Babies coming in the Snow....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MetalFarm, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. MetalFarm

    MetalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok it's the coldest day we've had all winter in Tennessee. The last couple days I noticed mama was not on the right nest at least 3 different ocassions. I think the other hens are pecking at her to get out of there to lay their own eggs in there and then mama finds an empy nest and sits on it and is too dazed to move back. Lucky I've caught it each time and gotten her back on the right nest. This morning it happened twice and then a third time another hen was in the nest with her. That and the fact that I noticed some blood on her head was enough for me to move her to the garage.

    The babies should start hatcing anywhere from 3 to 6 days. I candled them it looks like she's going to have 10 chicks. I guess my question is... how long until I can move her and the babies back to the hen house? Also... I only have one heat lamp. Give it to mama in the insulated garage or keep it in the cold hen house for everyone else? (Or buy another one. I'm cheap).

    Comments? Suggestions??

    Thanks!
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Unless you're temps are getting into the single digits, you're not going to need a heat lamp in the coop. The momma and chicks don't need it either. She is the chicks heat lamp. It's her job to keep them warm. If you have room in your coop, you may want to keep your broody in a crate or pet carrier inside the coop. That way, the other hens can't mess with her, but she will still be 'part of the flock.'
     
  3. MetalFarm

    MetalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not a bad idea. I'd prefer they weren't pooping all over my garage.
    Let her out of the crate once a day to eat and poop? or feed her in the crate?

    When can I let her and the babies out of the crate without them getting beat up?
     
  4. MetalFarm

    MetalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can i just put pine shavings in the crate with a pile of hey in the back for her nest? Right now shes in a plastic container thats about 5" deep. If she jumps up on the lip to get back in there she'll flip the whole thing and break the eggs. (it works in the coop because they have wood all the way around them. and if an egg breaks or someone deciceds to sleep in there they're easy to pull out and clean)
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Let her out every day for food and water.
    She should do just fine protecting the chicks from the other flock members. In fact, flocks usually ignore really young chicks that have hatched in the presence of the flock. It's really fun to watch the flock gather around the broody crate when those chicks start peeping in their shells. It's like the whole flock is cheering them on to hatch. The hen won't get up to take care of the chicks until a day or two after hatching, and by then, those little ones will be really fast. They instinctively know to stay close to momma and will run under her if they get scared or need to warm up.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Use whatever you have. Hay or shavings, the birds really don't care.
     
  7. MetalFarm

    MetalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks. I guess I'm babying them and over thinking. That's probably why I have a heat lamp in Tennessee. Lol.

    So a couple days after they hatch I can get rid of the dog crate?
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I let my broody hens with chicks sleep in the crate until they are ready to roost. Once the chicks are big enough to roost, the crate comes out.
     
  9. MetalFarm

    MetalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm gonna have to use the big dog crate for 10 chicks and a broody. The other hens might get clostrophobic.

    How often am I cleaning this crate out??
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't need a huge crate, after all, this is just going to be the place that they cuddle under the hen at night. They won't be in it 24/7 like chicks in a brooder. If it fits the hen with room for her to stand and turn around, it's plenty big. The chicks will be underneath her. And it's only going to be for a few weeks. You will have to change out the bedding every couple of days.
     

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