New mama freaking out - still need advice please!

Fluffy_Butt

Chirping
Aug 18, 2020
47
87
69
Wisconsin
I'm referring to myself, not my hen, lol! As far as I can tell, Henrietta is a happy girl, having never actually gotten to hatch her own eggs before (her previous owner always took them a few days before hatching - poor Hen)

So my silkie hen went broody a few weeks ago, and when her own eggs turned out to be non-viable, I gave her a few I got from a friend. They (all 4!) hatched last night and into the morning, (although 21 days should have been Tuesday? Guess I can't read a calendar). Anyway, I'm stressing myself out and would love some advice/answers that I haven't been able to find online really yet.

Due to somewhat limited space (and because it's starting to get chilly here in Wisconsin), I set up a broody area for her in a corner of the communal coop. It's just a dog crate, maybe 3 x 4 feet, but I have it closed and the bottom edges blocked so chicks couldn't sneak out and get stepped on/attacked by the rest of the flock. So far, they've been in the nest box under Hen, and I don't think Hen has left the box yet. I'll post a pic in a bit. Those little faces!! :love

1) Anyone know what to expect these first couple days? When(ish) will Hen want to start taking them out, even just for food. Is it okay to keep them confined for now and just keep it clean?

2) Do home grown chicks have the same problems as shipped? Will I have to check for pasty butt, and such? Should I look them over at all or just leave them be for a few days/weeks?

I'm sure I'll think of more soon, but those are the main ones my brain keeps coming back to. Left work halfway through the day today because I was imagining Hen trying to take a potty break and freaking out about being trapped. She was fine, of course. Anyway, thanks in advance!!
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Fluffy_Butt

Chirping
Aug 18, 2020
47
87
69
Wisconsin
The chicks are over 24 hours old and Hen is still just sitting and not taking them out. She's clucking to them and such, but I'm not sure when she'll start showing them how to eat/drink (I know they're okay off their yolk for a bit yet). All 4 chicks seem active and healthy from what I can tell from glimpses, but I"m still worried! Help please :th
 

GambaDawn

Chirping
Jun 11, 2020
78
78
53
Central California
No one has answered you yet? I’m a newbie so I have no idea! But I will stress just as you are when my turn comes! I have 1 roo and five girls at 17 weeks, and now two -6 week old buffs and two three day old (I think), in brooder. So, if my purchased chicks at three days, have been eating since day one, why wouldn’t the hatched ones do the same?? I would think they would need to come out to eat and drink too. Maybe one of the experienced keepers here can help you out, and soon! Good luck! The One is so cute! Also, from what I’ve read before, the mama takes care of everything. So, I would think that as long as they have a safe area to come out into where the other hens cannot get to them, they can come out and explore! Right?
 

ConnieA

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
628
1,259
241
Remember, the last thing a chick does before hatching is to absorb the yolk. That powers them for the first couple days, until everyone else is hatched. (Or from hatch to delivery to your doorstep, in the case of hatchery chicks.)

Eventually, you will probably see the chicks spending a lot of time out and around mom. That's because they can go back and warm up whenever they want.
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,057
2,640
246
NW, OH
It's OK, your hen has got this! She will bring the chicks out after a day or so. Usually the first day they stay in the nest. They don't need food for 2 to 3 days because they have all the awesome nutrients they absorbed from the yolk still in their system.

Pasty butt is more a symptom of dehydration than stress. Keep a small water fount near them that they can get to, as well as a small chick-sized feeder with chick starter in it--yours look good. They will explore and should find them. Mama will introduce the food to them when she's ready. That's when the fun begins!

If I don't see obvious problems, I leave the chicks be. Hens are incredibly good mothers.

Also resist the temptation to feed any treats for the first month. Baby chicks need all the nutrition they can get from good quality feed. I like to offer chick grit on the side for them. Even though they technically don't need it for chick feed, it aids in digestion nonetheless.

Congrats on your babies and have fun watching them! And don't blink because they'll grow up fast.
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,057
2,640
246
NW, OH
No one has answered you yet? I’m a newbie so I have no idea! But I will stress just as you are when my turn comes! I have 1 roo and five girls at 17 weeks, and now two -6 week old buffs and two three day old (I think), in brooder. So, if my purchased chicks at three days, have been eating since day one, why wouldn’t the hatched ones do the same?? I would think they would need to come out to eat and drink too. Maybe one of the experienced keepers here can help you out, and soon! Good luck! The One is so cute! Also, from what I’ve read before, the mama takes care of everything. So, I would think that as long as they have a safe area to come out into where the other hens cannot get to them, they can come out and explore! Right?
Just a quick note...when you get chicks shipped to you, they are at least 24 hours old usually. When you buy them at a feed store/farm store they are probably a few days old. Brand new baby chicks don't need to eat, nor do they want to usually. They have lots of nutrients in their system leftover from absorbing the yolk. They will begin to eat when they are ready, so it's a good idea to offer chick feed right from the day of hatch.
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
14,266
71,024
1,297
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Chill out you have a freakin silkie on the job they literally have baby brain 24/7.
She is a professional 100%.:)
You can keep them contained for now if you wish but have food and water accessible to the kids in 48 hours they start getting hungry.
Mom will teach them all about filling those bellies.
Problems, you shouldn't really have any pasty butt is super rare in broody hatched kids and deformities, and things like that mom culls herself.
Prepare yourself when Hen is finally out in the flock with those cuties she'll become fearsome like a bear!
Babies will be safe, all others might need a change of pants.
 
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