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Broody hen and new chick in upper nesting box- is the chick safe?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Frickster, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Frickster

    Frickster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    East Central Missouri
    I have a banty hen that went broody and picked the highest nesting box she could. She is about 3' off the floor. The first chick hatched today. Should I leave them be or move the chick, hen and unhatched eggs (3) to a box or something on the floor? I'm concerned about the chick taking a dive at sometime.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Macon,GA
    I have no experience with hatchings, but would be concerned about a fall and about others in the flock harming the new chicks.

    IMO it would be best to isolate the mom and her eggs so they are safer - a dog cage or rig a cage in the coop large enough for mom and her new arrivals. You will need to keep them separated until they are old enough to join the flock.

    Likely someone with experience will respond with opinions.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    This happens to me all the time, the chicks do fall out of the nests unfortunately and can quickly be killed or die, hopefully your hen is a compliant one, move her and her chick to the floor, I use a ring of hardware cloth to contain them in a circle and I also have a lid from a cat litter box that I use for a nest, just find something to contain them and keep them away from other chickens. 90% of my Bantam hens will pick right up on the floor, the others are going to try to get back to the nest, hopefully you have one that will stay with the chicks and still sit on the eggs.

    If your hen is uncooperative than you can leave them and hope and check often until all hatch or you can pull the chicks and hope she takes them. You're still going to want to keep them confined for a week or two before letting them mingle with the flock again, otherwise chicks can't always keep up and some moms make bad decisions. Keep them where everyone can see them though so they get used to them, more than likely there might still be a bit of drama when you let them out, so probably you will have to let them out and then confine them for a few days.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  4. Frickster

    Frickster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    East Central Missouri
    Very helpful info, thank you! I've got a large dog kennel that I can put a 'nesting' box in and give her some room for food/water and roaming room. She is a pretty aggressive hen, so I'm not too worried about the other getting close. I'll keep you updated!! Pics soon!
     
  5. Frickster

    Frickster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    East Central Missouri
    Moved her into the dog kennel/cage and gave her a nesting box in that so she feels secure. She sat right back down on the remaining eggs, went back into her sitting trance- no problem. It's like she never was moved. Yeah!!!

    My next question... do I need to put food in there for the chick? Of course I have feed and water for the hen. Does she do like nesting birds in the wild and regurgitate food for the chick? (I see the chick pecking around her mouth and she's responding somehow to that) I'm not wanting to interfere with nature too much, but I understand that these are domesticated critters and some of Mother Nature's instincts may be bread out.

    Thanks!!
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    The chicks can go up to three days without food and water, just before hatching the absorb the yolk and it feeds them as they wait until the rest of the eggs hatch, she should get off the nest in two or three days.

    The hen will pick up bits of food, make a chi, chi, noise and try to feed them from what she has in her beak, eventually the chicks will eat where she says, I usually will put a bit of chick starter within reach of her, and the water a little bit away.
     
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