How likely will hen accept chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hd_darcy, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. hd_darcy

    hd_darcy Songster

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    This is a spinoff from my post below... I'm totally stumped on what to do with my two baby chicks that have recently hatched (and surprised us). Right now mama hen is sharing a nest box with another hen. I'm worried that the babies will get suffocated. I was going to split the eggs and move the mom (my best guess which is the mom) w/ the 2 babies and some of the eggs into a separate spot in the coop. However, I have read that this might stop her broodiness?

    What is the best way to handle it?! Ugh.. going crazy not knowing what to do [​IMG]

    I've also read that I could bring the babies in the house until she stops setting, and then bring the babies back out to her? That would probably be the best thing to do??

    Any suggestions, please? Also, it's night-time now. DH & I were thinking about going out there tonight (now) and moving her..but now I'm thinking of bringing them in? Not even sure how old they are. They are dry and tiny, but I'm sure they will need food soon..GRR...

    TIA!
     
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

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    Quote:You don't say who hatched the chicks. You could move the broody who hatched them and be done with it. Take the unhatched eggs and move them to the other hen if she's broody. The one with the chicks will break and mother the two just fine.

    wish you the best experience

    Rancher
     
  3. hd_darcy

    hd_darcy Songster

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    I'm not even certain who hatched them, I think I know because it seems she's been sitting for the longest, but I'm not positive. I think I am going to take a separator out of the nest boxes to make it double the size and let them be??? I feel guilty moving her off those eggs. What happens when she decides she doesn't want to sit on them anymore? Will she hang out in the nest box with the babies anyway, or find somewhere else to go? I'm so clueless, but I look forward to learning.

    BTW, both babies were fine this morning, but no more hatched either.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

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    Honestly, if they were mine I'd leave them alone. No guarantee this would turn out well -- but no guarantee moving them would, either. I've had a hen stop setting entirely when I moved her nest of eggs. I've also had two hens mother a batch of chicks together, more or less, and one take over when the other was killed. I tend to feel, the less I interfere, the better.

    Maybe something in here will help:

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
     
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    if i read right two hen setting on all eggs.....if so you can move one hen with the chicks hatched, then leave other eggs under the 2nd hen. now here the trick , if you don't both hens will leave the nest, watch 2nd hen , as the chicks hatch she may leave with those chicks, so move then at night under the 1st hen. unless these eggs were all set at the same time then leave the eggs hatching under the 2nd chicks with her.
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    The chicks hatch with enough nourishment to sustain them for 24-36 hours. And there's very little threat of them getting suffocated under the hen, they set themselves lightly and hold themselves loosely so there's a lot of room for the chicks to move around. You could wait & see which hen gets up to take the chicks for their first outing, and try to move them together at that time. Once a hen starts tending to her chicks she seldom wants to go back and incubate any more eggs. Or, you could leave them all together and watch what happens.
     

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