Advice Quick Please

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by juliachick, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. juliachick

    juliachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    (Northeastern PA)
    I have a hen that disappeared for awhile. We thought she had been eaten by something but then reappeared. We ended up figuring out she had made herself a nest under our deck and had about 16 eggs or so underneath her. Today she hatched a few. It is freezing cold here now (south central Indiana). Where she has them there is no room to put a food dish for the chicks or water bowl. Se put the nest inside a vent cover that is only big enough for her really. I saw at least two chicks under her when I picked her up. Should I try to move her and the rest of the eggs inside our garage and add a heat lamp? Or should I section off part of our coop so the other hens can't get to her and put a heat lamp there. Or should I leaver her alone. I don't know how the chicks will get out of where they are (high side) to get out and get to food but don't want to take her babies away from her...she worked so hard to be sneaky and get to keep her eggs. We weren't really prepared for her to do this this time of year!!! We are excited though and don't want to lose her babies to the cold or lack of food/water! PLEASE HELP!!!!!
  2. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    i would move her and her babies to the garage thats my opinion since all her babies will be under her at night and just move the eggs with her as well i think thats that best thing to do right now and then the coop later on. congrats on the babies and finding the lost hen
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...I have to agree with attempting to move them to a better sheltered area. You're not too far from me, and I know here we're supposed to get down in the low 30s tonight. I think your hen would keep them warm enough if they were in a sheltered area, so you probably wouldn't even need a heat lamp. Good luck!
  4. Oh yes, MOVE them to a brooder type situation so the mom can watch over them. Put fresh water and chick starter in front of them.

    I would go so far as to put a 100 watt heat coil or red lamp in with them. No need to get to 95 F, but a boost for the babies is

    a good idea. Just make sure that mom can get away from the heat.

    If the mom gets out of the brooder, then at least the babies will have some heat. Chicken moms are generally pretty smart, but

    there are those first timers and such that just do not get it.
  5. juliachick

    juliachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    (Northeastern PA)
    Thanks for the advice. I moved them all to the garage. I put them in a 4x4 area w/lots of pine bedding and hung a lamp above them. Used a 150 watt bulb. Couldn't find any of my chick waterers so had to improvise and only had layer rations. Will the layer ration hurt them for just tonight until we can get out and get more chick starter in the am??? One more had hatched by time we got them moved so now there are 3 out of do you believe this... 20! I can't believe she had that many under her. I feel pretty bad because there were two that were off to the side and felt very cold so I opened them thinking there was nothing growing since they weren't warm but one had a bigger baby in it...not fully developed and still had the whole yolk but think it was alive. So sad. I will never do that again. I can't believe it was alive w/the egg so cold and not at all under the was fridge temp from the feel of the shell. The other one had a really teeny baby that hadn't gotten very far. Well, let me know what you think about the layer ration...should I leave it better than nothing??? I am just amazed that this little hen that we had no idea was going to go broody did this and seems to be a good mamma so far. Keeps ALL of the eggs under her even after moving her and her new babies too. Hope her good maternal skills keep up [​IMG]
  6. Do not feel bad about the one you opened.

    Momma hens will push an egg out because she wants them ALL to hatch at the same time within about 24 hours.

    So she did this because she KNEW this one was developing quicker than the others.

    Just chalk it up to experience. We have ALL done this.

    If you think an egg is viable, candle it. Then listen for peeps. Finally just let it go for a day or so after the initial hatching.

    You may be surprised to see a bunch of babies in the morning. Get chick starter as soon as possible. If the layer is a pellet, crush it up before feed.

    GOOD LUCK, keep us posted !!
  7. chixie

    chixie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2009
    kountze texas
    good luck
  8. juliachick

    juliachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    (Northeastern PA)
    Now up to 7 chicks and 1 more visibly hatching. We are so excited. We did the incubator before but this is our first broody hen doing it herself!!! So much easier. That is a great plan to candle the egg first...wish I thought of that first....I know for next time though! Got a red bulb and some chick starter. I have a friend who wants to start a flock and may be interested in our babies. How long should I leave them w/their mamma do you think? If she's not serious though we may have to make an addition to our coop [​IMG]
  9. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Congrats!!!! I had broodies hatching babies for the first time this summer and I know how exciting and aggravating it can be! I found that the broodies will take care of the babies for at least 6 weeks (I didn't really keep track) but they were already pretty big before she started blowing them off. I didn't separate the broody/babies from everyone else although they did have a quiet corner in the coop. Since mine free range during the day, I found it almost impossible to get them to eat the chick starter so I gave up. They ate layer crumbles like everybody else and did just fine. I do agree with the heat lamp though, especially now since it's cold. Sometimes the mamas do forget they have babies so as long as they have a warm place to get to they should be fine. Good luck!!
  10. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Layer crumbles/pellets WILL hurt the babies. There is too much calcium and it can damage their kidneys. Get the chick crumbles ASAP and don't forget the chick grit. Because they are being raised by the Mom she will introduce them to natural foods like grass and small pieces of scratch sooner then you think and they need the grit to help them digest it. I sprinkle a little on top of the crumbles when I fill the chick feeder. The Mom can also eat the chick starter.

    Don't wait to long to move then to the coop with your other chickens and don't get them too used to the extra heat from the lamp. The transition to the coop will be harder on them. I've had hens raise babies in the dead of winter and all were fine with out a heat lamp. Lots of food and water and even scratch. The babies of course eat the tiny pieces of scratch and mom the larger ones to keep her body temp up. When my last babies hatched they were eating everything my hens were eating in 7 days. Grape halves, strawberries, scratch, scrambled egg, pumpkins, pears, apples and grazing in the run. Mom will know when the time is right.

    I have one more bit of information. AFTER they have eaten chick crumbles for a few days and have ingested a bit of grit put a piece of sod (not treated with fertilizer or weed killer ) in the pen with them. A 6X6 piece will do nicely. The chicks will pick through it and eat a tiny bit of grass and maybe weeds and even dirt. I GUARANTEE you will not have any pasty butts. When the grass is eaten and trampled down replace where you dug it up and dig up another piece for them. Do this until they move into the coop.

    Oh and by the way....congratulations on the new babies!!!!![​IMG]

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