I need help desperately!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sailgirl207, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Sailgirl207

    Sailgirl207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Maine
    Hi,

    I'm lost and need advice and guidance. I work for two schooner captains who left this morning on a 6 day trip. This morning their chickens eggs started to hatch! I've grabbed her two chicken books to try and figure out what to do as they are not available by phone right now. I've just created a nesting box for the two broody mothers and 8 or so eggs. I had two chicks but one of the mama's stepped on and squished one of them - it was terrible. I don't want the other one to get hurt and I have no idea what to do next. Can anyone help me....please. I don't want the other chick to die and I don't know about the other eggs. How will I be able to tell if I need to do anything?!?!?!

    HELP!!!
     
  2. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Florida
    If you can separate the 2 broody hens and their own clutches from each other. They may try to kill the chicks that aren't theirs. Other than that, momma hen probably knows better than any of us how to handle these things. Often a hen will know when something is wrong and kill the chick or kick the egg out of the nest.
     
  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    Idaho/Utah
    Try to disturb mamas and move eggs as little as possible, at least until eggs have hatched. You can put a water container (either a tall one only mama can reach into, or a shallow one preferably with marbles in the bottom to help prevent a chick from drowning) and peanut butter jar lid of chick starter close to her so she doesn't have to get up to eat or drink.
    It is best if each mama is protected from other chickens bothering it, but sometimes chickens work it out fine among themselves. Mom should have enough room to get off the nest and not have to poop in it (having sufficient room can possibly help prevent mom from stepping on chicks, too?).
    All eggs that are going to hatch should finish hatching generally within 2 days of the first one to hatch. If Mom gets off eggs earlier than this and settles somewhere else, you might try gently moving her & babies back over onto remaining eggs.
    If she's still sitting some eggs after 3 or 4 days, I'd remove the left over eggs.
     
  4. rroven

    rroven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    lexington, SC
    Yikes!Did they leave an area/box set up with a light for warmth, food and water?
     
  5. Sailgirl207

    Sailgirl207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Maine
    We don't know which mama goes with what eggs. There are 8 hens and 1 rooster. All of the hens had been taking turns laying and then "brooding" on the eggs, each taking turns. Calliope and Brown Spot are the two mama's in the nest now. We've only moved them to get them from out in the open to a big lobster crate with hay layed in there. The crate is big enough for me to get into and sit -legs out, but still sit. I've put up chicken wire in the corner and redirected the way in for the other chickens - trying to keep the mama's in the same spot where they were. They have enough room in the cornered off area to get out of the crate and walk around.

    I've put a water and food container in the new space for them and have a chick feeder that we used for the chicks when the original batch arrived. Will this work for the new chicks?

    The eggs were weren't sure of when they were layed so it may be up to a week before the rest hatch I'm thinking, but not really sure. Is it okay to leave the eggs in there for another 7 days just in case?

    I found the heating lamp from when we first got the chicks too. Do I need to use it? Its 73 outside right now and its quite muggy? Also how will I know how warm to keep it - tonight for instance if it rains and cools off? I don't live here and leave at 5 and am not back until 9am tomorrow. Will I need to check on them in between that time??
     
  6. silkieluver_07

    silkieluver_07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    If the mom's dont take them, you could set up a homemade brooder until the schooner captains come back. A rubbermaid tub will work for the chicks. Put shavings on the floor. Make sure that the shavings ARE NOT cedar Cedar is bad for them and causes respitory problems.

    The temperature under the heat lamp should be 95 degrees. Decrease 5 degress each week. Get some medicated chick starter and a shallow water dish with marbles in it so the chicks dont drown.

    I hope this helped a little!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  7. amyquilt

    amyquilt Serama Mama

    May 17, 2008
    Amarillo, TX
    I can't help you, but you've definitely found the right place to get the information/help you need!

    Just make a hatch-a-holic out of ya [​IMG]
     
  8. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    Idaho/Utah
    Sounds like you've done a great job arranging nursery quarters apart from the other chickens! Not at all bad for a greenie [​IMG]

    As long as the hens will sit the eggs and tend the babies, you don't need to have a heat lamp on at all. The babies will snuggle under their mamas any time they want to warm up.
    You can leave eggs the extra days as long as chicks still do well at getting to food and water & staying out of trouble while mamas are still on eggs (but very likely hens will give up setting after a couple days).

    By the way, in case you're not already aware, it won't matter which hen raises which chicks. Just make sure the hens don't have access to each others' chicks if they seem to feel aggressive towards them.

    p.s. Be sure the food you are giving them is labeled Chick Starter (If you don't have any, you can feed scrambled eggs temporarily). Adult chicken food can be toxic to chicks.

    Enjoy the new little families!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] First thought: "Why on earth do they have eggs hatching when they go off on trips without leaving previously trained caretakers in their stead?"

    Second, thanks for trying to do right by these birdies and much GOOD LUCK. [​IMG]

    JJ
     
  10. Sailgirl207

    Sailgirl207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Maine
    Thank you so much everyone. I went to the local Agway yesterday and got some medicated vitamin water powder stuff and the lady there who raises chickens said because I don't know what breed the chicks are that I should use game starter. So I got both.

    I stayed with them until 7:30 last night, worried that the other eggs/chicks wouldn't hatch. When I was getting ready to leave I saw a second set of big black eyes!

    I left the heat lamp on last night but raised quite a bit so it wasn't too warm, but since it was damp and rainy I wanted to be double sure that the chicks were warm enough.

    I read two chicken books last night and looked up what kind of chickens we have. This morning I have two chicks, that I'm calling #1 and #2! I still can't tell what kind they are yet, but the are blondish like the buff orpington. The black astrolorp is the one that seems to be mothering both chicks though the buff orpington is the one who is more broody. The two chicks are that blonde color but they have a spot or two of gray on their back and head. Could they be the bard rock? She has some of those too. I don't really know because all the hens were laying in the same spot for awhile.

    Oh well.I just wanted to say thank you so much to you all for your advice. I was a wreck yesterday. Today - having read those books I'm feeling more comfortable, and of course not in my dress cloths trying to make a nursery, lol! Thank you again!
     

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