Holy cow - babies galore!! Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JenNY99, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. JenNY99

    JenNY99 In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    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!!
  2. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Songster

    Lol! Now that is an amazingly cool story!!! [​IMG]
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    Thanks for making my day with your story - how wonderful and surprising! Sounds like you are doing all the right things so far. Congratulations! [​IMG]
  4. SaraFL

    SaraFL Songster

    Apr 7, 2011
    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?
  5. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    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!
  6. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chirping

    Jul 21, 2011
    Clackamas, Oregon
    Leave it to the hen to know what to do without interference from us! What a wonderful surprise!
  7. Wonderful story!! I would give mama some free choice oyster shell, since she needs the calcium the chick feed doesn't have. [​IMG] Some of the eggs could still hatch. Best to keep them warm!
  8. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    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
  9. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    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 [​IMG] 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 [​IMG]
  10. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    very cute lost hen story. Love the ending wait the is no endng . . . . . . Great luck and fun. I am sure we will see more of you.


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