H.E.L.P. !! 1st time Granny and not sure where to help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GypsyLee, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. I was wondering why the hens had stopped laying and thought it was due to stress from 2 of them being caught by a "rooikat" (caracal) some 10 days earlier. Meantime, Big Red Hen had made a nest and was broody - I actually thought she had been eaten as well, as she had disappeared for a day or 2. But I followed her one day and there were 23 eggs in her nest! I have interfered as little as possible - she is quite large and seems to have been able to cover them all.

    Well great excitement - right on time, our 1st little chickychick arrived and fell out of the nest chasing Ma!!! Bless her!!! There are still plenty eggs, 4 missing but I do hear chirping - how long could it take for others to hatch? I've made her home as sheltered as possible, but it's still open to the elements and we are having rain and cold weather (I'm in South Africa and we are just coming out of winter). She is sitting outside with the little ;un under her - I presume she will go in again if it starts raining?? At what stage should I introduce chicky food??

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated - I am trusting that Big Red Hen knows best. So proud, you would swear I laid those eggs [​IMG]
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello there! Mama will take good care of the baby and show here where the water and food is. It could take around 72 hours for other chicks to hatch out. The chick will have an egg sac it absorbs, so it really is self sufficient as far as food and drink for those few days.

    I would supply mama and the babies with chick starter crumbles and also a chick waterer (so babies won't drown). Put that somewhere nearby, out of the rain. Don't worry too much about the hen, she will keep those babies warm and dry.

    After the hatching is done, if you want to enclose them in a hen house or whatever you have to keep them from predators, just scoop up the babies and the hen will follow you. (If she lets you do that without attacking.)

    Good luck and congratulations! How fun!
  3. nayeli

    nayeli Songster

    Jan 18, 2014
    Its not good that she left the nest... I hope she didn't for too long. They can last off the yolk from their egg for three days so anytime between now and day three. The other eggs are chirping? Thats a good sign! Hopefully you have more hatch soon!

    I wouldn't try to assist the hatch unless you feel its absolutely necassary though! Also if there is a caracal in the area do they have protection? Babies are easy targets and Big Red will die defending them!
  4. Thx so much Chicmom and Nayeli! Appreciate it :) She's made her nest under a large lavender bush in the herb garden which is enclosed with chicken wire and shade cloth. I made a kind of shantytown, skwatta construction when I discovered her to give her some protection from the rain which has been pelting! I was sooo amazed at how warm it is in there - took a quick peek one day when she was out stretching her legs! In about 45 mins today, after seeing he first hatchling, I made a plan to keep predators out - I'm hoping it will be good enough for snakes as well - we have a few around here, but trusting that the dogs keep them at bay and that my little ones and Big Red will be safe. She was back on the nest after about 20 mins - was very busy showing the little one how to peck! Wow 72 hours - that's incredible! I wait with great anticipation to see how many will eventually hatch. So grateful to be part of this.

    Thank goodness for technology ~ I am attaching a short clip of my proud moment - excuse that it is a bit wobbly in places! It's great that you can see this as I have been trying to research what is making Mommy walk funny - I don't think she was doing this before becoming broody - it's as if she has chewing gum stuck to her feet ?? [​IMG] I don't believe it is bumblefoot, but the top of her feet look crusty??

    Thanks again have an awesome day! I'm going into zzzzzzzz time

    ok...so having trouble uploading vid ... will do another time!
  5. nayeli

    nayeli Songster

    Jan 18, 2014
    Could it be mites? They can cause "scaly leg" you just have to dust her with some seven dust (but I'm not 100% sure its safe for the babies!
  6. Oh Lordy .. this is more challenging than my own 1st birth and my son was a whopping big 11lb natural birth [​IMG]

    So after seeING one little chick yesterday, all sweet and fluffy and going out with Mom to peck, this morning I saw that there were 2 fluffies sitting in the sun.

    Then I noticed a limp wet little body out of the nest, next to them. Tried to put it back but Big Red was not happy with me being so close. I didn't know what else to do - the little thin was ice cold. So I put it under my clothing next to my body for about 30 mins - it was cheeping :) Then I moved it gently to a little box with a light over - only 40 watt but it has done the trick. She is standing up and looking quite frisky. Yaaaaaaaay!!! [​IMG]

    An hour later that Voice within said I should check the nest. Mommy was outside with the 2 little ones so I had a chance to get a good look. Not nice [​IMG] When I eventually had a chance to pull the lavender away, I saw there were 4 little bodies . Two were like the 1st one this morning and the other 2 definitely lifeless. I have brought the 2 in and am doing the same with them.

    What can it be - is this the way it is supposed to be - how can they survive if they are so cold - am I interfering where I shouldn't - I'm just an old softy when it looks like they are suffering. I see that there are one or 2 eggs that are opened and I know that this is the process and can take more than 24 hours for them to actually hatch so I am not touching any eggs, but cold hatchlings??? :(

  7. nayeli

    nayeli Songster

    Jan 18, 2014
    Sometimes broody hens won't accept chicks that hatch late. If the chicks hatching now are cold most definately set up a brooder and put any that the mom doesn't seem to be caring for in it and leave her with whomever she is taking care of!
  8. smhoekzema

    smhoekzema Chirping

    Nov 15, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Sounds like mum is more interested in being busy with those already hatched than waiting for the others. I would move all others inside. Will she accept the new chicks once they are dry and can get around with her? You might be able to get them through to this stage and then sneak them back under her. Good luck!
  9. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Songster

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    I have a question about this.

    If it TAKES 22 days for a chicken to lay 22 eggs in her nest.
    Do the chicks hatch out over a 22 day span???
  10. nayeli

    nayeli Songster

    Jan 18, 2014
    No, they are dormant until she goes broody and starts incubating them!

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