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Help, What do I do if the eggs the broody chickens have hatch???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shannara200, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. shannara200

    shannara200 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012
    Ok here is the deal, I have two brooding hens each with a egg under each of them. I have a rooster with the hens so I know the eggs are fertile, so here is the issue with me.

    What do I do if the hens hatch the two eggs? do I take them away? or leave them with the hens? do I put out special food?

    I am not really prepared for chicks, I bought the flock for the eggs so I am hoping someone can tell me what I should do incase they do hatch

    Thanks everyone for any info you post.
  2. kpc14

    kpc14 In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2013
    I would just leave them with the mom, but away from the rooster for the first couple of weeks either put the mom and baby by themselves or take the rooster out. and I would just crush up layer pellets(if that's what you feed your chickens) for food, and if you don't feed commercial feed if they have access to grass and bugs they should be fine without commercial food, cuz the mom should teach them how to forage! but maybe buy like a little bag of starter feed just in case.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Don't do anything. You have momma hens to take care of everything. Watching momma hens raise chicks is one of the best experiences!

    Okay, I guess there are a few things. I'm usually a big proponent of leaving the broody with the flock and letting her raise the babies as part of the flock. I've never had a rooster try to kill chicks, they're usually very protective of the momma and chicks. I have, however, had a more dominant hen try to kill the other hen's chicks when they hatched basically the same day. I think if the babies weren't so close in age it wouldn't have been an issue, but who knows. I did have to separate the beta hen and her clutch cause the alpha hen was relentless, ignoring her own chicks in her quest to kill the other hen's. Then, on the other hand, I have two hens who are still co-parenting my last hatch from 5 weeks ago. They brooded together, and mother the chicks together. So, just watch and be alert for any overt problems.

    Momma will usually set on the nest a day or two after the first baby hatches. Your hens don't know there's only one egg (they can't count lol) so may stay a day or two. This is fine, nature designed the babies so they don't need to eat or drink the first 48hours after hatch. After that, momma will leave the nest and show her babies how/where to eat and drink. Make sure your feeder and waterer are accessible to the littles.

    Layer feed is not advised to young birds. If you feed layer feed, change your flock to a starter or grower or an all-in-one type feed. Offer oyster shell if you have heavy laying hens as they may need some extra calcium.

    Mostly, relax and enjoy! If you think watching a rooster call hens for treats is cool, wait until the momma does it!
  4. shannara200

    shannara200 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012

    Now I am happy that it actually hatched but I am also concern about the environment the chick is in concerning the coop

    I went and checked my coop today and found what is pictured below looking up at me


    I need some advise since I want to make sure this little guy has a chance to grow up with the flock

    Pictured below is the coop itself as you can see it is elevated where the chickens go into it to lay eggs in the nesting box, sleep and now to hatch eggs into chicks.


    The habit of the flock is that the door is opened in the morning at which point the flock goes out and free ranges all day around the house, the chickens descend to the ground floor by of a ramp shown in the picture below


    which to me maybe to difficult for the chick to handle, so what I did was add some food and water in the coop itself as shown in the picture below.


    Ok now here is some things I am concern about, if you look at the last picture I posted you can see there is a small wall of wood that is part of the nesting box, (The side of the coop opens up so I can clean the coop) will that be an issue for the chick?

    Also I only have Layer food right now so I crushed the pellets into a powder and placed that, also with it there is a bowl of water I figure if the chick can't get down it can at least drink and eat something.

    I also have some crack corn, chicken scratch, and a bag of oyster shell's, should I put that into the coop also?

    Please post any advise you have, I really want to see the chick grow up also as a side note my other chicken that is broody is int he box next to the box momma is in with chick. The other chickens egg has not hatched yet, the second chicken started the process on Aug, 4th so she still has a few more weeks.

    Thank you reading my post and please help me on this quest of mine to see the chick grow up and run around my yard.
  5. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster 7 Years

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    I don't think the little wood will be a problem. Chicks are natural jumpers. Momma probably won't let the chick roam out for a day or 2. The ramp looks a bit steep, I would watch that. Just make sure the little chick doesn't get trapped downstairs when momma goes to bed. Some moms will go to the baby and just nest where it is.....others go to bed and leave the baby. If that happens you should hear loud pathetic cries. Just chase it down and put it next to the Mom. Watch that water dish though. I always set out a chick waterier. I have had a baby drown in the big chooks water.

    Congratulations and have fun!!!!
  6. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster 7 Years

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Chicks don't need oyster shells and cracked corn is too big and hard to digest. The baby will probably eat scratch, but needs more protein than that. Ground up layer pellets are OK.....but chick crumbles are much better for it. If you are going with the ground layer pellets, just give it a scrambled egg too.
  7. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Songster

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    I would definitely offer chick feed and grit. I always put a cage around the mother and chick for the first week. I made it out of scraps of wood with hardware cloth with one side opened that I put up against the nest boxes. It keeps them safe from the others until they get used to seeing them.
  8. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster 5 Years

    Jul 22, 2013
    Please do not give chicks younger than 16-18 weeks layer feed, the occasional bite won't kill them but they need chick starter. Chicks cannot handle the calcium and if they keep eating it your asking for troubles [​IMG]I'd put the entire flock on "flock raiser" or grower feed with oyster shell free choice. Layer feed isn't even good for roosters because they don't need the calcium. Sorry but I feel like I've been seeing a lot of people giving advice about feeding chicks layer feed lately and it's really starting to get to me.

    As far as your dish of water, it's very easy for chicks to drown so placing marbles in the dish it a great idea. And I agree with your about the ramp. Good luck and adorable picture!


    post #2 https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/358826/how-what-to-feed-baby-chicks-hatched-by-broody-hen


    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013

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