Free range loner

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jj1s, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. jj1s

    jj1s New Egg

    Jul 29, 2015
    Lancaster CA
    Hi my name is Judy and we live in the Southern California desert . We have 15 laying hens and 1 rooster as well as a male and a female turkey. One of our hens has hopped our of the enclosure and before we found her she laid 16 eggs and is trying to hatch them! Since there are 16 I imagine they had been sat in for around 2 weeks by the time we discovered them. I didn't want to deprive her of her babies so now they are eminating cheeping sounds and one has a little hole pecked in it already. My concern is that our nights are very cold now and I don't know what to do with the chicks as they hatch. She hid the nest in an old washing machine cabinet so we lined it with Doan insulation sheets and put a 100 w lightbulb in for some warmth. But I don't think that will be warm enough for the chicks to survive in once hatched. Shall we take rhm from her when hatched or move the whole family to a warmer place (not sure where that will be!)? Any wisdom or suggestions? She picked a bad season to hatch chicks!
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Judy. Glad you decided to join our flock. If you don't have a warmer place to move the mother and chicks to, then I would take the chicks and move them into a brooder to insure their survival and move the mother back into the enclosure with the rest of the flock. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  4. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!


    I see that you are in CA. What are your daily highs and lows like this time of year?

    I am in Michigan. Our highs and lows for this time of year are high 40s to low 30s, respectively. Although I do not typically hatch chicks this time of year, hens that are good mothers are more than capable of caring for their young and keeping them warm. I think your biggest concern right now would be getting them someplace safe so they do not become prey for the countless critters that would make a meal out of them. While a good mama will also protect them from other chickens, I would be concerned about what your turkeys might do to them if you move them back into the coop. So, I would first worry about moving them to some place safe and then determine if you are more comfortable keeping them with mama hen, or you, if you are worried about them getting too cold. Also, if you don't have a brooder, any chance you have access to a dog crate that you could even put in your garage or basement if you wanted them someplace warmer? In the end, you just have to do what you are most comfortable with. Good luck!
  5. jj1s

    jj1s New Egg

    Jul 29, 2015
    Lancaster CA
    Thanks. it has been down to 27 some nights already and 50's during the day. The turkeys can't get to them, but I've been wondering about other predators. Ok I will try to work on getting them into a room/ shed of some sort and in a dog crate. Thank you!
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] glad you have joined us and congrats on the unexpected additions.

    Good luck with the move, keeping them safe as well as warm.

    Wonder how mamma will react to the move? Please post some updates & would love to see pics of the little ones once all settle in.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens. You been given several options, to be frank, I don't know which I would pick. Sometimes a broody will hatch a couple and then leave the nest with them and ignore the other eggs. If you take the chick away I don't think she would allow it back. Newborn chicks generally are kept in a brooder with a heat lamp providing temperature to half of the brooder of 95 degrees. This leaves a cooler half if chicks feel too warm.
    1 person likes this.
  8. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Good luck with your mama and chicks. Hope all goes well for all of them.

    Thanks for joining us!
    1 person likes this.
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright Judy, [​IMG] great to have you joining the BYC flock [​IMG]

    Judy if you live in Lancaster then you are an hour south of where I have lived for over a decade and it really is not that cold for your young chicks as momma's body temp is around 106 degrees and her feathers help her keep her heat in and enough escapes to keep the baby's very warm and if you don't believe this try letting a chicken sit on your shoulders for ten minutes you will discover very quickly how much heat is put out ....

    You don't need the light bulb as your hen needs to rest also and so do the chicks so let them rest all that is needed from you is to make sure no wind or rain so the young ones stay dry ....

    If you like try the high desert trend for California and there are plenty of other poultry owners around here to help you out and if you allow momma back in to the coop she will be the ambassador for the young chicks and I have had very little problems with older chickens bothering the young .... The turkeys might be a different story .......
  10. jj1s

    jj1s New Egg

    Jul 29, 2015
    Lancaster CA
    That is good news. Ok I will unplug the light. Even 16 chicks? As they grow they won't all fit under her. But they may not all hatch either. So far as of yesterday, 3 had hatched. Wow 106 degrees!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by