HELP...what to do when chick hatches

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by blueheaven, May 1, 2012.

  1. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
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    a chick just hatched from my broody hen.
    however, the other few have not yet.
    when i went to check on the others, she started pecking the little chick.
    it went back under her. there is food and water nearby.
    do i need to help the chick see the food/water?

    will mama peck the chick to death?

    does it stay under her until the others hatch?

    help please.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    when i went to check on the others, she started pecking the little chick.
    it went back under her.


    I saw your other post. That was when you picked her up to look at the other unhatched eggs. Leave her alone. You are upsetting her. By bothering her, you might cause Mama to step on the chick and injure it while she is defending her nest.

    there is food and water nearby.
    do i need to help the chick see the food/water?


    The chick can go three days without eating and drinking. Mama will bring it off the nest to find food and water when the chick needs it. You don't need to do anything.

    will mama peck the chick to death?

    They are living animals. Anything can happen. But probably not. Pecking is one way she has to discipline the chick, such as telling the chick to stay under her and away from that big monster.

    does it stay under her until the others hatch?

    Pretty much. Sometimes they will stick their head out or even walk around Mama a bit, but most of the time they are under her.

    A word of warning. The chicks might climb up under her wings. I once killed a chick by picking up a broody hen to see how many she had. This was right after she brought them off the nest. The chick was up under her wing and I crushed it when I picked the hen up.
     
  3. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the advice.
    one chick had started hatching and i think she crushed it.
    it was dead in half the shell.
    so sad...i was really wanting that breed to hatch.

    with your experience...do you seperate your chicks from the rest of the flock?
    i was hoping to mix mine and mama will protect her chicks.

    do i need to set up a low nest for mama and chicks, put out a heat lamp?
    what at chick starter. how do i keep other chickens from eating it if i keep them mixed?
     
  4. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All I do is put a little chick starter and water in a tin where mama hen can reach it, she'll drop the food for the chicks to eat. She will show them the water. The eggs will keep hatching, some up to 3 days, when they have hatched, the hen will leave the nest and dud eggs that is your cue to clean up the mess.
    The less you bother her the better off they will be, this includes sticking your face in to watch, chickens don't like that you know..she doesn't want you to touch her chicks...I often feel under appreciated by the hen when i get pecked for giving her fresh water...oops.
    After 3 days or so she will let you watch and show you her chicks, until then you are still the enemy and don't even try to pick one up or she'll teach her chicks not to trust you...
    I am keeping chicks and hens separate for now...if one chick gets away from mama the others will kill it very quickly. Mine can see each other and the other hens are curious.
    The chicks don't need a heat source, they will huddle under mama...unless you have extreme temp right now, like freezing. The hen will be underweight so if you can reduce stressors it will be good for her.
    I won't integrate mine until the chicks are several weeks old, then I will try them in the chick run with teenagers who will easily be intimadated by the hen, then I will try an older hen or two with them. I will eventually open the broody pen into the main coop but not until the chicks are hardy enough to evade a meanie hen and able to fly to escape.
    I hope this helps somewhat..when I started with chickens I had no clue but rapidly learned that less is more and they do most of the work. I just try to minimalize collateral damage and casualties.
     
  5. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
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    thanks so much for the help.
    i was not ready for a broody hen. i have raised chicks from day old, but never had a roo until last year.
    so when one hen wanted to go broody, i tried to get her off and she was not getting off her nest no matter what.
    so i places eggs under her. no clue if they were fertile or not. did not even candle. did not want to make her mad.
    i did want to check and see if any were going to hatch though. if none did then i was not going to let her sit for a while.

    i have an old coop/run that my origional 8 were until i wanted more and had a big coop built. was thinking about putting the little ones and mama in that coop.

    thanks again.
    i have been researching some, but i was not 100% that i would have any that hatched (18 hens/1 rooster) not great odds.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    with your experience...do you seperate your chicks from the rest of the flock?
    i was hoping to mix mine and mama will protect her chicks.


    Just like about everything else involving chickens, you’ll find that we all do things differently. Some people separate, but a lot don’t. Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years, so it obviously can be done. But I think one big key is space. Does Mama have enough room to work? If she has enough room to get a little separation from the flock, she should protect them and teach them to be chickens. If they are crowded into the minimum space, she may have trouble protecting them.

    I have a lot of room so I let my broodies raise them with the flock. When I was growing up, we never touched a broody and her chicks. She took them off the nest and took care of them, but that was in a totally free range situation. She found them food, water, and protected them. I’ve never seen a dominant rooster threaten a chick in any way, but occasionally (not really that often) another hen might go after a chick. Mama would take great offense and teach that hen a lesson. Almost (but not always) the broody has such a bad attitude about that the others quickly learn to leave her babies alone.

    Maybe this will help explain it. It is not unusual for a chick, say about 2 weeks old, to leave Mama’s protection and go eat from the feeder right next to the older hens. This is considered bad manners in chicken society for social inferiors like the chick to eat with its betters. Sometimes the hens ignore the chick, but usually before long one will peck the chick to remind it if its place in society. The chick goes running back to Mama as fast as its legs will carry it. Mama generally ignores this. The chick needs to be taught its manners. But if the hen follows the chick, Mama takes great offense.

    Another key is the broody and the flock. Some hens are just better mothers than others. And some hens in the flock can be a lot more aggressive than others. I don’t know the personalities of your chickens so I can’t tell you how they will react.

    I usually separate the hen and chicks for a couple of days in a special pen I have, just long enough for the chicks to learn to eat and drink without interference from the older hens. The chicks are a lot more mobile too. Then I let them loose so Mama can raise them with the flock. Dad would be surprised I coddle my chicks this way, but it’s just the way I do it.

    do i need to set up a low nest for mama and chicks, put out a heat lamp?

    Mama has her own heat lamp that never has a power outage. She absolutely does not need a heat lamp.

    I have some fairly low nests, maybe 14” to 16” above the coop floor. Usually Mama takes the chicks to a corner of the coop floor to spend the night. Occasionally one will take the chicks to one of the nests. At two days old, most can jump up to that nest, but every now and then, one does not make it. It stays under the nest making a plaintive cheep. Sometimes Mama brings the others back off the nest to spend the night on the floor, but sometimes she just sets up there. It’s a real good idea to check on the chicks the first few nights about bedtime to see what is going on. If one does not make it to the nest, you will definitely hear it.

    I often provide a nest on the floor for Mama’s use if she wants it. Occasionally one will use it but usually if she does not try to get up into a regular low nest she just takes them to a corner of the coop. You really don’t know where she will want to take them.


    what at chick starter. how do i keep other chickens from eating it if i keep them mixed?

    Chicks should not eat Layer. It has too much calcium in it and can damage their bones or internal organs. I don’t know of any way to feed Layer to the hens and keep the chicks out of it. Mama will take them to it to eat and will even pick food out of the feeder and put it on the ground for the others to eat it. Within just a few days, the chicks can get up to an elevated feeder on their own anyway.


    I do not feed medicated feed. I’ve never had a need. Hens laying eggs should not eat the medicated feed. I feed them all either Starter or Grower, depending on the age of the chicks and offer oyster shell on the side. The chicks may experiment a bit with the oyster shell but will not eat enough to harm themselves. The hens that need the calcium for their shells will eat it.

    I did build this to put over the feed I put out for the chicks. My adult hens prefer any food I set out especially for the chicks over food in their regular feeder even though it is the exact same stuff. I guess they think it is a treat. Birdbrains! The chicks can enter from the ends and the hen’s heads can’t get inside to the feed.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    good idea for the 'shelter feeder for chicks'.

    thanks again for all your help.
    just went out to work on seperating it more.
    saw a dead chick. it was flattened.
    that is two now that have not made it.
    and one that has.

    i have 3 year old hens, 1 year old hens, and now a day old chick.
    when they are mixed...'without a food shelter', what feed is best.
    i have always kept chicks seperate, but would like them to all be together.
    my coop is 14x20 with 3 big runs that i rotate so they have fresh grass. 18 girls, 1 rooster.
     
  8. corrchicky

    corrchicky New Egg

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    My hens had 17 eggs between two, two eggs hatched yesterday. Those babies are doing good. My husband checked on them this morning and one was starting to peck through. I frequently checked through the day. After 6 hours of the egg sitting with only a tiny peck hole, I decided to help it because honestly these two hens weeee only paying attention to the two chicks and not sitting anymore plus they hurried all the eggs. I helped it out of the shell it was chirping and and was cold. I tried to put it back in with the moms but they pecked at it. What should I do
     
  9. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know if its still alive but I would put it under heat until it is steady ( a few hours) and then put it back with mom. This has worked okay for me so far.I also had a chick pecked in the head and flattened but it moved when I picked it up so I did the same and put it under heat then after a bit dipped its beak in water. Now it is a healthy ten day old (though with a scar on its head still)
     
  10. corrchicky

    corrchicky New Egg

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    May 12, 2016
    I have been monitoring it all day kept it warm. It is getting better, ate and drank but still not good on its feet.
     

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