Chick safety....I fail.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sweet-T, May 18, 2009.

  1. sweet-T

    sweet-T Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2009
    I have a Silkie sitting on 6 eggs. Up until today it was 7. Came home to find one half-mangled egg (marked so I know it was one of hers) in the yard. I don't know how it got out. Could it have been another hen or rooster? If it were a predator, wouldn't it have taken more? My hens have a coop with a fenced in "yard" but most of the time they free range. Here is my problem...I can keep all the chickens in the fenced in yard but the hens need to get in to the coop so they can lay. However, if the coop is open then the Silkie and her eggs are vulnerable, even if it is the small door to the "yard". Also, if the chicks hatch they may get out! How can I keep them all together? They can't all stay in the coop all the time.[​IMG]
    Any suggestions? javascript:insert_text('[​IMG]',%20'');
     
  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    I don't know, I'm looking at the same problem with my little bantam ladies sitting in the regular coop, if they get off to eat or drink they are vulnerable.
     
  3. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the edge of insanity
    Is there any way of keeping her seperate from everyone else at this point? Brooder box or something with food/water available? Sorry you lost one!
     
  4. sweet-T

    sweet-T Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2009
    When I first realized she was brooding, I tried to move her and her eggs into a dog crate that I could keep inside the coop. She totally freaked out. I had to return her as she was, I felt so sorry for her. Will a hen keep her chicks together and where they belong, like inside the coop?
     
  5. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    sweet-T - did you try moving her at night? I have 2 broodies right now and I built 2 pens in the coop for them. I moved them both at night by setting their eggs in the pen, and then putting the broodies on top of them. One of the broodies sat right down on her eggs and was fine. The other had a FIT. Even though it was dark, she still paced and fretted. I left her because I figured she'd eventually settle down and get on the eggs. But she didn't. The next morning she was still pacing and fretting, and the eggs were stone cold. I had to let her get back in her nest box and put her eggs under her.

    I told you all that to tell you this - if you didn't try to move her to the dog crate at night, try that tonight. Night time moves typically go MUCH better than daytime moves. If she settles down, you are all set. If she doesn't, well, I would put her back in the nest with the eggs and try to rig some sort of barrier to keep her in it - and then let her out if at least once a day to eat and drink.

    The egg you found in the yard could have been from a number of things. If a broody senses there is something wrong with the egg, she will boot it out herself. Of the 15 eggs I started with under my two broodies - they have booted out 1 each. As it turns out, those eggs had very weak shells and cracked with very little pressure when I picked them up.

    It could also be that another hen got in the box with her and kicked one out while trying to nest. This is another good reason to separate a broody or to provide a barrier while she's nesting to keep the others out.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
     

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