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How long do we wait.....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenpiedpiper, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I did something I have never done before. I let a broody little Japanese Hen keep her eggs. [​IMG] I estimate that it was around the first of the month that I decided to let her keep em. It was impulsive, and probably not a great idea, but well, its done. Now she is down from her original 6 to 3, (some ended up in the fridge by mistake?! YUCK) But now I am thinking I need to bring her and her treasures inside. Our coop is heated only 35*-45*, and full with 21 other adult birds, including 4 roosters.

    Last night I had multiple dreams (nightmares really) of the chick hatching and running around while big birds attacked them. I have candeled the eggs, and cant see anything, so they must be pretty full (not that I am a champion candler, by ANY stretch) But I cant just sit here and wait for them to get munched.

    If I bring her inside to a wire cage, does she need a brooder light? or will she keep the kids warm enough?

    How long does she and they need to be seperate from everyone else?

    Should I send her back out once the eggs hatch? or will she get upset?

    Would I be better off to leave the cage in the coop? (tricky since the cage would have to be on the cold floor...other birds would get on it too..[​IMG])

    I need any and ALL advice.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  2. emsevers

    emsevers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carlton, OR
    I would like to know the answer to all this too. Good questions.
     
  3. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a photo of the little darling, she choose a shelf built for my big goofy cochins to perch on....

    [​IMG]

    silly girl
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  4. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    doesnt anyone know about these deep chicken mommy mysteries?
     
  5. bbRedMom

    bbRedMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anyway to separate her from the other chickens where she is at? I would hate for you to move her, freak her out, and loose the chicks. Even if its putting a cage over her just long enough for the babies to hatch, and then bring them in.
     
  6. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I moved her this evening, apparently successfully. Following hints from another thread, I prepared a cage on a different and isolated shelf, complete with a brooder light that I used to warm the new nest area thuroughly. Then this evening while everyone was roosting, I gently scooped her, and Rob quickly moved the eggs, and I put her in the new area, right back down on the eggs. she never even put her legs down, just sat there and started pulling the fresh hay and shavings about her, and straightening her new nest. She is sooo very sweet! I will have to modify things a bit tomorrow, and add a small feeder and waterer, but she is moved, and apparently adjusted! Yippee! Now we will let her hatch the chicks in full sight of the other hens, but safely out of reach, and hopefully in a safe amount of time let everyone out together....

    However, I still dont know how long until I can let everyone get together!! Will Mommy know enough not to take them out into the snow? will she be stuck in that cage for the next 4-6 weks?

    Enquiring chicks want to know!!
     
  7. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Okay... I am no pro at this by any means. My first broody hen hatched out four early this week. She is in a plastic dog crate on the floor of the coop. When the first chicks hatched I took a wire frame crate I had and blocked her from the other hens. Two things have happened that are making me consider building a seperate broody coop and run.

    - While I was doing a little crate maintenance my silver sebright hopped over me (used my heinie as a spring board!) to see what was up. She promptly grabbed on of the babies by the leg and shook it. I of course shooed her off and moved the baby back under mama. The babies get really mobile really fast! Thank heavens the baby was fine, but it happened really, really fast! Now, since then my hen has moved from broody mode into mama hen mode and she is screeching when any of the others get too close, but I am still worried. I thought that the others would just ignore the babies or that the babies would stay really close to mama. Not so.

    - My coop is elevated about 8 inched off the ground. There is a ramp leading up into it. Today mama was feeling confined, so I removed the wire crate. The babies scurried around the coop space around their crate and mama went out for a much needed potty break and breakfast. When I left everyone was tucked back up under mama. I felt confident that all was well. I went back out to check on everybody a couple of hours later and one of the babies had fallen out of the coop and was stuck. I scooped her up and tucked her back under mama, but she was clearly chilled. Thankfully she is okay tonight, but it was a close call.

    I'm not sure exactly how protective my hen will ultimately be. I'm kind of thinking I need to seperate mama and babies from everyone else and get them on the ground. I'm just not sure how to do it. Not only is it cold, but it's miserably wet. I don't know at what age mama will try to take them outside. This is my first mama! I will tell you that it is sooooo exciting when they start hatching. I went out to check and all of a sudden two little yellow heads popped out! The morning check added two more fuzzie little heads. It was almost unbearable sweet!
    Good luck and congratulations!
     

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