new chicks!Not sure what to do. *new! please chime in with opinions!**

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by emilysteng, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Hi everyone - my girl Casino hatched two of her eggs over the weekend!! My first chicks!! It's so exciting - they're so cute. But I don't really know what to do. Casino is a wild chicken who runs free at the nursery where I work. I am going to go this afternoon to get some chick starter, cause all we have is layer feed. But I'm wondering - will she keep them in the box with her for awhile? It is up on a shelf that's not very easy to get in and out of. What do wild chickens usually do? Leave the nest and bring food back for the babies?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    She should take the babies with her and teach them what to eat. If the nest is up too high for the chicks to get into she may find someplace else to sleep. You may need to move the nest lower. Hopefully others with more chick raising experience will chime in

    Good luck & nice of you to look after a feral chicken

  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    If i were you, i would go at night, if possible, and put her and the babies on the ground, in the box they're in or move them to a different box, no matter. I say while they're sleeping because you said she's wild. If it were mine, i would do it in broad daylight. I'm concerned that she will move them before you can get to them, though, and they could get injured getting down. My hens have never had very much patience about getting those babies out scratching with her, once they decide the hatch is done, and the babies are dry. I'll be surprised if she hasn't already tried to move them by the time i'm typing this message.

    As far as what to do, providing food and water that the babies can reach is about it. Mama should do the rest.
  4. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    I'm afraid to move the nest for fear of predators - (mongoose, etc). Plus Casino is extremely protective. I'm afraid she might move somewhere we can't find them . This afternoon she did come out for a minute - and we were able to handle the chicks and clean up inside the box a little. She was very agitated while out of her box - she tried to take a quick dust bath - and her babies kept peeping for her. They were pretty mobile though, kept jumping out of the box we had them in and following their mom. We put them back in and she flew back there right away. I got some chick starter this afternoon so I'll give them that tomorrow. Today they had alot of grapes and peas. They loved that. Funny - cause Casino wasn't into grapes and peas before.

    I think she also doesn't want to come out because she has one more unhatched egg in there. I know one egg was laid about a week after the other two. I think she still has hope this last one will hatch.

    They're so cute. I'm so in love with them. You can already see a difference in personality between the two. One is more adventurous and greedy with the food. The other grabs a pea and runs into the back of the box to eat it. They already did some fighting for a grape.

    Maybe we can keep the box where it is and create some kind of stepping system so the chicks can get up and down from it.

    Here they are while they were out briefly.

    A video of them in their nest.
  5. Jen4

    Jen4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Munfordville, KY
    Cute... good luck, its fun to watch em grow.

    JROOSTER Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2010
    Im wondering where is her man?
  7. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    I'm wondering that too. Did she wander off to a farm nearby or are there other feral chickens wandering around there?
  8. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    There are lots of feral chickens running around. She is just the only one who is not afraid of us. Her first boyfriend a year ago learned that we provide good treats and hung around us also. But after he ran off at the beginning of this year, her other boyfriends generally stay a good distance from us. I'd say she is on her 3rd boyfriend at least. Not sure who the dad is of these cuties, but I did see her hanging around a young rooster right before she laid these. He seemed a bit young and not fully developed, but who knows. The feral chickens are quite interesting.
  9. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Today we took the chicks out of their box and Casino came out to show them the ropes. I think she was wanting to go out with them but they couldn't get out of the high box. I guess tomorrow I need to build some kind of step system so the chicks can get in and out. I would move the whole box down but that would make them so susceptible to predators. I just don't want to make it too easy for the mongoose to get in also. I've been seeing them around quite a bit lately - big danger for such little chicks.

    She stayed near the nest area and showed them how to scratch for a good hour I think. Then they seemed to settle and one went under momma so I got them and put them back in their nest. Casino pecked me after I picked them up, but then rushed back into the nest once she heard them in there peeping for her. Got them a good waterer and chick starter in there.

    Wish I could keep them enclosed and protect them all the time, but they're not my pets and I don't live there - so I need these chicks to grow up street smart like their mom.

    Anyone have experience raising chicks who run free?

    How long do you think they should be out and about every day while they're so young?
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:All day. sunrise to sunset, with access to the feed and water.

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