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Moving mama hen so the chicks won't fall out of the nesting box 3 ft in the air and get hurt

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by Goronson Chicks, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Goronson Chicks

    Goronson Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 13, 2014
    Maine
    We are hatching our first chicks au naturel - under a mama hen. Mama is in a nesting box that is 3 ft in the air. Should I move her to
    another house where she can feed the chicks without them falling and breaking their necks?

    If so, move her at night? She is still sitting on 8 other eggs that haven't pipped yet.

    Move her and the chick and eggs together? Do I put a small dish of chick feed in the house with them so she can show the chicks the dish of food?
     
  2. susan6sw

    susan6sw Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2014
    Brownbranch Missouri
    I moved a hen and her eggs out of a stack of hay bales in the barn to the secure chicken house. I did it at night so as not to upset her too much. Then I carefully placed each egg in a flattish bowl lined with a towel in exactly the position she had been sitting on them and moved them to the wood chips on the floor of the raised henhouse in the exact way they were in the bowl. I set the hen on the eggs and closed all the entrances - after I put little bowls of food and water for the hen near her. I left her alone the next day. Checking on her made me feel better probably. All the eggs hatched. When they hatch you start to give them chick feed immediately in a proper chick feeder and a small water dispenser for them. The hen will also eat the chick feed and be fine. I think I left them enclosed for about 2 weeks, then opened the door and the hen took charge of introducing them to the world of the secure run. (Also Buff Orps. by the way)
     
  3. Goronson Chicks

    Goronson Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 13, 2014
    Maine
    Thank you, this is great advice. We ended up building a wide ramp for her and letting her raise them inside the nesting box for now and then decide when she wants to bring them down. I put chick starter and water in the box with her and she has been teaching them how to drink and eat.
     
  4. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Like all babies, chicks are pretty resilient to falls. My bator is 32" in the air, and I have had more than a few chicks step out of the tray and off the counter to fall the 32" to the ground...and not one has broken anything yet.

    That said, your broody is not likely going to manage to get a chick who has fallen from the nest back into the nest. So, the better reason to adjust that hatching scenario is so Mom can retrieve chick should it "stray".
     
  5. Goronson Chicks

    Goronson Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    66
    Sep 13, 2014
    Maine
    Thank you. She came down the ramp with the chicks under her wings and brought them to the floor of the coop to teach them to drink & eat. But she had a few curious hens and one of the 2 roosters watching her and coming over to sample the chick feed and drinking out of their water dish so we moved her to her own little house and run. she seems much happier.[​IMG]
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