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what happens when the chicks hatch ?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My Silkie hen has been sitting on about 12 eggs ( hers and an Araucana's) . lt is about time for the chicks to hatch. Yesterday when l checked her,l found some pieces of light blue egg laying on the floor under the nest. Then this morning l found half of the same egg in front of the nest. Do the chicks  stay under the hen after hatching? For how long ? Do l need to move the hen and nest to another place- l have an enclosed inside pen to put her in. l am afraid this first baby, if that is what the broken shell was, has "disappeared". Will it disturb her too much to go ahead and put her in this pen while they are hatching?
       THANKS for any advice, l am new at having chicks around !!!!

post #2 of 6

hehe, she's tucked up under mama's fluff.  Don't worry!!

//edit// they'll stay tucked up and warm till more hatch, they might get enough courage to peek out after a bit, mama will ttry to tuck them back, eventually they will pop out though.  Remember, they don't need to eat for three days, but then they'll need access to chick starter that mama can't get to.  Try to rig up a spot where they can get but mama can't so they can eat, also, make sure they can't drown in mama's waterer.  fill the base with marbles or stones. (marbles are easier to keep clean, but stones work in a pinch) 

I had a little 'roof' with block legs, wide enough to have a dish of feed under it that the chicks can get to but hens can't reach the feed... mom stands on it a lot! LOL others use a upside down box sort of deal, with feed and water inside, and holes big enough for peeps to get in, but no hens.  You'll figure something out!


Edited by PortageGirl - 9/12/09 at 7:42am
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Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

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post #3 of 6

I would not move her. This can hurt the unhatched eggs. The chicks will stay under her. When she thinks all that are going to hatch are done she will get up and do the new momma walk. As hard as it is I would just wait.    barnie

Home of Lily Golden Comet, Malia and Sasha BO's, Raven, Cloud Feather, Two White Toes and Sky Dancer BSL pullets, 2 Spitzenhaben chicks, Snowball Silkie, 8 EE  pullet chicks,
and 2 cats Izzy and Bubba
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Home of Lily Golden Comet, Malia and Sasha BO's, Raven, Cloud Feather, Two White Toes and Sky Dancer BSL pullets, 2 Spitzenhaben chicks, Snowball Silkie, 8 EE  pullet chicks,
and 2 cats Izzy and Bubba
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post #4 of 6

welcome-byc

It usually takes 24 hours for all the chicks to hatch, during that whole time the hen will stay on the nest & not even get up to eat or poop.  Sometimes I've seen them eating the membranes inside the egg shells, maybe it's to get some nourishment.  The early chicks hang out under Mom while they wait for their nestmates to finish hatching.  You may not see them, but you should be able to hear some peeping, and maybe see one peek out from under Mama's wings.  They don't need to be moved, or fed or offered water, they have all they need from the yolk they absorbed right before hatching.

I'd just keep watching her, check on her every hour or so.  Wait until she decides to take her brood for their first outing.  You can move them to their new home at that time.  If any unhatched eggs remain in the nest you can just bury them, they're not very likely to hatch.  If you're ambitious you can candle them and try to incubate the ones with chicks still inside.

I wish you success & great fun!

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

thanks to all who answered. You are right- l peeked under Lulu's feathers and there were 6 little heads peeking out!! They are too cute !!! ( 3 lil yellow chicks and 3 brown striped).  l will make a place for them in the hen house when l see them outside of her wings. ( that is the right thing to do?) This is very exciting!

post #6 of 6

errrr, other hens will/might/could attack them, best to keep them seperate IMO till mama is willing to bring them around on her own.  Do the hens free range?  If so, she'll bring them out to visit when she feels ready to.  always have a place they can run into or under that the other hens can't reach so they can escape.  What fun! big_smile

Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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