My Very First Clutch Hatching THIS Weekend! HELLLP!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Silkiebawkbawk, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Silkiebawkbawk

    Silkiebawkbawk Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2011
    Laveen, AZ
    *let me just preface this with my apologies for being a total noob about chickens.*

    So my very first ever clutch of eggs will be hatching this weekend. I'm crazy excited, but so worried I'll do something wrong and end up losing a chick. Here's the deal:

    I ended up having THREE (out of three [​IMG]) of my silkie hens broody at the same time. I have 9 chickens total, the 3 broody silkies are the same age; about a year and a half, the other six are heavy heritage breeds and are around 7-8 months now. (one roo)

    I bought outside eggs that were fertile and had planned to set up an old rabbit hutch to put the broodies in to sit on the eggs and not be bothered by the other girls.. But as soon as I put a broody in the hutch she freaked out and wasn't sitting on her eggs, just pacing back and forth.. So I put her back in the communal coop. All three silkies are sitting on eggs in the coop. Now I'm paranoid about what will happen when they hatch... Here's a million questions that have been eating away at me:

    • Will the other chickens attack the babies?
    • Is there enough room in the nesting box in the coop for the babies? 12 x 12" boxes, with a standing up 2 x 4 on the floor/base to prevent bedding from being tracked out)
    • Should I remove the babies when they hatch and hand raise them?
    • If I do that, should I bring the mama hen inside too so I can eventually release the little family together and be sure that mama will defend her chicks?

    At the moment one broody silkie is sitting on all the silkie eggs, and after candling the last couple weeks it appears I will have 3-4 good hatchers. (thank god for the small amount! I started with 6 fertile eggs and removed two that didn't show anything inside yesterday). Here's the other annoying little thing I did to myself that I'm gonna gain some grey hairs over; the other two silkies; they're sitting on duck eggs right now. I got all crazy excited when my indian runner duck started laying for the season and I assumed they were fertile because my pekin drake is quite active with her. I set 3 under the hens and after 3 weeks of candling it appears all three are fertile and actively growing ducklings. These eggs should be hatching next weekend. Shoudl I remove these babies and put them in with the silkie babies who will be a week old at the time?


    Good Lord I'm in over my head, what should I do!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    If you can, just pick up the whole nesting box with the silkie mama and eggs in it, and put them in a safer place to raise the chicks. That's what I did and it worked perfectly. Picked her up, box and all and stuck her in my house brooder. She was a fantastic mother.
     
  3. Silkiebawkbawk

    Silkiebawkbawk Out Of The Brooder

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    0
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    Jun 30, 2011
    Laveen, AZ

    Problem is, the nest boxes are built into the coop.. and the coop is pretty big; 4' x 8'ish (at least too big to be moving around)
     

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