HELP! I have chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mommycoddl, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. mommycoddl

    mommycoddl New Egg

    Sep 2, 2011
    Okay, this is kind of embarrassing, but my children have been collecting eggs for me in the mornings for quite awhile. Apparently, there was a broody hen whose eggs they were avoiding and not collecting because they came running back from the coop this morning squealing about the fact that there were chicks! EEEEK! We have 8 fluffy little baby chicks in one of the nesting boxes with their mama. I've raised baby chicks before, but never this way! Usually, I buy them from the feed mill, I have them inside, under a heat lamp and we go from there.

    But now I need help! Do I keep them with the mama? Will they be warm enough? We have no electric at our coop for a heat lamp. Should I bring them inside? I have a little pen at the back of the coop where I can separate them from the rest of the flock and bed them down with straw and food/water. Do I keep the mama with them? Will she hurt them? See? I have TONS of questions! Any help is much appreciated! We are so excited and surprised!!!

    I'll try to post pictures if I can figure it out!

    THANK YOU!!!
  2. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I dont' have an answer to your questions but how exciting!
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    It's natural! Keep them with momma!
  4. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    You may need to bring her inside to keep them safe from predators and mom will do the rest to protect her little ones.
  5. DebbieF

    DebbieF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    New Richmond, WI
    Let momma hen take care of them. Just keep them seperated for a while. That's usually worked the best for me.
  6. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Nature knows best. I would totally let mama rear her chicks. Taking her chicks from her...I don't would that make her feel? I've never used a broody hen but I am a strong believer that nature knows best! Congratulations on your new arrivals. You may loose a chick or 2 but that could also happen indoors. Natural selection ensures a strong, healthy flock.[​IMG]
  7. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    first stop freaking out. deep breathes. are you calm? okay good [​IMG] . don't worry too much. mamma hen knows far better than you do how to raise her babies. it would be a good idea to keep them seperate from everyone else, but still in view of each other for a few weeks so no one gets hurt. other chickens may peck one of the "intruders" to death if they think they're a threat and momma will fight to the death to defend her chicks, so it's best not to let them get to each other. other than that they don't need a heat lamp as mom can keep them plenty warm by herself, although they may be happier and more active with one (just make sure the broody doesn't over heat!) provide them all with starter- it's okay if mom eats it too- and eventually a mix of layer and starter or grower. at 6-8 weeks the broody will leave them to fend for themselves, so it's a good idea to introduce them just before that happens to the hen can defend them and help the others build a healthy respect for the newcomers. i like to introduce them by letting them all out to free range a few times so they have plenty of space to work out thier differences, then put them all away together in the evening so they can all roost together. good luck with your babies!
  8. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    First make sure everyone has hatched. Lift mama and look. Yes she will bite. Ignore it. Remove eggshells. If not everyone is finished, block the entrance to the nest so adventurous lil ones don't fall out. Place chick feed in a small dish in front of mama. Also place a small waterer in a corner. Mama will take over and instruct.
    When you are sure all are hatched that are going to hatch, on a nice day, take mama and babies out of the nest and place them on the floor. Mama may beat you to this and have them jump out if she is ready to take them out. Provide chick feed and chick water in the corner of the floor for her.
    Our broodies do this periodically. It's a bit of a hassle at the first but there are no integration problems later.
    Expect them outside within 5-7 days. Don't worry about heat: mama will provide. Just make sure food/water are available. Also, make sure chicks can't drown in deep water somewhere when free ranging.

    You may have a problem with late hatchlings if others laid eggs in the nest while mama was setting. You have to decide whether to hatch them artificially or toss them. Mama won't wait more than a day or two for the latecomers. Candle and decide.
  9. mommycoddl

    mommycoddl New Egg

    Sep 2, 2011
    Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for your responses to my questions! We are so excited about the chicks. It was such a fun surprise. We moved the hen and her chicks into a pen that we have at the back of the coop. She immediately went to the corner and settled down with them. They have food and water and they seem to be drinking and eating just like her, as everyone said. I checked on her tonight and her chicks we tucked so snugly under her that I couldn't even see them. She's a good mama.

    Thanks for all your help for my big surprise this afternoon!
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Oh man, I wish one of my hens would suprise me that way!

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