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Babies are here... When to move mamas and babies?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi,

We have a Silkie and a GLW on clutches of 4 and 5 eggs. We tried to move them with their clutches to a separate area last weekend; the hens did not like that and wouldn't return to sit on their eggs. So we moved them back into the coop with the flock and they've been sitting just fine ever since.

However, or Silkie keeps getting kicked out by the larger birds when they want to lay (we have 10 layers and 5 nesting boxes; they just really seem to like the one she's in best). So we've been having to go out and remove the unfertilized eggs from under her each night.

Tonight we found that one of her babies has arrived!!! So we checked in the nesting box with the GLW; she had a baby as well!!!

None of the other eggs have hatched yet. How long should we wait for them to hatch before we assume they won't? How long does it take a clutch to fully hatch when an actual chicken is sitting on the eggs?

And now that they're arriving, how should we go about moving the mamas and chickies to the nursery? I would do it tonight, but it's supposed to be very cold and I don't want to risk losing the eggs or the new chicks if the mamas freak out again. And when we move them, should we warm the new nesting boxes first with a heat lamp (obviously removing it before placing the birds in-- don't want to roast the mamas!)???

These questions must sound so stupid. We are learning! We got this flock as chicks last year and have only lost Roos so far (culled because of major aggression issues--we have toddlers running around!!!). I feel like we are getting more and more adept, but we still find situations where we don't know what to do!!!

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 4

Not stupid questions at all!  I had a silkie hatch on eggs and I let her do her thing.  She had 6 eggs and 5 hatched.  She abandoned the other egg.  I put it in an incubator, but it never hatched.  I guess mama knew what she was doing when she left it!  So to answer your question, I wouldn't give up on your eggs until the mama hen does.  Once she gives up you can just toss 'em or put them in an incubator if you wanna make sure they won't hatch.  I only have a one time experience, but I'll assume if she abandons them, they aren't going to hatch anyway.  

 

I wouldn't move the hen or the chicks until she leaves the nest.  Someone else might have better advice, I just wouldn't want to move eggs around when they are in the process of hatching.  Humidity is really important during that time (if it goes down it can shrink wrap the chicks in the eggs) so I wouldn't want to take them out from under the mama, even just for a little.  Again, I could be wrong, and hopefully someone else can help you better with this point.

 

Oh, and the clutch will probably hatch within 24 hours.  Although I could be wrong - when I found my silkie they had all already hatched :)

 

If I missed a question just poke me with a stick and I'll see if it's something I can offer any advice on :D

“People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.” - Oscar Wilde
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“People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.” - Oscar Wilde
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your response! We figured out a way to block off those nesting boxes from the rest of the coop while allowing room for food and water for mamas and babies. So the other ladies can lay in the other nesting boxes for a few days. Once we see that mamas and babies have ventured out, we will move them to their new digs. I was SO worried about the egg humidity thing. I have not done any research on that at all because we never plan to incubate eggs. This clutch is just more of a learning experience for our kiddos than anything. We won't be hatching any more eggs after this. Unless one of our babies turns out to be a super sweet roo.
post #4 of 4
That sounds like an ideal plan! How many babies have hatched so far? big_smile.png
“People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.” - Oscar Wilde
Reply
“People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.” - Oscar Wilde
Reply
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