Newbie and chicks hatching!!


7 Years
Jun 5, 2012
We have a small flock of three Buff Orpingtons and two Silkies. One of the Silkies is a roo. One of the Orps and the Silkie hen have been sitting on eggs for a couple of weeks and now we have at least one chick! I'm so excited, but I also now realize I have no clue what to do. I hope you guys can help!!

1. Will the mamas just take care of the babies without too much human intervention or do I need to step in?

2. What do I do about feeding? Neither hen is inclined to leave the rest of their eggs to go out for food or water but I think the babies will starve pretty fast if it takes another day or so for the rest of the eggs to hatch.

3. Will the mamas just sit until all the eggs hatch? How long might that take? Might some of the eggs not end up hatching..? Is there a point at which I need to move them on to take care of the hatchlings?

Neither hen is happy about being moved from her eggs (which I totally understand) so I can't get a clear picture of what's going on. I know we have at least one chick but I'm not even sure who's chick it is. I have a poorly-designed coop without a top-down access so I have to try and get in through a tiny window.

I would hate to lose chicks due to incompetence on my part so any advice would be fantastic!

Thank you so much in advance. I really appreciate your help!!

- Gwendolen


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
Mendocino coast
I just had two broody hens hatch some eggs.. ended up with 2 babies.. WELL I just let nature take its course. I put a chick waterer down and some chick crumbles.. but mostly the moms have done the work. I am actually seeking advice on sneeking 2 new babies under them tonight.. fingers Crossed that works out.

Are they waiting for the eggs their sitting on to hatch? Are they the same as the chick that just hatched? Cause they will wait to see if anymore hatch and then will move the chicks out of the nest to get food and water. The momma shouldn't let her babies starve.. they have this instinct that we just don't know everything about. Good Luck!


8 Years
Aug 17, 2011
We have had 2 White Leghorn momma's hatch out, one had 3 and then abandoned the remaining eggs to tend to the first 3. Luckily we had another broody and put them under her to hatch. After 24 hours with the chicks we took them from her and slid them under the momma when it got dark. She took them with no problesm and is now raising seven of them. The second WL had 7 and hatched five yesterday and left the remaining two. We slid them under a broody sitting on golf ball:) Hopefully, they will hatch in the next few days and we will slip them under her at night. Such a thrill to watch momma raise the babies instead of using a brooder.
They are both in separate pen raising the babies until it we put the mommas back with the others and keep the babies in the grow out pen. Good luck with yours, momma does all the work and they learn fast.

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