Chicks under hens in cold weather

jvajireh

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 6, 2010
10
0
22
We have a chick that miraculously hatched under 2 (yes, 2 in the same nest box) hens that we let have some eggs to sit on. It's so cold outside, I'm worried that the chick will not get food or water as it won't come out from under momma hen(s). I'm not able to be out there all day, so I don't know if the hen(s) takes him out for food, but as it is, the hens usually don't leave the nest box very often at all. We just coincidentally had an arrival of mail order chicks that are the same age, give or take a day, and am torn about whether to let momma(s) do her thing or take the chick indoors where we know it will for sure get food and water along with the other chicks. I hate to separate a happy chick from it's momma and vice versa, especially if I'm wrong about him not getting food/water, but is it a better policy to be safe than sorry? Am I worrying too much? Anyone out there know about early (cold) season hens and chicks?
 

RedReiner

Songster
9 Years
Nov 7, 2010
1,431
30
168
Monroe, Wa
mine hatched 5 chicks two weeks ago. it was below freezing here for the last few days and the nest box has an open hole to the outside. I put a dish of food and a small dish of water with rocks on it inside the nest box for a couple days. they came out and ate and drank. later mom brought them outside and they run around and eat and scratch then mom calls them over for a warmup. she sits on em in the run. last week it was 19 degrees here and then snowed 8 inches. They are all still alive and get along just fine. their run has a roof so they dont get snowed on but its open.
 

cackydoodledoo

Songster
9 Years
Jan 7, 2011
1,535
2
149
Crazyville, USA
Have not done chicks in the winter but I do know that mother hen knows best. She will make sure that her baby is taken care of. If you are that worried about it then is it possible to put a small container with food and water quite close to the nesting box? If you don't have the mother and baby separated I would do that as the mother hen may not be letting the baby come out for fear the other hens will kill it.
 

jvajireh

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 6, 2010
10
0
22
Thanks for your help! Everything's going great now for the little guy (or gal). Made sure he got plenty of water, and now he's finally eating (which he'd shown no interest in before)! I can finally stop worrying.
 

NonnasBabies

Muddy Acre Farms
10 Years
Sep 20, 2009
12,375
6,575
526
Pride, La.
They'll be fine!! This pic I'm posting is just for a visual! They hatched Dec 24, 25 & 26. In this pic they were about a week or so old and it was 21 degrees outside!!! They would stay out most of the day!! Hardy little thing!!
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