Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JanaBanana1, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. JanaBanana1

    JanaBanana1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2011
    The eggs i put under my broody hen are hatching this morning.. I hear the "peep peep" going on [​IMG] My big problem is I haven't seen how many have hatched yet {there are 4} as I dont want to disturb them or her... but my other hens will not leave her alone [​IMG] One keeps getting in the little hen box with her and I am so afraid of what is going to happen to them. She doesn't peck at this other hen or anything when she gets in the box with her. The one hen is the leader of the pack that keeps getting in the box. Right now I put a gate across so that none of the hens can get in the hen house but now how will they lay their eggs? The leader hen is frantically pacing back and forth in front of the fence wanting in. I was told I can't touch or move the eggs/baby for fear of damaging or hurting them? Please help...this is my first time with newborn chicks. thank you!!!
  2. Meghalu

    Meghalu Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    The Okanagan
    Do you have more than one nest box? If so, maybe put a gate of some sort in front of the opening to the box with the broody hen in it. Otherwise, you might want to get a pet carrier or something similar where you can move your broody and her nest into. I definitely would separate them somehow as the other hens could definitely step on the chicks and injure/kill them.
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    wow, I have never hatched before...I think you are doing the right thing, if the other hens have to lay, they will find a place I understand....

    I hope someone else can really help you....

    Good Luck![​IMG]
  4. sonally

    sonally Out Of The Brooder

    You have been told not to touch the chicks? I wonder, we got our hatchery chicks at one day old and held them frequently. Is it different when they are being raised by a hen?
  5. JosieChick

    JosieChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2010
    Lyman, ME
    Don't know how your nest box is set up but you could just block off the box with the broody hen and hatching eggs until she is done hatching so the other girls don't get in there with her. I stapled chicken wire around the opening of the nest box once mine started to hatch. Some people might say to leave them alone but I did that with one of my lower ranking hens when she was sitting on eggs and one of the boss hens got in the nest and pecked the hatching egg until the chick died. [​IMG]

    Don't try to move her because the chicks will get shrink wrapped if she moves off the nest now. As the chicks hatch and dry they will poke their little heads out from underneath her. She will leave the nest when everyone who is going to hatch has hatched. Is your nest box near the floor? I had a friend who hatched chicks out in a high nest box and one of the chicks fell out and died so it might be best to block them in until she is done hatching and you can safely move them.

    Good luck, I am sure some others will get on here and offer help too![​IMG]
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Agreed. Block off the nest somehow and wait to move her until all the chicks that are going to hatch have.
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    You certainly can pick them up and move them, and I would if they were mine. Your babies could be stepped on by the other hen trying to squeeze into the box (or its own mama, trying to keep the other hen from getting into the box). I pick up newborn chicks all the time, they're just too cute to resist. I keep my broodies in a wire bird cage inside the coop. That way they are seperare, but still a part of the flock. Then after a couple days I open the door and let mama take it from there. Here's a pic of my best broody, Cream Puff, in the cage with her last batch of chicks (and a gosling she stole from my geese)
    Good luck- don't be afraid to move them. Just be gental and be prepared for a little broody wrath!
  8. JosieChick

    JosieChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2010
    Lyman, ME
    Quote:She should not touch the hen when the eggs are hatching because if she moves them the chicks who may have pipped the shell may get stuck in the shell from the membrane inside drying and shrinking down onto them. This is why when we hatch in incubators we go into "lock down" for the last 3 days so the eggs stay in one spot so the chick can position itself to hatch and maintain humidity to keep the membrane on the inside of the shell moist for hatching. If a pipped chick is exposed to dry air the membrane entombs it and it dies because it can't turn in the shell to hatch. She can touch them once they are all hatched.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It's different with a broody hen. You want to wait until she's finished hatching before you disturb her at all. If she gets upset and gets off the nest, chicks can get shrink wrapped or injured and die. Bothering a broody during hatch should be a last resort.
  10. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Quote:Agreed. Block off the nest somehow and wait to move her until all the chicks that are going to hatch have.

    X2. Excellent advice, especially the part about NOT trying to move her once the hatching has started. If one chooses to move a broody hen, it is best done early in the incubation period.

    As far as handling the chicks, I have always handled my broodies' chicks once they hatch! Never had a problem, never lost one, but until they are about a week old, I will just pick them up for a quick second, say hello, and return them to their mama. Olga is the only one of my hens that even reacts to itÂ… Olivia seemed to enjoy me coming and seeing her and her chicks in the coop and holding themÂ… like a proud mama wanting to show off her new babies!

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