - but while I was in there checking on them today... She definitely just did her broody poop thing right there in the next box with her little ones under her wing. 

 

Is this normal? Should I be concerned about the health of the chicks? I want to move her, but she's still waiting on eggs and I'm not sure if now is the right time. (One is in the middle of hatching, it's just taking its time.) This nest is about 2ft off the ground.

 

I have a spot for her in the coop on the floor that is larger for she and the chicks - where they'll be safe from everyone else and where she can safely leave the nest to do her thing. Should I attempt moving her and the chicks at night? (And possibly the remaining eggs?)

 

Thanks for your help..! <3

 

Obligatory chick pics :D

 

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilsonFarm View Post
 

Hello!

 

I have a 1st time broody who, this weekend, started hatching her eggs. I've got 3 so far (1 hatched 3/20, 2 hatched 3/21 and now another one is pipping (3/22). She is in the coop in a popular nest box - but I have it blocked off at night/early morning while the girls and roo are all locked in, until I open it up the next day. 

 

She's doing great! I put chick starter and water in there with them and she's taught them how to eat and drink and it's adorable. She is still waiting for the last two eggs though. And she hasn't gotten off of them since 3/21! I unblock the nest so she can get out to defecate and do what she needs to during the day - but while I was in there checking on them today... She definitely just did her broody poop thing right there in the next box with her little ones under her wing. 

 

Is this normal? Should I be concerned about the health of the chicks? I want to move her, but she's still waiting on eggs and I'm not sure if now is the right time. (One is in the middle of hatching, it's just taking its time.) This nest is about 2ft off the ground.

 

I have a spot for her in the coop on the floor that is larger for she and the chicks - where they'll be safe from everyone else and where she can safely leave the nest to do her thing. Should I attempt moving her and the chicks at night? (And possibly the remaining eggs?)

 

Thanks for your help..! <3

 

Obligatory chick pics :D

 

 

I've had this problem too, I think it just depends on your situation, how much longer do you reckon the eggs will take? I'm surprised she hasn't left the nest yet with her hatched chicks! She will most likely get off in a day or 2 and teach her chicks how to... chicken!:D If your nest is fairly small, the poop is very watery, and the chicks are likely to go into it, id just take the broody off in the morning and remove the poop, she'll probably do her broody poop and then you can pop her back on the nest, the chicks and eggs should be fine for a few minutes without mommy (eggs are said to benefit from being left for 10-20  minutes per day during incubation - although im not sure about lockdown). This would all depend on your broody, the time till she will leave the nest/other chicks hatch. Hope you get it sorted out, and have fun with your chicks:D;)

proud owner of one mixed bantam flock, and one mixed large fowl flock

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proud owner of one mixed bantam flock, and one mixed large fowl flock

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobit View Post
 

 

I've had this problem too, I think it just depends on your situation, how much longer do you reckon the eggs will take? I'm surprised she hasn't left the nest yet with her hatched chicks! She will most likely get off in a day or 2 and teach her chicks how to... chicken!:D If your nest is fairly small, the poop is very watery, and the chicks are likely to go into it, id just take the broody off in the morning and remove the poop, she'll probably do her broody poop and then you can pop her back on the nest, the chicks and eggs should be fine for a few minutes without mommy (eggs are said to benefit from being left for 10-20  minutes per day during incubation - although im not sure about lockdown). This would all depend on your broody, the time till she will leave the nest/other chicks hatch. Hope you get it sorted out, and have fun with your chicks:D;)

I thought by today they'd be all done, surely! But it looks like just this one is going today. Who knows! 

 

I'm going to try and take her off the nest to clean it up at least - maybe I'll just move them all in the meantime to the floor and a bigger space!

 

Thanks so much. ;) 

post #4 of 9

They have a mind of their own!! So it's just one more to go? She might just carry on brooding the egg, or the worst thing that could happen if you move them to their new area is that the hen leaves the nest and the last egg doesn't hatch, she'd either kick out the remaining egg (if you move the whole nest which is what I'm assuming) or more likely just settle in a different area with her chicks. Good luck:ya

proud owner of one mixed bantam flock, and one mixed large fowl flock

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proud owner of one mixed bantam flock, and one mixed large fowl flock

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Move - success! Thanks!

Now to pick your brain on a different matter. Considering the fact that she is waiting a couple more eggs... Would it be feasible that she'd "adopt"/accept a few orphan chicks? There's an EE hatch in town and there will be day olds there tomorrow! I was thinking of grabbing a few and sticking them under her tomorrow night.

Thoughts? wink.png
post #6 of 9
Hmm well she could because it's good timing, but I've only ever done it once and feel it's a bit risky, I had 2 briodies, one did not accept the chicks at all, but my trusty Cochin bantam accepted them (I gave them to here in the night and put a towel over the whole best so no babies could e thrown out and she couldn't see anything and would stay calm). Although I only gave her 4 chicks and she had none of her own and only been sitting for a short period of time! Just bear in mind that it could end badly with her hurting the chicks, or you having to care for them! Although I don't know if she could differentiate between her own and the new ones...

proud owner of one mixed bantam flock, and one mixed large fowl flock

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proud owner of one mixed bantam flock, and one mixed large fowl flock

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post #7 of 9

I'd says its worth a shot if you have a plan B, i.e a brooder set up and so you can rescue any rejected chicks. 

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help and support, guys! <3 I picked up four Easter Eggers yesterday (day olds) and popped them under mama last night. This morning, she has nine fluffy chicks! :lau She hasn't even questioned it! I find it so funny. :D

 

We only have one egg left over, so it was a successful hatch! And she's shaping up to me a good mother. My only concern is that all the other hens are super curious and peeking in more often than I'm comfortable with - and they're not nice! I'm sure Chippy can handle it though. ;)

 

Again - thanks! I'll update with pictures eventually!

post #9 of 9


Great news! :thumbsup

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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