Help! Found 3 chicks newly hatched!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ann n OKC, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Ann n OKC

    Ann n OKC New Egg

    Oct 28, 2010
    What do I do now? The momma kept them well hidden and since I've never hatched any chicks myself, I don't know whether to just let momma take care of them or whether I need to intervene.
    I think they are only 1-2 days old.
  2. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Do they seem alert and active? Does she appear to be taking care of them (taking them to food and water, keeping them warm, protecting them from the rest of the flock)? If so, let her do her thing You'll probably want to give her a box on the floor of the coop with some soft bedding and no lip so the chicks can get in and out for them to sleep in at night. . If not, you should bring them in and put them in a brooder.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd let momma do her thing. Chickens have been raising chicks for many years without interferance. Make sure they have access to food and water and have a safe area to get to and they should be fine.
  4. RSFChicks

    RSFChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2011
    Rancho Santa Fe
    Congratulations on your new babies! I think the chicks always do better in a brooder under a light with fresh water and an unlimited supply of food because they eat at night and during the day which means they grow faster and become stronger faster than with the mother. Also it can be dangerous to the little ones in a pen or cage if there are other chickens or roosters in there with them. I have actually had mothers kill the chicks in their efforts to protect them from the others. With all that said, like the post before me, chickens have been doing it for years and they are capable of raising their young as long as we keep in mind to try and make it as natural as possible and if there is a mean rooster in the same cage trying to kill them or if they cannot get to the water or food then thats our fault not the hen. Hope that helps.
  5. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    mama's can raise their babies, but you'll have a better rate if you brood them yourself. this time of year, when it is this warm, simply a 100w bulb in a heat lamp would suffice, and they probably won't even use that. i've got mine on, but they're never under it.

    i've got a banty/lf cross chick that was getting trampled on in the middle of the coop floor by the hens and rooster (all the hens, even the broody), was just laying there, mom was making no attempt to brood it. it was barely hanging on, and as soon as i saw him i brought him up to the brooder. he's doing fine and is the quickest and jumpiest of all the chicks.

    i was letting my hens raise 3 chicks they hatched, but one (for no reason that i can see) just wound up dead and half eaten by the hens. brought the other 2 up to the brooder.

    hens can raise them and do a wonderful job, but if you want to keep all your chicks, brood them yourself. you'll be sure they are eating and drinking fine and well protected. sometimes the hens can be a bit too discriminatory with their chicks
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Personal choice. I've let my broodies raise their chicks in with the flock half a dozen times now and have not lost a chick to another chicken -- and they are already integrated when mama is through mothering. I like the idea that his is the way chickens have been doing it for a long time. No more brooders for me. Chicks raised this way don't get poopy butt, they get some immunity to cocci from the mama (from eating her poop) and they seem to feather faster and get accustomed to ambient temps faster.
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you can get momma and her babies somewhere safe, I'd reccomend that. Humans can not raise babies as well as the momma can. I put my broody and her babies in a coop for a few weeks last year, then in the enclosed run. I didn't let them freerange until they were big enough not to tempt my barn cats too much.
  8. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    Holy smokes lets momma do her thing. As long as they all have enough room to spread out, and hide when necessary. Mom will protect them from the flock while introducing them to the flock. IF you separate them, you will have a tough time getting them back.

    Plus its about the cutest thing to witness.
  9. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    I always prefer to let Mom raise her babies.
    I keep her seperate, we use a dog kennel for week or so, then let her decide
    about when to intigrate.
    Remember the chicks need chick starter.I feed the hen the same..
    A lot depends on whether you have a safe seperate place to get them started,
    Maybe you can sit and watch for a period of time to observe how the others are treating them.
    It sounds like Mom has already been doing O.K. with them. My hens would attack other chickens trying to come near.
    We all have our own experiences and opinions.mine being the chicks are healthier
    and intigrate with the flock easier when left with Mom.
    I understand that sometimes seperation is needed.but that hen will be
    very upset if her chicks are taken away.....
    Good Luck to you.............[​IMG]
  10. Ann n OKC

    Ann n OKC New Egg

    Oct 28, 2010
    THANKS! So much for all the good advice. [​IMG] Mom seems to be taking care of them and they are away from the rest of the flock (smart mom!).
    So I think I will keep a watchful eye on them and see what happens.

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