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Help! Chicks about to hatch!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I have a broody with twelve eggs due to hatch soon. She is in a nest box which is approx. 10" off the ground.  It is a typical nest box with a board across the bottom front.  My questions is:  When the chicks hatch, how do we keep them initially from getting bumped out of the box which would render them unable to access mamma hen?  Should I lower nest box to floor and remove front board before the hatch?  Anyone have any suggestions on how to transition them out of the box to larger quarters.  Should we wait until we are relatively certain that the hatch is completed, i.e. maybe 36 hours post hatch?   Don't the chicks need access to water in that time period?  I just can't imagine the whole bunch staying in the nest box for 3 days.The hen is secluded in her own quarters currently.  Thanks so much for your help.

post #2 of 2

I think all you need to do is to place some sort of temporary "step" or a small ramp with cleats, in front of the nest so the babies can use it to hop back into the nest if they happen to get out. In just three or four days, they will have enough wing development to be able to achieve "lift" when they want to hop up to something. Then you can remove the temporary step or ramp.

 

How exciting! Baby chicks are amazingly precocious just hours out of the egg, so just make water and chick starter available near the nest for both mama and babies and they will find it.

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