Hatching chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Fifitz, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Fifitz

    Fifitz New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Sorry I am quite new to this, we don't have an incubator but I have a broody hen who is sitting on eggs and has been for 2 weeks, does she need any help or will she just do it naturally?

    We also just received chicks from the local pre-school and am wondering when to put them in the pen they are only 2 weeks old.

    The pen consists of 16 chickens, 1 rooster and 2 ducks.

    Thanks for any help.

    Fi
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to BYC.

    Your hen should not require your help. She sits and keeps the eggs warm. The chicks hatch themselves from their shells. She will coninue to sit until they are dry and moving around and will let you see them if you ask nicely. [​IMG]

    Make sure your hen is eating and has plenty of fresh water. As the hatch day nears she will not get off the nest to eat or drink very much. You might offer her a treat of some canned corn, meat scraps, yogurt, etc to help keep her healthy. Brooding takes a toll on them and many hens drop alot of weight.

    Once the chicks hatch let her tend to them. Keep starter crumbles and water near for them and momma hen can eat it too. She will need the extra protein.

    Your newest chicks are too young to be mixed with your flock. Depending on where you are they will need a source of heat for several more weeks. Chicks that get chilled often die quickly.

    You should not added them to your flock until they are big enough to defend themselves from the atacks that will come as they enter the new pecking order. At about 14 weeks you can put them in a pen inside your current chicken house so the others can see them and get used to them. At about 16 weeks you can let them out and let them find their way in the flock. Keep an eye on them. Older chickens will bully them and wll even starve them out by not letting them get to the food and water.

    Good luck with your flock and happy haching.
     
  3. Fifitz

    Fifitz New Egg

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Thanks Miss Prissy, yes I have been giving her extra food.

    The other problem that concerns me is that she is currently in a roosting box which is permanently attatched to a chair, so it is chair height off the ground. Should I move her and her eggs onto the ground, and away from the flock. She is still in the shed with everyone.

    My new baby chicks are under a lamp and have survived their first night, how long will they need the lamp it is not cold here of a night, we live up on the north coast.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Rosecomb-Ryan

    Rosecomb-Ryan East Indie Crazed

    Apr 12, 2008
    Sacramento CA
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    Ryan
     
  5. vrudiea

    vrudiea New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2008
    Southwest Virginia
    Quote:Hello I am new too and was wondering the same thing. Once a hen goes broody, should she be moved away from the flock? Will the other hens go broody as well? Will the other hens need another nesting box since one is occupied? Thanks!
     
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I use 5 gal buckets and empty cat litter boxes for nest boxes, so when I get a broody, I just pick her up in the box and move her to a safe location.

    I prefer to move the broody and nest to a safe pen when possible. The other chickens can be distracting to the broody. Some of mine would pull the broody off her nest so they could lay in that box.

    One of my broodies made a nest right next to the door of the coop, so whenever I approached the coop with food/treats all the chickens would congregate at the coop door and inadvertantly trample the poor broody. I didn't try to move her and I wished I did - not only did they walk on her, but some of her eggs went missing and whenever I put food next to her, the others would come running to eat it and trample her again. I'm going to try to move her after they hatch, but before the babies venture out. I think it will stress the new mama out to try to defend her babies to that many coop-mates.
     

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