Eggs just hatched under broody hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by billygoat162, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    I slipped a couple Ameraucana/Blue Cochin eggs under my broody hen 21 days ago, and I'm pretty sure they hatched last night. She was acting different when I checked on her around 10pm, and this afternoon when I checked on her I saw two chicks. I've always bought feed-store chicks before and have never hatched any eggs.

    Is there anything I need to do? Is it ok to pick them up? I'd like to sex them and monitor for pasty butt, but the hen is being VERY protective of them. Is it enough just to put food and water nearby and let the hen do all the work? I splashed a little cider vinegar in the water. It's been very hot lately, 90's during the day and high 70's at night. Humidity has been fluctuating between 15% and 100% with random showers that last about 5 minutes.

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  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Provide feed, water and protection from predators. She will do the rest.
     
  3. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with above post, but also make sure they have some sort of platform where if it was to rain a lot and the coop would somehow become flooded, you want the chicks to have a safe place where they won't drown. And for the most part just let her do her thing, a lot of people worry about pasty butt, and you should as it is something that happens, but in my experience it doesn't happen as often as people make it seem, I've had planty of chicks hatch under a hen and haven't lost a single one to pasty butt.
     
  4. Jasonp7007

    Jasonp7007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Congrats on the new babies!!-
     
  5. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Hopefully in a few days her hormones will calm down a bit and you can handle the chicks. Hand feed them a lot and they will trust you because their Mother does. Initially only she will eat from your hand as she will mouth the food to show them what to do (i also wonder if by mouthing the food the mother passes on good bacteria). They will soon know what to do. Mine go nuts for cheese (just wait until they are a bit older). Pasty butt doesn't seem to happen with chicks brought up by a hen. Good luck with them and enjoy them.
     
  6. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice! I was concerned the hen might not adopt them after what happened when I swapped her eggs for chicks last spring, but she seems to be taking care of them and the chicks look happy. I watched them for a little while and noticed she will stand up a little bit so the chicks can move around under her, and she is much more gentle than she was with the eggs. I guess she just needed to be the one to hatch them.

    It's exciting to see this happening! It's my friendliest hen and a stubborn broody, and it's fun to let her do this. The chicks have poof all the way down their feet, I'm guessing they will be more Cochin than Ameraucana.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  7. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is so much more enjoyable when the hen is raising the chicks. We just had our first broody hatch 3 chicks last month. And we our second broody on her nest now on about day 3. It has been the cutest thing watching the hen with her chicks, she takes them out free ranging a bit each day as I sit with her. I love it.
     
  8. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Out Of The Brooder

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    It really is more fun to let the hen raise them. She has turned out to be a very good mother hen and takes them out for food and water when they aren't climbing on her like a jungle gym. The chicks follow her everywhere and the other day I was able to pick one up without the hen getting too angry. She was watching very closely though. I know that she can count to at least two now.
     
  9. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    So glad it's all going well. It is gorgeous watching their interactions. We have an Old English Game bantam who willingly adopted some Orpington chicks after being broody for ages (my Pixie would far rather raise babies than lay eggs). We had to add a few more as we have a mix of colours and all our blues sprouted combs and wattles! My Mum has lost 2 blue Orpingtons at young ages and would love another. Pixie didn't even notice that we'd added 3 more babies - she now has 9 (thankfully the breeder still had some chicks the same age). They are indoors with a heat lamp as they'll be as big as her soon. They are fantastic little time wasters and even my husband finds them endlessly amusing. Budgie seed is an easy first treat to offer and greens are always good. Otherwise just enjoy them.
     

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