Chicks with mama?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shelleyd2008, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I'm not sure this is the right forum, but it's close I'm sure.

    I have a tiny bantam hen that has been on eggs for a few weeks. Yesterday I noticed that one of her eggs had hatched. All the eggs were put under her at the same time, so all should hatch about the same time. She has been on 9 eggs total.

    I went out there to feed this morning, and the little hen was hiding under a rabbit cage. By the way she was sitting, I thought she had her chicks under her. I checked her nest and there were still 6 eggs in there. I put them in my pocket to bring inside since she'd obviously left the nest. I turned around, and there little mama hen is with NO CHICKS! I freaked...the one chick she'd had yesterday was a bantam cochin!! I searched all over on the floor in the building, thinking maybe they've gotten separated. Then I went back to recheck the nest.

    The 'nest' that she was using is an old metal mailbox, one of the types that you could actually put things in. The front of the box has a board approx. 3" tall to keep things in the nest. Apparently the hen left the nest but the chicks couldn't follow. Why she didn't go back to the nest is beyond me, but she didn't. I found all 3 of the chicks in the front of the nest. I thought they were dead at first, but upon further inspection I decided that at least 2 of them were alive, albeit they were half frozen. It was about 50 degrees this morning, pretty chilly for anyone, especially baby chicks!

    I brought the chicks and unhatched eggs (some of which had external pips) inside and stuck them (chicks and eggs) in the incubator...the warmest thing I had 'ready'. The chicks seem to be doing fine now.

    My question is what do I do with them now? I would like mama hen to raise them if at all possible, but I don't know if I can trust her? I mean, you'd think since the chicks hadn't followed her out of the nest that she'd have had enough sense to go back to the nest! Should I try giving them back to her and see how she does, or just keep them inside (somewhere [​IMG]).
     
  2. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    give her a chance. if she doesnt take to them right away, clucking to them , that sort of thing. brood them eslewhere. it may take a few mins for her to warm up to them, just leave her alone with them and watch her. if she doesnt show interest in say 30 mins pick them up and be there mother hen. good luck, i hope she takes to them. a moma hen with chicks is fun to watch......
     

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