Holy cow - babies galore!! Advice needed!

JenNY99

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 31, 2011
23
0
32
Ok, bear with me here. New to chickens, having gotten my first chicks in March of this year. We ended up with 6 hens and a rooster. About 3 weeks ago one of our hens disappeared (they free range). We didn't find any remains, but assumed she had been gotten by a predator. Last week DH thought he saw her out with the other hens. I declared that he was nuts.

Today, she reappeared - with 11 what appear to be very healthy babies!!! Shortly thereafter we found her nest - with 13 un-hatched eggs, 2 dead babies and one baby that was still alive but I don't think will make it. OMG - what the heck do we do now?? Mama seems to love her babies to the point of attacking us when we tried to come near them. Finally with some gloves we got her and corralled the babies.

I assumed they should not go into the coop with the other 5 hens and rooster so we made a pen for her and the babies in our cellar, covered the floor with plywood and then wood chips and then put everyone in. Mama immediately got comfy and all the babies crawled under her. I bought some starter feed for the babies - I assume it will be okay for mama to eat that?

Any other advice would be appreciated!!
 

ailurophile23

Songster
9 Years
Dec 21, 2010
492
56
111
VA
Thanks for making my day with your story - how wonderful and surprising! Sounds like you are doing all the right things so far. Congratulations!
 

SaraFL

Songster
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
153
0
101
Jacksonville, FL
Cool! Glad she made it safe and with her babies. I hope the 1 struggling baby makes it. Have you candled the eggs or anything to see what's going on with them?
 

GoldenSparrow

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
1,582
35
163
feed the babys Medicated chick starter. and yes momma hen can eat it too.
Do Not let the babys eat layer pellets, there is no much calcuim for them it it, and can cause bone problems.


Great story by the way!
 

ailurophile23

Songster
9 Years
Dec 21, 2010
492
56
111
VA
Peepblessed - does the hen still need calcium if she is raising babies? Don't hens stop laying eggs during this time? I'm still new to this so forgive my questions. ~Laura
 

MetalSmitten

Songster
9 Years
Apr 11, 2010
575
8
131
bloomington, indiana


depending on your particular flock, we've been just fine letting momma hens with their broods remain with the main flock and share the same coop. it depends mainly on how aggressive your rooster and other hens are, and how protective your momma is. it's a little risky, but the mom -should- protect her babies from the other hens. and then you don't have to re-introduce them later after mom is no longer protecting them
plenty of people keep them separated though. just depends on your personal comfort level and situation - you know your birds best. have fun with them
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom