I'm expecting a chick to hatch in a couple weeks, how do I care for it when it hatches?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mommachillroy, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. mommachillroy

    mommachillroy Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    Aug 6, 2014
    I have a silkie who won't leave an egg she's laid so I'm expecting a chick in a couple weeks. I've never cared for a new chick before, do I need to put it under a heat lamp? I live in the central valley of California so it's pretty warm right now. Will my hen do all the work or do I need to do anything??
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    14,428
    4,777
    456
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    I have no experience with hatching, but it would seem unusual for a chicken to try and hatch just one egg? Are you sure her egg is fertile, do you have a roo or could she just be broody, pullets/hens can sit eggs even if they have no fertilization.

    If you do have a hatchling coming, I would suggest reading in the Learning Center. There are a number of topics with the specifics you will need to know.

    Whether you let momma brood a chick or move it to a controlled brooder box depends on your situation. Left with mom, you will need to separate them from rest of flock or others will kill the chick.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    14,428
    4,777
    456
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    You don't necessarily have to build a separate coop if your coop is large enough to place a brooder box in there? There are a lot of threads and posts showing what others have done. Like using a dog crate to separate mom and baby from flock. There's also lots of discussions on how to manage protecting babies from the general flock and how to introduce them.

    Your thread is still new and likely you'll get some experienced advice on next steps. If you don't, then repost individual questions to get pointed answers.

    Since you do have a roo, let's hope that egg is fertile and you are coming upon a great adventure. I'm jealous, I think it would be so eggciting. Read a recent post on how mom crumbles food for her babies to eat….

    Separation tho is the first challenge. Friends of mine had chickens and added baby chicks, didn't realize the elders would kill the new strangers…so sad.

    Good luck. Would love to hear how things go.
     
  4. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,363
    83
    148
    Jan 21, 2013
    Texas
    There are several ways to go about it. If mama hatches the baby in with the rest of the flock, then she will protect that baby from the others, and most won't try to even bother it or mama. The only times this might not be the case is if the hen turns out to be a not-so-good mama or if she is bottom of the pecking order and already gets picked on by the other hens. A good rooster will usually help look after and protect the new chick as well. Please note that this ONLY applies to chicks being raised by mama. Chicks without a mama to protect them shouldn't be placed in with adults as they could very likely be killed.

    If you prefer to have her raise the baby separately, then now would be the time to get her moved and settled - preferably at night to reduce stress. Either way, whether you leave her with the flock or separate her, mama can do all the work of raising her baby. Just provide food and water that the baby is able to access. If you choose to leave her in with the flock, then a chick feeding area might be a good idea. This is just an area that the chick(s) can enter to eat and drink, but the adults can't get in. This ensures that the littles always have access to food and water without the adults gobbling it all down (which they will). It also gives them a place to run away if another chicken bothers them, leaving mama free to whoop some butt. [​IMG]

    Good luck on the hatch and enjoy it!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by