Help! Found surprise chicks! Some unhatched! Update!

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
Ds came running in a few minutes ago and asked me to come outside quick, there was a new chick. I'm thinking one of my new hatchery chicks has somehow escaped the brooder and the barn, but thats not the case. It turns out my neighbors game rooster has been visiting my poop spreading hens. She made a nest under the side of the barn. I'm really concerned about my bird eating barn cat and my rat/mole hunting small dogs getting them. They don't harm grown chickens, but chicks, I'm sure would be another matter all together. I've tried to block off the area where the chicken is and put a cage against it in hopes she and the chicks will run into that. I've put some feed and water in there.

I'm worried the dogs, or cat will still find a way in there with all the chirping. I saw two chicks. I reached my hand in and when she lifted up in an attempt to kill me I saw quite a few unhatched eggs. If I suit up real good and drag her and her nest out, secure it in a safe place, will she go back to sitting, or will all the unhatched eggs die? Should I try to take the chicks that are hatched out and put them in a brooder? I have to go somewhere in an hour and won't be able to watch this all evening, so something has to be done soon. this is actually ds's game hen, given to him by a friend, and I would hate for him to lose his surprise little chicks.
 
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coopist

Songster
12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
295
1
131
Midwest U.S.
I know you can't watch all night, but I'd still take a chance and let the mother hatch them all out naturally before moving them. Moving her before then is bound to upset her and she might not hatch the rest. Perhaps you can get them out tomorrow?

Can you secure some of the other animals in the meantime? The hen could probably discourage a cat. The dogs might be another issue...
 

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
I'm not too worried about the two big dogs. Its the two little ones and I keep them in the house, so I can keep them up. I have no idea where the barn cat is, I've been trying to find him all day. He is probably out harrassing Mama birds right now. I've called him, but he isn't coming. I suppose I'll just leave things as they are. We should be in at about 8, or so. Hopefully they will be okay atleast until then.

How long does it generally take for a hen to hatch a clutch? I've never really noticed. I haven't hatched my own chicks since I was a kid and that was a long time ago. Do you think she would come out on her own into the little pen. Its just a homemade poultry cage. I put a little food and water in it.
 

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
I found the barn cat! He has snuck in and is on the back of one of my couches. Even though it goes against everything good and right in the world, I'm gonna leave his mean butt there.
 
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coopist

Songster
12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
295
1
131
Midwest U.S.
LOL, yes leave him there.

It usually takes around 24 hours or more for the babies in a large clutch to hatch completely. The hen won't want to budge until then.

When all the babies are out, and the only eggs left are unpipped, you can probably move her and her new family to safer quarters. I usually make temporary pen in a sheltered location.
 

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
Coopist, I posted an update on this
on the hatching eggs board.
Thanks for all of your help!
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
44
274
New Jersey
How lucky that the kitty deigned to come inside!!! Under the circumstances, that is something good and right with the world! He'll forgive you with good food and warmth (and a litter box!). Hope the little chicklets hatch out okay and that that all will be well.
JJ
 
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duck_nutt

In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
22
0
21
carroll county MS
I have 3 dogs, 5 cats and a pot bellied pig. I never really trained them with the chickens. They just seem to 'know' not to bother the chickens. Had a hen go missing around the 1st of december. we didn't know what had happened to her. christmas day my daughter went to feed and came running back inside screaming 'I found henny penny I found henny penny"


'and she has 8 baby chicks with her"

nothing ever bothered them. I think the cats are actually scared of the hens and know better than to mess with them. even though they do kill a bird now and then(feathers at the back door)
 

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