1st time hen + owner hatching eggs!!

PaulaG

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 23, 2011
50
0
97
Suffolk, UK
Hi

I have had my 3 hens now for 7 months and always fancied hatching my own chicks indoors with an incubator. I was told the hens i had were very unlikely to go broody, however the silver sussex did.

I bought her some fertilized eggs and managed to take all the other's eggs she had gathered and place the fertilized eggs underneath.

She has been as good as gold and sat on them and they are due to hatch on 28th May. I did have a problem where she was still gathering the other 2's eggs but i have separated them so that she is now on her own.

When the chicks hatch am i likely to be able to watch them or will she hide them away and how soon after they hatch can i handle them? She has been relatively trusting of me when i have filled food and water up as i talk to them all the time (loopy i know lol)

Do i need to provide the chicks with anything special for after they hatch? I know they need chick food but is there anything else anyone would recommend?

This is not the ideal way i would have liked to do it as i have no control really but felt i would take advantage of Janet and its natural i guess!

Also will she go back to her normal laying routine after they hatch (if they hatch as i am sure there is a possibility of none of them hatching at all, which will be a shame) or will she be broody forever :(

Thanks
 

mondotomhead

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
354
5
101
Sturbridge
Your certainly will be able to see the chicks. After approximately 2 days after hatching the mother will leave the nest and the chicks will follow her. You won't have to supply anything special as the mother will take care of them. She will take them around and will make a clucking sound if she finds food they will like and they will come right over to eat it. My mother chicken would hop up to pull of green leaves off the bushes for her babies! I would get some chick feed just to have it when they start exploring on their own. She will also keep them warm. You will see their little chicken faces peeking out from her feathers. So cute!

**VERY IMPORTANT**

The mother will go back into the nest at night (or a suitable safe place). Make sure that the babies can get back in with her. My mistake was my nest box had a 5" frontage and one of the babies could not get back in and died from the cold. Also, check any other place in the coop where the babies could not come and go easily,( i.e. the ramp into my coop was a real problem). And also another one of my chicks died because it couldn't get back over a "railroad tie"-like board in the coop.
 

PaulaG

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 23, 2011
50
0
97
Suffolk, UK
Thank you.

I had thought about the ramp to the coop i have put her in as it is quite steep! Will have to watch that as i cannot change it, it is built to stay that way!! (I didnt build it)

Will just have to keep a close eye
 

mondotomhead

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
354
5
101
Sturbridge
Thank you.

I had thought about the ramp to the coop i have put her in as it is quite steep! Will have to watch that as i cannot change it, it is built to stay that way!! (I didnt build it)

Will just have to keep a close eye
My coop's ramp is only 10 inches high. The chicks would see their mother walk up the ramp and then they would try to jump those 10 inches and couldn't do it. You should of heard them screaming! Anyway, I got some flat rocks and dirt and built up a gradual incline for them. They needed it for only a week or so until they got a little older. Maybe you could keep them inside until the chicks grow up a little. They seem to get smarter as they got older!
 

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