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1st time hatching naturally - please help!

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by Three Silkies, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi. I have two silkies, both 11-months-old, one hen and one roo. My hen has gone broody and has been sitting on her eggs for 2 weeks now & I'm hoping to hatch some chicks naturally. This is my first time owning chickens (& hatching) so I have a number of questions & the only answers I can find don't really apply to my situation. So I'm really hoping, OK begging, for some advice. Can anyone help me? 1. I've read that I need to remove the hen while she's hatching, but that seems to be only when you have lots of chickens. Given I only have 1 hen & 1 roo, do I still need to do this? 2. She is nesting in her nesting box which is upstairs with access by a steep ramp. I'm worried that when the chicks hatch, they will try & follow her down the ramp & break their little legs. Should I lock them upstairs until they are old enough to tackle the ramp? (I'm including a pic of the henhouse so you can see what I mean). 3. My colleague says the chicks won't hatch (or live) because it's too cold. I live in Australia and we're in winter, but everyone on here seems to be from the US and seem to hatch chicks even when it's snowing! It definitely doesn't ever snow where I live and the average nighttime temperature is about 7 degrees Celsius, which I think is about 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Should I be moving the hen & chicks inside until they're older (there's no capacity to install a heat lamp)? Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you.[​IMG]
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I've never had a problem with roosters around newborn chicks and some of mine even "helped" the hens raise the chicks. I'm not saying your rooster is not going to be a problem, there are always exceptions, but I would leave her where she is and just keep an eye on him when the chicks come, see how he responds.

    The ramp into the hen house does look a bit steep, but they will be o.k. going down there. They may need a little help getting back up though, so check on them now and then and see how they manage.

    The hen will keep the chicks warm, don't worry. I've had broody hens hatch and raise chicks outside in 0*C and colder overnight temperatures. The chicks were running around early in the mornings with frost on the ground and they were fine. When they felt too cold they crawled under mom for a quick warm-up before running off again.

    Good luck with your hatch and enjoy!
     
  3. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much for the advice. It's such a relief to know I can trust in her to do the right thing. I've prepared myself for fact that the chicks might not hatch, or might not live if they do hatch, but I'm hoping it will all be OK. I am soooooo excited at the thought of having some little baby chicks. It will just be the sweetest thing. Thanks again.
     
  4. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    My baby chicks have hatched! I'm so excited! I can't see how many there are because it's dark now and my hen is sitting on them, but I can hear cheeping. I'll take some pics in the morning. Now to see if the mama hen can raise them naturally without my help! Fingers crossed!
     
  5. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Aren't they cute? There's six of them.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Congrats!
     
    1 person likes this.

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