H.E.L.P...theres a baby under hen!


11 Years
Aug 29, 2008
Cool, CA (yes, that's its name
Oh my, oh my...I just heard some peeping in the hen's pen and checked on my cochin who has been brooding 4 eggs and...there's a little baby under her. I thought this was day 20 per my calendar, plus I've never done this bef. so really expected no babies and now I am SO....excited!!! But help!! what do I do now? I'm just trying to finish my new pen/hen house so can move her over there by tomorrow but there are still 3 eggs to poss. hatch under her. I don't know if the other hens will bother her or not, and since she is a cochin, is it poss. for her to suffocate the babies with all her feathers? SO many questions. Give me whatever I need to do next! Any advise will be greatly appreciated.... one excited mama...Sharon
Leave them alone! They are going through the natural process of hatching. No she wont smother them, otherwise there wouldn't be wild birds out there. Dont move her, dont attempt to fix anything. If she's hatched one, leave her there. Mother nature will take care of everything, she has for thousands of years, and will continue long after we are gone....
Leave baby and her where they are and let her continue with the three eggs...after they hatch, move Hen and babies into a seperate enclosure. The hen will protect them but if she is in with a lot of other hens, there could be trouble. Just examine your situation and decide.

Do not worry about her leaving the nest, new baby does not need food or water for 3 days...the hen will take baby when it is time to food and water.

Congrats on the new addition. PICS PICS PICS...we are picture addicts you know.
Congrat, Sharon!! No worry. Mommas got it under control. The best thing you can do is let her be. Cochins are the best mammas ever. I have them. THey're feathered fluffiness will be much appreciated in the coming weeks ahead:)

If you want to move her, you can but no rush. As long is she isn't up real high, and the chicks don't have to jump down to go investigating (which they will do tomorrow)

Tip: get an incubator lined up. My hen left the nest with the chicky on day 2 and left another egg so close to hatching. It was cold when I found it and I slowly got it warmed in my hands while hubby raced around and thankfully found a bator. Two days later I had another chick and turned it loose with mamma and now they're a big happy family:) mama will accept hatched chicks up to like 4 days after the first one hatches...good luck

Oh, the other hens shouldn't bother them.. My other girls actually call the babies over for food and so does the roo -very cute:)
Oh, thank you so much for some advise. I swear I'm about to pass out over this. I'll just leave her alone. I would like to peek under her later to see if anymore hatch...is that a bad idea? Did you see my post re adding a couple of chicks tomorrow from the feedstore? They just got Giant Jersey pullets today, 1 day olds, and I'd love to have a Jersey...bad idea? Also the nest box is about 1 ft up off ground and has a 6 in. lip on it. Won't it be imposs. for the baby to ever get out of that? When they all hatch (if they all do) and I move her into the new area, should I just use like an open box so both mom & babies can get around. The new pen is 12 ft x 12 ft outside with a 10 ft x 10 ft. enclosed hen house. I haven't moved any nesting boxes in yet. Thanks - Sharon
It sounds like they are fine where they are. Mine were up like 18" and go down fine but the mama made a make-shift nest on the floor for a couple days til they could jump back up.

As for peeking, that is totally acceptable:) How could you not?

and adding a couple chicks couldn't happen at a better time. I would get them and, after all yours hatch, sneak them under her in early morning hours. (like 3 or 4) and then kinda keep an eye out for when they emerge in the morning. If she accepts them, then your set and you don't have to worry about stinky boxes with heat lamps in your laundry room:)

Keep us posted!
Okay, calming down now... another thing I just thought of... what if no more are hatched by tomorrow, does that mean the hatching is done and the others are duds or should I somehow check the egg to tell if it is still hatchable? When she started setting these were the eggs already in the nest (from other hens, not her's, darn) so they were all layed about the same day give maybe one day difference.
That's fine. When she starts sitting, that starts the incubation time so they should all be all hatching very soon. When she leaves the nest, then candle. You can google candling threads on backyardchickens and there are a ton of photos that show you what to look for. Basicly, you would go into a very dark room like a closet with your egg and a flashlight. Grab the tip of the flashlight so that you trap all the light and sit your egg (bottom side against the light) Open your hand just to let the light into the egg and you should see the air sac (at the bottom) and hopefully movement, little feet, beak, etc.

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