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Hens wont get off nest or chicks

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by fairie, May 18, 2017.

  1. fairie

    fairie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have two hens sitting on 2 nests (1rst timers, like us). One hen's chicks are hatching. We have 2 chicks but neither of the hens are getting off the nest. So the chicks are not eating. The hens are viscous and won't let us near the chicks to feed or water them. I am wondering if we should move them to a brooder (the chicks) so they survive.

    We already had one chick die that we didn't realize had hatched looked like it was 3 or 4 days old. Must have starved. I have buried a bird (quail, turkey baby, chicken, and kitten!) every day this last week and I need it to stop. I want these chicks to live.

    So happy the forum is back up!!!!:clap
     
  2. Saker1

    Saker1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Normally I would say leave the mother's too it, because chicks have a yolk sack they can live of days after there born, but if a chick has died off starvation, I would try to force the mothers off the nest, and If not, move them to a brooder. Good luck!
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    It may be worth candling the remaining eggs to see if they are viable or not. If not, them I'd remove the eggs and that should break the broodies out of their sitting mode.
     
    elaineinspain likes this.
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Put on a coat and gloves and carefully capture the poults. (Newly hatched turkeys are poults.) Dip each poult's beak in the water as you place it in the brooder. It can help if you have someone else to distract the turkey hen as you take the poults.

    Not all turkey hens are good mothers especially if they are in the general population. I normally do not allow turkey hens to raise their newly hatched poults because there are just so many things that can go wrong.

    Good luck.
     
  5. fairie

    fairie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband and I spent the morning building a wee brooder, installed the light and one chick (we have 2-week old chicks). Then put on the welding gloves and pulled the poults out. They are happily eating and drinking. Thank goodness. New plan: take all chicks away from the moms as they hatch.

    Question #2... Should we return the poults in a few days when we are sure they know what to do ie: eat and drink?
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't. What I do is to raise the poults in a brooder until they are around two weeks old. If I happen to have a hen hatching at that time, I will place her in a large pen with the 2 week old poults (after I have taken her newly hatched poults). I keep a close eye on her since not all hens will adopt poults and watch her behavior. If she wants the poults, she will round them up and take charge of them.

    If she acts aggressive to the poults, I will remove her from the pen and raise the poults myself.

    If she adopts the poults I leave her penned with them since it can take up to several days to convince the poults that she is their "mother".

    Since you only have the 2 hens and they are both hatching now, I would raise the poults instead of trying to give them back to the mothers. When they are that young, there are just too many things that can go wrong such as getting led through wet grass to accidentally getting stepped on.

    Good luck.
     
  7. mcfarmface

    mcfarmface Just Hatched

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    We take the poults as they hatch since they don't all hatch at the same time.
    But I'm wondering if the hen will start laying again once she has no eggs or poults.
     
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Each hen reacts differently. The time of the season also has an effect on it. If it is early in the season, they will likely begin to lay more eggs. If it is late in the season, they most likely will be done laying for the year. Most hens will take a downtime to rest and heal their bodies before beginning to lay again. They should be provided with a high quality feed and free choice oyster shell during their recovery time.
     
  9. mcfarmface

    mcfarmface Just Hatched

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    That's what I figured but wasn't sure what others had experienced. Thanks!
     
  10. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    My turkeys aren't very bright, and I've had my turkey poults kill themselves shortly after hatch. Seriously, i've had two drown themselves in the chicken water feeders that are like a quarter of inch of water. Turkey poults are some of the stupidest birds I've raised. LOL

    With that said, take them away from mom and keep them alive if possible and if they kill themselves, don't take it personal. They do that, and I don't know why. haha
     

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