4 day old chicks..a newbie - any tips appreciated

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kim t, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Kim t

    Kim t Just Hatched

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    My chickens are now 4 days old, they hatched at 20 and 21 days. First time for me. A friend gave me 5 eggs to put under my broody hen. Two were not successful, one death in egg of a chick that appeared to be full size. Last egg had developing chick inside but not seeing movement. I was hoping to get a chick from that one an Araucana egg but I don't think it will be good. Mother hen is protective of the chicks and has taught them to eat and drink.
    They are still housed in a small dog kennel in my chicken coop where the two other hens can see them. I am using sugarcane mulch to line the box. It has a wire mess door. I take mom out twice a day for a few minutes to do her business, she used to stay out ten mins to eat and drink when sitting on the eggs but goes straight back in now she has the chicks. She eats the chick starter food and water.
    The chickens spend most of the time under mom so far. Springtime here in NSW Australia. 12 degrees C today but going up to mid 20's C on the weekend.

    I plan to build a small tractor with small mesh to put them into with mom inside my large chicken pen until they are a few months old. Unfortunately I have a Diamond Python Snake visiting the pen eating mice and stealing the occasional egg. He will eat the chicks for sure if given the chance.
    Any tips from here appreciated. How long should I keep them in the small kennel? I am thinking they should have more space to run around.
     
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah they will probably want more room soon, how big is the kennel their in?
     
  3. Kim t

    Kim t Just Hatched

    Thanks for your reply.

    Photo at top shows the width of the dog kennel, it is about twice as deep. I have a bigger dog kennel but when I went to assemble it I thought the wire mesh was big enough for the snake to get in so I didn't move them. I may cover the outside of the larger kennel with some garden shade cloth i have to make it snake proof so I can use it until I get a small tractor built for them. It is about 2.5 feet wide by 4 feet long.
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    More space = happier chicks and for sure, a happier mum. The sooner you can sort out your snake protection and get them into a bigger pen, the better. Do bear in mind, that if the base of the new set up has wire mesh (or any kind of protective covering), the hen will not be able to dust bathe and so will either need to be let out on a daily basis, or put a tray of soil in the pen.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Can you kill that snake, or are they protected? Personally, I'd kill the predator, and let Mom and babies integrate into the flock ASAP. But, I'm not aware of your predator load there. Chicks integrate better in a broody situation when you do so within the first 2 weeks.
     
  6. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Let the chicks and the python swap places. Put the snake in the dog kennel and let the babies out into the coop.:/
    I can't believe the snake hasn't tried to eat the 2 hens. You asked in a different post how old the chicks need to be before they are safe from the python. I would say probably not until they are about 4 months old, but that's just my experience. And to be honest, we don't have many pythons slinking around me area.
    I would really get to work on that tractor ASAP.
     
  7. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    If the snake is a python then you can kill it with no worries, they're an invasive species and your protecting your flock. If you live in the U.S.A
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    OP is in Australia. Puts a whole new twist on things.
     
  9. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Well still do you think she could kill the snake as a form of protection for her flock?
     
  10. Kim t

    Kim t Just Hatched

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    This is the Diamond Phython photo. Captured this shot of the snake 10 pm Wednesday night with my phone of it catching a bush rat. This is why it sticks around and I don't mind getting rid of them. I live in a wooded area. The snakes are protected here in Australia. My friend works for WIRES, they rescue birds and animals. She said if I move it out another will move in and better the snake you know. Going off to build a secure pen within my larger pen now. Will keep you posted.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone.
     

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