Appearance of a lone, mistake chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tofupup, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. tofupup

    tofupup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bunch of game hens who go broody at the drop of a hat. I've been replacing all their eggs w/ wooden eggs, but apparently, somehow I missed an egg and this evening I found one single chick hatched in a nest of wooden eggs. The mother is not getting off the nest -- apparently waiting for the other (fake) eggs to hatch (?) -- and I am wondering if the baby is going to starve if she doesn't hurry up and take him/her out into the world to get food and water.

    I do not have any time/desire to raise a chick on my own, so I'd prefer the mother to do it, but is this normal that she's not getting off the nest? Should I right now remove the remaining fake eggs so she knows it's time to get a move on? Or will she figure it out in time?

    What is the cut off time before i should intervene? Don't chicks need to eat and drink immediately? This chick looks fine to me, but is not peeping very much, which I thought chicks do a lot of.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The chick has enough nourishment from the absorbed yolk to not eat for up to 48 hours. In my experience most hens leave the nest with their chicks by day 23. Removing the nest eggs may encourage her to leave the nest with the chick.
     
  3. tofupup

    tofupup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, good to know, thanks! Is there any danger the other hens or rooster will try to kill him/her? I can put the mom and baby together in an empty stall if they need protection.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Most game hens are very protective mothers, but it might be best to put the hen and chick in an empty stall until the chick becomes more mobile. Several hens ganging up on her at the same time might overwhelm her.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  5. chickenboy100

    chickenboy100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are out free, then they should be fine, but if they have to go in a coop, even just at night, I'd put them separate. And please be sure that the other eggs are wooden and you didn't throw out mid hatching babies!
     

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