Buff Orp hatching chicks - due TODAY. what do i do?? help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Missa, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Missa

    Missa New Egg

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    Hi all, I first started with chickens this spring when we bought 5 chicks from the feed store. (2 buff orp, 2 red sex links, 1 banty - all hens). All are free range on our 2 acres and very happy.

    One buff orp decided to go broody and so I ordered some fertilized eggs for her to set on (was told by FIL & husband fall is not a good time to hatch chicks, but I read a lot of people who do it on here. So I thought I'd give it a go and see what happens). Egg due date is TODAY. So since I haven't had a hen raise her young before, any advice is helpful!!

    I will put a little waterer and feeder out there, should I block off a section of the coop just for them or just let them all live together as they will? Do i need to put the heat lamp out there or will momma take care of that? My husband tells me I don't really need to do much, I just want to give them the best chance.

    So any experience/advice is welcome.

    I live in Hooper, Ut the weather is definitely cooling down and will continue to do so. (in the 40s at night now, next week down to mid 30s overnight)
    Thanks!
    Missa
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    You don't have to do much for them except provide food and water and a safe, warm place to sleep and hang out during the day. The hen will keep the chicks warm enough. I just had 2 hens raise chicks over winter and though we don't get snow here it gets quite cold. The hens did a great job and we had no problems.
    If you are feeding your hens layer food you'll have to feed mom and chicks separately. The chicks will need chick starter, which mom can eat as well, but absolutely no layer food. The high calcium content can harm their organs.
    Good luck with the hatch and enjoy!
     
  3. Missa

    Missa New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2012
    thanks Sumi :) do I need to separate them from the 4 other chickens at all? do you think the hens will eat all the chicks food? or pick on them? or should momma protect them from that?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Mom should protect them, but I've had incidents with my flock attacking and even eating the new chicks. I did have quite a large flock though, so I kept the moms and chicks in a separate area for the first month.
    Your hens will probably eat the chick food if it's available. Chickens just see it's food and if it's nice, they'll gobble it up.
     
  5. Missa

    Missa New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2012
    they're hatching!! :) one little guy was not under her when i just went out to check and he was limp, but still warm, i put him back under momma. hope he's ok!
    they are up in the nest box, when do i put water out for the chicks? how do they get out of the nest box? i can't fit a waterer in the nest box. ahh what do i do!?
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Relax! LOL They don't need to eat or drink for the first 2-3 days. But if you can hold a small bowl of water under mom's nose now and then she'll probably thank you.

    Congrats on the baby! [​IMG]I want to see pics tomorrow!
     
  7. Missa

    Missa New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2012
    thank you for the water for momma tip - she was thirsty!
     
  8. Missa

    Missa New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  9. lareynadenada

    lareynadenada Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ADORABLE!!! I moved my broody (after all chicks had hatched) it didn't cause her any problems at all, I just moved her to a "downstairs apartment" where she is separated from the other chickens
     

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