How Long Does Mom Sit On Her Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ilovefarming, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chirping

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    Jun 12, 2014
    I heard that mother hens sit on their chicks for a day and let them run around and scratch the next day. Today is their 2cnd day, and they are still cuddled around her in the nest box, sometimes squirming out to get some Chick Starter and slurp down some water. Should they be out and scratchin', or shouldn't the mother hen have taken out of the nest by now? There are still 4 unhatched eggs under her.
     

  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I can not see the situation, but new chicks can go for three days without food and water. Sometimes the hen wants to hatch them all… sometimes you have to decide if it is past that time or not. As long as you are in the 3 day window you should be ok.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
  3. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chirping

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    Thanks RJ!:)

    My chicks are about a day or two old and are already eating and drinking........do you think I gave them feed and water too early?

    thanks!:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    No, all is well, it will make no difference in the long run. Some hens don't like to be messed with, so you sorta have to wait. If yours is good with you than just do what you are doing. You did it right. Nothing like boots on the ground, so to speak. You instincts and visual cues are better than most help you may get. But it never hurts to ask either,

    Best to you and you new chicks,

    RJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.

  5. Ilovefarming

    Ilovefarming Chirping

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    Thanks for all the info
     
  6. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Songster

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    I have a Banty Hen who went broody back in May, did not know if she had any eggs under her, since we only had two hens at the time. 20 days later we found one chick had passed, but 4 had hatch and were under Momma. Because Mama had decided to go broody under the steps of our back deck, I could not reach her & her eggs. After the chicks hatched, I used a long thin stick to scoot them away from Mamma, and brought them into the house. Mamma finally came out the next day & we put her with her chicks in the house (in a rubbermaide container)
    [​IMG]

    At 4 weeks, we moved everyone out to a large enclosed water container that we used as a pond for our ducks. Mama stayed with them till just after 5 weeks, and she was done with her brood.
    At 7 weeks, we moved the chicks to their own enclosure, lost one a week later (think a snake got it). I have always put food & water out for them, this way, Mama can eat, chicks see Mama eat, and they learn from Mama.

    My girls came in today informing me that they could not find Mama. She is back under the stairs of the deck, if she is there tonight, we may have Broody Mama again. Cept now, we have EE who are laying, so it will be interesting to see if any green/blue/olive eggs are under her. Time will tell.

    Just have the food & water available for them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Southeast Louisiana
    Like RJ, not knowing your situation, it’s hard to be too specific. There can be a lot of “if’s” involved. If the eggs were all started at the same time, they should hatch within a couple of days of each other. Sometimes the hatch is over in less than 24 hours, sometimes it stretches past two full days. Each hatch is unique.

    The hen and the baby chick start talking to each other when the chick internal pips, long before the chick external pips. Mama can tell when more chicks are on the way or when the hatch is over. She will wait on the unhatched chicks as long as she can, but when the ones that have already hatched get hungry or thirsty she will almost always abandon any eggs left and take them to food and water. Since they absorb the yolk the chicks can go three days or more without food and water so Mama has a lot of flexibility to work with.

    I have had hens bring the chicks off the nest within 24 hours of the first one hatching. I’ve had some wait until the third day. It just depends on how the hatch goes. It does not hurt the chicks to eat or drink earlier than three days, but it does not hurt them to wait either. Sounds like you are doing OK.
     

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