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2 hatched today! Now what!??!?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by phillyfarmer, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. phillyfarmer

    phillyfarmer In the Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    I have a hen that went broody. I set some fertilized eggs under her and she has been sitting on there for 21 days.
    Today is the 21st day. I went up to the coop to check on her and the eggs. 4 of the eggs had chips in them. I could see
    one was working on its shell. We had to go to a graduation party and when we got back I lifted the hen up to see two little ones under her!
    It was so very exciting. There are 3 more that have cracks and are working their way out of the shells. But so far one has no activity.

    How long should I wait before consdering that one a dud? I can not see anything when I candle it. but I am not so good at candling either.

    Also they are under the momma who is in a nesting box about a foot off the ground. What happens if they fall out of the nest? I am concerned one of the other hens will peck the babies. How will the momma get the fallen chick back in the nesting box?

    And how am I going to make sure they get feed and water? The waterer and the feed for the other hens are too far off of the ground and there is no way to move them to the ground. I did buy a big bag of crumble when I went to feedstore in anticipation of the babies. UGH! Logistics. Of course not thinking of this before getting the fertilized eggs.

    I thought of moving the brooding hen with the chicks to a corner of the coop under the nesting box. Then there is no concern of falling but not sure what the other hens would do and if it would leave the babies even more open for an attack from the other hens.

    Any suggestions?

  2. cashdl

    cashdl Songster

    Nov 25, 2008
    I keep large dog crates around for just such occasions. If you move her without confining her, she may try to take the babies back to the nest box. And while she can get back in, they wont be able to and they will die. So see if you have a crate or a horse trough (I use those to, just put a screen over it to keep her in) but basically something the can be kept in, that is big enough to move around and have food and water close by. She will get off the nest when all the chicks that are going to hatch, have hatched. They tend to be fairly smart that way.

  3. phillyfarmer

    phillyfarmer In the Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    So then do you keep the crate in the coop? I dont want to seperate her and the chicks from the rest of the flock. I might be able find a crate I could keep in bottom of coop and then her and the chicks can go in there.

    But what about food and water? I think if I put something down low then the other hens will get into it.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Sometimes if you try to move a broody she will abandon the nest. I would wait a couple more days. Can you put something in front high enough to keep the chicks in but let your broody out to eat, drink and poop.
  5. TripTrapMtnHomestead

    TripTrapMtnHomestead In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2011
    Western NC
    we had one chick fall out before the rest were done hatching. i put another board up to make the nest edge higher. i put 2 small cups in with food and water and just checked on them a lot.
    then i waited for the mama hen to let us know when hatching was done. it was very obvious when she was ready and trying to get the chicks to follow her out of the nest. (we had 4 out of 7 hatch) then we moved them all into a big dog crate right beside the coop for about a week. now they have graduated to a 10'x10' dog kennel outside and i move them into the coop each night. so they are with our other hens some but not all the time.
    good luck!
  6. phillyfarmer

    phillyfarmer In the Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    Thanks! The babies have done well. I have places a bit of crumble in the corner of the nesting box. I go up to coop frequently to check in. There were two of the chicks in the run huddled together. Must have missed mommas warm butt!!?

    Today I went to the coop and they were all out of the nesting box and were in the run. Just not sure how they are going to get back up into the nesting box or wonder if she will just sit under the nesting boxes with the chicks.

    I put crumble in a smaller container and then mixed some in with the older hens food. Figured the babies should get enough pecking the ground. But the smaller container the hens went right over to and started eating. I guess they thought they were missing something?

    Now the water may be more tricky. Right now we have it up because the other hens poo in it. I am not sure I want the babies drinking out of it cause they might drown!

    Any suggestions on what to do with that?

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