Help! NEED ADVICE I'M OUT OF TOWN 4 MY FIRST HATCH!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by La_TomboyGirl, May 22, 2010.

  1. La_TomboyGirl

    La_TomboyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok. My girl went broody & I got her some shipped Light Sussex eggs from a fellow BYC-er (yay!) which are due to hatch on Memorial Day weekend while I'm in NOLA. Blah! I didn't realize that would be the day till I'd already bid on auction. Psssshhhhht...those first timers!!! LOL. Anyway, I know that mother nature will do her thing without a silly human in the mix, but it's a first time broody mom, & I want to set everything up so it'll go as smooth as possible while I'm gone. Here's my plan so far:
    ***edited to add due date***
    WE LEAVE MORNING OF FRIDAY, MAY 28TH. All animals will be in their places that morning with bountiful food, water, & bedding available.CHICKS ARE DUE NEXT DAY ON SATURDAY 29TH......... WE RETURN NIGHT OF MONDAY,MAY 31ST. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone to check in with them because we are new to the hood & don't really know the neighbors very well, & the few we do, we don't want having access to our house. My family members will be gone out of town too. I usually have someone to come daily, but did have to leave them 2 other times & all went well with plenty of food & water to spare.

    1.) Set up huge dog crate inside the bathroom to prevent fire-ant attacks on the hatchlings.
    2.) Make sure a/c vent to that room is closed to prevent chills (some fresh air flow will still be available though, as the door has louvers on it @ the bottom.)
    3.) Leave a large amount of food in dispenser in the crate for Mom.
    4.) Leave 3 large full rabbit water bottles (she already knows how to use) in crate for Mom.
    5.) No other pets will have access to the bathroom while we are gone.

    So, since I have no prior experience to go by, & don't have a local chicken "mentor" LOL, I need the help of the trusty BYC crew of Hatch Experts & Addicts (H.E.A.) to figure out what best to do. Here are some questions I have:

    1.) What kind of food to leave for Mom? Just the same old Layer/chops mix as usual, or is there a high-protein recovery mix?

    2.) What type of bedding in the crate? I have wheat straw, dry leaves, or possibly some fresh oak wood chips (if tree service finishes by then -- prolly will). Can I line bottom with newspaper to aid in the clean-up later as long as it's covered up with the bedding or will it still potentially cause spraddle leg?

    3.) The babies will not need to eat until I get home due to yolk supply, right? They will be less than 2 days old when I return Monday night.

    I know some will consider these steps extreme to take on behalf of a chicken, but my kids are really excited about it too, so I don't want to leave them outside & open to ant attacks , as I've seen happen to some wild bird nests before. If I was home, I'd just keep a watchful eye out for problems & leave the rest to nature.

    Any additional tips, suggestions on the subject would be greatly appreciated as well! I hope to get responses soon so that I can get everything squared away. Thanks so much everyone!!!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  2. La_TomboyGirl

    La_TomboyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    NW Louisiana
    Bumpity bump bump!!!
     
  3. La_TomboyGirl

    La_TomboyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
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    Please help folks! I'd really like to have @ least a lil peace of mind knowing I did the best I could before I leave her on her own for the weekend.
     
  4. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think she should do fine. My broodies don't even leave the nest for a couple of days after the babies hatch. It sounds like she will have everything she needs and if there is no way for family cats or dogs to get in the worst that can happen is a bad hatch and being there won't change that. She'll probably appreciate the 'alone time' with the little ones.
     
  5. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might want to add a small water dish with pebbles to prevent drowning for the babies.
     
  6. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    Honestly, you may have some hatch before you even leave which will completely throw off your plans... (you know what they say about the best made plans and all that...) then you will need to have water for them and starter food etc... I have yet to have 21 day hatches on all my eggs, most are 19 or 20. The rabbit waterer is great for the mom but wont do a thing for the chicks if they happen to need water for some reason before you return. I'd make provisions for that just in case if I were you. But other than that I am sure that the hen will do fine with her babies. Nature is a wonderful thing.
     
  7. SeaHen

    SeaHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think what you're doing covers the bases and you shouldn't worry. My banties have usually hatched their broods in secret outside and shown up with them several days later. This year I was able to find the nest in time to bring mom and the eggs inside, and I set them all up in a big dog crate with straw bedding. I was home and able to let mom out a couple of times a day to poop and eat, but otherwise I would have left her regular scratch in the crate and a shallow water dish with pebbles in it for the chicks, like the other poster suggested. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and come home to a bunch of beautiful little peepers!
     
  8. La_TomboyGirl

    La_TomboyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Thanks for the reassurance & suggestion on the pebbled water dish. I'll do that. I'll leave the chick starter too, but Mom may eat it. Oh well. No biggie! I thought most hatches ran late ,if anything, so that was a good tip about the early hatchers! I have read about some eggs hatching a day or so apart, but assumed they were later, not earlier. Good thing I've already got her secluded outside then! Cool. [​IMG] Thanks so much guys! I'll let you know how it goes.....[​IMG]
     
  9. La_TomboyGirl

    La_TomboyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found someone who kindly agreed to spend the night each night we are gone in order to lock & unlock the main coop each night/morning & to keep an eye on the mama. As of today, there was 1 healthy lil light sandy colored chick hatched out! Yay! I can't wait to get tonight's update...[​IMG]
     

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