Hen hatching but house raising.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 2BD4C10C, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. 2BD4C10C

    2BD4C10C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My white leghorn hen hatched out 2 little ones yesterday and two more are supposed to hatch today. I want to take the chicks and raise them in the house since I have no safe place for them to be outside with mom. What day is the best day to take the chicks from her and how long should I allow the first 2 to stay with her? I know they can survive up to 3 days with no food or water but I really dont want to push 3 days if I can help it.


    What do you all recommend?

    Also would it be harmful to the hens health to resit her right away with new eggs or does she need a break?
     
  2. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not remove the chicks from their mother. Those are her babies- you can't just take them away from her. Just wait until they are older and see if she will go broody again. If your safe place is big enough, put her in there with the chicks.
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi there 2BD4C10C

    Just my opinion but I would not take the chicks away from their mum as they would have bonded already. Granted she will get over it, but I couldn’t do it.

    I agree with allosaurusrock in that if your safe place is big enough, put her in with them. If not, can you make where she is now safer?

    Again, just me, but I would definitely give her a break. Hens can lose a lot of condition sitting on eggs and to extend that further will not be good for her.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If it she's in a safe spot to brood eggs, it's safe for her to raise chicks there as well. If you're worried about other flock members, don't be. That's the beauty of letting a broody hatch your eggs. She does all the hard work keeping the chicks warm and protected.
    And once she hears and feels those chicks under her, she starts to shift from a broody, sitting hen; to a momma taking care of babies. Her instincts are no longer driving her to sit, but to get up and lead her little ones to food and water.
     
  5. MotorcycleChick

    MotorcycleChick Gone quackers

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    Oh, good! You said most of what I was going to! Momma will take care of them.

    Also, you can take the babies at any time. That isn't something you need to worry about.

    Teila is right about it being hard to be broody. It does diminish her health to a point.
    Also, once she has the eggs hatch, she won't want to sit again right away.
    In the future... If a hatch goes wrong, and nothing hatches, she will stay broody. You "can" let her sit again. But make sure to wait on her wing and foot! Bring food and water to her, give her treats, be sure she is getting up to stretch and go to the bathroom, make her comfortable temperature wise too.
     
  6. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you are actually supposed to put food and water in her line of sight, but far enough away so she will get up, so she doesn't feel like she should poop on her eggs.
     
  7. 2BD4C10C

    2BD4C10C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The spot I had fixed for her to keep her safe was ruffly 3 foot by 4 foot with water, food and enough room to get out and move a bit. The nest is made in such a way there is no way the chicks can get in and out unassisted and I cannot think of a way to fix it so they can safely. Plus keeping the hen in that small area for such a long time seems even more cruel.

    There are cats, possums, racoons, skunks, coyotes and roaming dogs not to mention all the other flock members to worry about. I would rather they be safe and warm inside rather than die a horrible death as babies.

    I could bring mom inside as well but I am afraid she might abandon the other egg (one was kicked out of the nest today :( and was cold.

    I was hoping the others would have hatched by now since it is day 23.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Has the hen been kept near the main flock? If so, integrating her and the chicks will be fairly seamless and natural. Adult birds show very little interest in young chicks. Integrating older chicks can be seen as threats to the pecking order, and trouble ensues. Chicks raised up in the flock don't have those same kinds of issues. Picture of your nest box? Unless the nest is several feet off the ground, the chicks should be able to easily get out of it. They are really quite agile little things. The hen will lead them to a corner of the coop at roosting time. I've never had a hen return to the same nest that she brooded eggs in, once raising chicks.
    As for them being safe, momma hens can be fierce protectors. I had a broody chase a black bear out of the run earlier this year. And if they will be free ranging eventually, they do much better if they learn the ropes early on.
    If the other eggs haven't hatched by now, it's not likely that they will.
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    One of my broodies taking her 10 5-day-old chicks out of the run for the first time.
     
  10. 2BD4C10C

    2BD4C10C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I blocked off the nest box she was using so yes she was right by the flock all the time. The next is 12 inches off the floor on the outside and about 8 on the inside with the nesting material. Thank you all for your thoughts. This is my first time attempting a hatch and I didnt plain it exactly like I should have. Really didnt think anything would hatch since I have 36 hens most of them very young layers and just one roo.
     

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