Help with broody!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by brandislee, May 23, 2012.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    As usual, I'm behind. My broody's chicks were set to hatch tomorrow, so I was going to get a seperate area set up for them today and put a cover on the nest box so the hatching chicks don't fall out.

    Low and behold, I go in to do chores this morning and what do I see, but a tiny chick baby head sticking out! I was so excited to have a successful hatch (my first of any kind!), but I'm also not ready yet, and I don't know what I need to do!

    I put the cover on- thankfully the previous owner of our home kept pigeons (or a previous owner did), and one of the pigeon nests had a cover. And when I pulled it off I discovered it is JUST the right size to wedge onto my chicken nest boxes tightly. So that worked out.

    I am going to set up an area for them in the coop divided by hardware cloth. But when and how do I move them? Since she's only in a nest box will I be able to tell when she's done hatching, like will she stand up or something? She has some wet mash (and it's chick starter- I've just been feeding the broodies the fermented chick starter/scratch blend I feed my meaties) in with her now, but no water. I can only assume this first chick (or chicks, but I only saw one) hatched overnight. Should I just give her until tonight and then move her? I would LOVE any words of wisdom!

    And how is the best way to move them? Should I move the chicks and then the mama, or visa versa? Or is it not important?

    I don't think a ramp is an option- of course the broody picked one of the top row of nest boxes, and it's a good 5 feet up. I'd be too afraid a chick would fall off the side. Plus my coop is only 6 feet wide, so in order to fit a ramp would be too steep.

    Help! TIA:)
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I had this happen too, with a hen hatching babies in a nest box that was about three feet up. Fortunately, my hubby built them really large, so I had room to put a small waterer and food in there for the first chick that hatched. I gave her two days in there, and she had five chicks, and then I gathered the chicks up in a box, while mama was watching, and carried them all to the baby coop, which is a smaller A-frame. I just showed mama the chicks in the box, and they peeped and peeped and she followed with no problem.
     
  3. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    Thank you! I have all of their stuff set up in a divided area in the coop (although I do have an a frame that will be available in the next day or so as a back up if this doesn't work out for some reason) and now I'm just camped out in the coop with my laptop (gotta love wireless internet!) waiting to see if any more chicks show up or what the mom does. I'm not gonna leave them in any longer than tonight, tomorrow morning at the absolute latest, since they don't have water and there is no room to put one in there.

    Another question- is it okay to check under the mama chicken? I don't care if she attacks me, but I don't want to put the chicks at risk or have the chance of her desserting them.

    Sorry, I overthink everything!
     
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    Okay, I have two more questions...

    Can I keep to hens and their chicks in the same enclosure, or will they bother each others chicks?

    Also, I just checked under the mama and none of the other eggs have pipped, and they seem colder than they should be (but that may just be me). Is there any hope of them hatching before tomorrow morning if none have pipped yet?

    Thanks again, here's hoping I get a few more replies this time!
     
  5. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    I'm starting to feel like no one is answering my questions because they're stupid. I'm not gonna lie, when I genuinely need help with something and I see tens of people replying to "my chicks hatched today" and no one takes the time to reply with some tips for me, I get frustrated. Maybe it's just because not that many people use broodies so they really don't have any help for me?

    Anyway, I've been searching all afternoon (depite being redic. busy today...) and figured out the answer to keeping multiple broodies together. I also figured out if it's okay to look under mama... by looking under mama. Surprisingly she didn't attack me, but she did have strong words for me!

    But I still would really like some general guidance as to how long I should wait before I move them. There's a cover on the nest box, and I put a rabbit water bottle on the cover so they have some water now, and I put a glop of food in there this morning so they've had some food. I've seen the chick come out from under mom and have a little of each, and both are within beak's reach of mama. So how long, under these conditions, should I leave them? Could this one chick just have been an early hatch (it's only day 20, unless I miscalculated somehow) and the others come out tomorrow? I can't find anything that is close enough to my own situation to give me much guidance. Help!
     
  6. Jeanniejayne53

    Jeanniejayne53 Chirping

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    I'm so sorry no one else has replied,and I am a neophyte, but it seems to me you have done all the right things, and just need to trust yourself and your hens ( what else can you do?) and see how things turn out. You are thougtful and intelligent, and have given your moms all they coud want. If the hatch goes poorly it will not be your fault! Try to lay back and enjoy what comes now. You have done your part. [​IMG]
     
  7. akashia26

    akashia26 Songster

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    first we have never seperated our broodies from the flock. second we have always let momma decide when she was ready to call the rest of the eggs a loss and leave the nest.

    that being said.

    2 moms won't usually bother each others chicks that much, and if someone gets a bit aggressive towards a baby it's mom usually defends it and gathers it up.

    for leaving her there...... if she is "caged" i'd give it atleast till day 22. though a broody will usually leave the nest 2 to 3 days after the first chick hatches on her own. about the time the yolk is running out for the first chick. this has just been my observation. remember a broody is not an incubator, every egg is not temp regulated equilly. there are also temp fluctuations during incubation. this causes a staggered hatch effect of about 3 days (again an observation). the deviations also leads to quiters along the way.

    hope that helps.
     

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