I'm new to the forum and have a question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by skeeter9, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Hi All,
    I'm new to the forum, but I've been reading your postings for the past year, since I got my first chicks from the feedstore. You guys are amazing with all of your knowledge and advice!!! I never dreamed having chickens could be so addictive, but it's nice to know it's not just me!!!

    I have 3 Buff Orps, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Silver-Laced Wyandotte, and 2 Ameraucana hens and one very ornery, but very beautiful Ameracauna rooster. The entire flock roams around our property eating bugs and weeds, etc during the day, and they roost in their coop at night, where they are locked in due to a multitude of predators around our place (mountain lion, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, dogs, cats, wild boar, hawks, eagles, etc. . . .)

    I have a Buff Orp that is sitting on 18 eggs. I have candled (at 7 and 14 days) and it appears that all of them are doing well, except for the Ameracaunas, which I can't see through!!

    My biggest problem right now is what to do with the newly hatched chicks while momma is still sitting on eggs? I think that there will be a spread of a few days (maybe more) in the hatching since I let her and the other hens do things their own way and not all of the eggs started incubating at the same time. OOPS!!! I'll never do that again!

    I really want Twinkie to raise these babies instead of putting them in a huge box in the house like I did with the chicks I bought last year.

    Right now she is sitting on the eggs in one of the nesting boxes in the chicken coop. The first chicks should be hatching in about 4-5 days. I know I'll have to move them because the nesting box is about 4 feet off the ground and I don't want them to do any cliff-diving!

    Can anyone give me some direction here?
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    I am far from an expert on this subject, but my thought is that you could move her and her nest during the night to a safer place where the chicks cannot fall. Maybe a confined area away from the rest of the flock? That way, she can continue to sit and care for the newly hatched chicks.

    I may be way off on this- if so, someone will be along shortly to correct me. [​IMG]
  3. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    I was thinking the same thing, but I'm so afraid that I'll upset her and she'll stop setting. After waiting this long, and Twinkie working so hard, I would die if I did anyting to cause this hatch to fail.

    Can you tell I'm a little nervous and anxious? (Okay, a lot nervous and anxious!!)
  4. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Ok, another thought. If her nestbox is big enough, maybe tack something (board, extra chicken wire, etc) to the front of it just high enough that the chicks cant fall out? If it's only for a few days, maybe this will work and you wont have to attempt to move her.

    I'm flying blind on this one- my chickens are not even old enough to lay eggs, much less go broody.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2007
  5. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    No getting around it, you are going to have to put her and the eggs down next to the ground. The peeps will have to be able to leave the nest to eat and drink.

    I move mine from a nest that is a covered litter pan into a pet carrier when hatching begins. I take out Momma, any peeps and then the eggs that have not hatched yet. My peeps are already exploring, leaving their ground nest and going to the waterer on their own.
  6. Arklady

    Arklady Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    I have found that many of my chickens are poor mothers and it is I can't get a seperate area for the hens to raise them. A hen left alone can raise successfully chicks but the average I heard was that IF your hen raised a chick to adulthood she did good... meaning if the chick lives. I had a Red Dorking hen hatch out 5 chicks outside in three weeks I had 2 left and I took them from her and put them in a bator and the fourth one died the next day. I ended up with one. So... if you see the chicks doing poorly then by all means follow your heart and take them to a brooder.

    My hen was not in the best location so, I attributed the loss to that. I am going to, in the future, get a good broody hen station built. Until then I will keep taking the chicks.

  7. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Yikes, now I'm really getting nervous. I think maybe I need to move Twinkie and her eggs to a spare dog crate that I have and figure out something for a little run to go with it.

    If I put the chicks and Twinkie in a sectioned off space withing the main run so that Twinkie can get out, but the chicks can't, will the other chickens jump in and bother them?
  8. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Welcome to the forum!
    Yes, the other chickens may bother or even kill the little ones. Your best bet is to take mom out of her nest at night and put her in her own crate or cage with a nest, food and water.
    Also, if you do this, you can be sure that mom is comfortable enough to leave her nest to eat and drink.
    I have a broody on four eggs right now and she is in the house in a rabbit cage. I have a towel over her so she has some privacy (she seems more comfortable that way). On Monday (they are due to hatch Tuesday), I will move Tina and her nest into a big, see through, plastic storage container. When the chicks hatch, they can leave the nest and explore.
  9. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    You mean you are just going to pick up the nesting material and eggs and move them (with the hen, of course)?

    How will you keep her in the bin?

    Will you put her food and water in there and also the food and water for the chicks?

    Sorry for all the dumb questions, but I don't want to mess this up this late in the game!
  10. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Quote:Her nest is a cardboard box with the top and front cut out, so I'll be able to just pick up the box and put it in the other container.
    She probably won't want to leave the bin and her chicks, but I have a wire top for it.
    Yep, water for everyone and I was actually going to ask on here what food I should put in there (since Mom and babies have different needs).

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