Hatching today but she won't let me see a thing -- UPDATE pics

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NHchicks, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Mama hen is hatching. She has been sitting in the nest box on 5 fertilized eggs, and has been sharing the nest box with other hens. (I've been grabbing their stray eggs.) Yes, it was a poor setup. Today, right on schedule, I heard peeps coming from under her, so I know there's at least one little peeper under her. But she won't let us see a thing. She just sits there, I'm afraid she'll smother this chick(s). I have the nest box area doors closed so now the other hens are having nervous breakdowns trying to find another place to lay. They are free rangers and have their pick of bushes tho, and I also have a nursery dog crate all decked out with hay and shavings, they could lay in there if they wanted to, but they don't make changes easily.

    Anyway - what am I going to do if mama hen NEVER gets off the nest, and insists on keeping baby(ies) under her? I keep checking in on her, but she's aggressive towards me now. I will be needing to move mama and the chick(s) to the nursery ASAP, by tonight when everyone goes to bed.

    I need a bigger coop with a bona fide brooder pen. [​IMG]

    Okay, so how does one get a stubborn new mama hen and her new chick or chicks out of the nest box and into the nursery? Just put on a pair of thick leather gloves and start grabbing? Yikes.

    UPDATE: Okay - photos. 4 fuzzballs (out of 5 eggs), but they're still under mama almost all the time so it's hard to get all 4, but here's 2-3 anyway. They're having their first meal, and mama hen is showing them how.

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    Good luck I don't know what to tell you. I can not get my hens to sit on nothing. [​IMG] I hope it goes well. Keep us informed please and lot's of pictures.
     
  3. GreatPyrLover

    GreatPyrLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 2, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC
    Just grab her....she will get over it...mine just hatched 4 out of 6 eggs...I just kept moving her over some so that I could see under her and then when she was done we picked her and her babies up and put them in their own coop...she is very protective of her babies but all she does to me is just fuss...the other chickens and the dogs she acts like she is gonna eat them [​IMG]
     
  4. chickensinwasillaAK

    chickensinwasillaAK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Wasilla Alaska
    Since I have a side hobby of Welding, I use a spare set of welding gloves and just reach in and pick her up. She'll peck like crazy but the thick leather protects you all the way to the elbow. She'll also make quite a racket, don't worry about it. Just get her back in so the chicks don't chill
     
  5. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Thank you! That was the encouragement I needed.

    I have a nice, long leather set of chimney cleaning thick tough gloves that the prior owner left here for us, thank goodness.

    I'm going to gather my nerve and just wrestle her off those chicks. If I survive, I will report back.

    And as soon as I can, I will post photos of the little fluffballs. I was able to catch a glimpse of one before mama hid it again, it was gray. They were dominique eggs. I don't have dominique chickens, just RI reds and NH reds and EE, so I'm looking forward to gray shades.

    Cross your fingers for me that no one loses an eye.
     
  6. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    It worked! I was able to transfer mom & 3 gray fuzzballs to the dog crate nursery. There was 1 unhatched egg so I threw that in there too, but I doubt it will hatch. Hope the chicks didn't get too chilled during the process - one was still wet.

    It's very windy outside, I hope everyone is cozy out there tonight. After hardware meshing the crate, I also tarped it and set boards against it to extra guard against predators and weather. Go away, cold wind. Shoo.
     
  7. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Updated with photos
     
  8. luvinrunnin

    luvinrunnin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2011
    Awww, they are precious!!! We have a pair of fireplace gloves so I'll have to remember that! I also have a few of those crates, so good to know that quite a few people use them.
     
  9. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    Congratulations. They are so adorable. Makes me want to hatch again. [​IMG]
     

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