hen not being a good mom?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by birdbrain5, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2010
    i had my little bantam hen hatch out 3 chicks, she still has 3 eggs under her but im thinking they wont be hatching. i didnt have a real good set up for her, she decided to go broody in a bucket nest (tipped on its side) so i put eggs under her to see if she would continue to sit. i went in the stall this morning and looked and saw a little chick outside the bucket peeping, i picked it up and it was chilly so i put it back in the bucket with mom. i figure it couldnt get back in because of the lip on the bucket that i have keeping the bedding in there. i took the lip off incase it happens again but ill be watching closely. mom came out to eat quick as soon as i put the chick food down and left the babies and that one was sitting there cold and peeping. i coaxed her back in and she huddled the other two under her wings and the other chick just stayed there shivering. i finally put the chick under her wing because i dont know if it was just so cold it didnt know to go under her or what. will i have to take this chick away from her? should i have a lamp in there outside the bucket? i dont want to cook mama tho.. ive never had a hen hatch chicks so i dont know if shes a bad mama or what to do to make sure none freeze to death. the chick looked healthy and seemed fine other than being cold so i dont think she tossed him from the nest..

    sorry so wordy, just wanted to be thorough!!
     
  2. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    Its just me but I put a red heat lamp in the broody box after they hatch just not right above mom. The chicks like to get out and about so I figure I will help them a bit. I dont put it down close either but rather think of it as a little extra comfort. Keep an eye on the chick, if she really doesnt want to mother it she should peck at it and chase it away. Also, if you take away the ones that arent hatching she will get up with the chicks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    She'll probably catch on. I think it's a little confusing for them when they have a chick or two out and there are still eggs unhatched. She should sit for maybe 24 hours after the first chick then abandon the remaining eggs, usually in the morning. You'd be surprised what a new chick can hop or climb over; I suspect it would have made it back under mama, though you never know. Sometimes I think strange things happen when we get broodies because hatcheries have been trying to breed broodiness out of them. I've had 4 or 5 broodies and been lucky with them.

    I never gave a broody any heat, even when nights dipped well below freezing. Those chicks will run around in cold weather at 2 or 3 days or even less. Mama will squat wherever they are, to offer to warm them under her. They get their warmth from mama's underside so I figure heat won't help. I have some under a week in my coop now; no mama, just a heat lamp. I'm going to have to put the heat lamp on a timer today so it turns off during the day; this morning they were as far as they could get from it, with an outdoor temp of 70. They're in a wire pen inside the coop which is rather open air so it would be 70 a foot or two from the lamp, where they were running around.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2011
  4. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2010
    ive been checking on her, shes been teaching them to eat, i have a small bowl out there and they all jumped in it lol!! i got pics. i have a bowl of water too but im arraid of them drowning. got to check a chick waterer i think. will she teach them to drink or do i have to? shes not happy if i try to touch them. should i dip thier beaks in the water or wait until she decided to drink and she will show them?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    She should show them.

    If you have some marbles or small pebbles you can put them in the water and prevent drowning.
     

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