Newbie with no chick experience


8 Years
Aug 20, 2011
Last year I "rescued" a flock of 20 chickens and it was my first experience with chickens. They were all at least 6 months old and some up to about 3 yrs old. Well 3 weeks ago one of the hens went broody and since last night we have 5 baby chicks!!!! They look great so far. The first egg pipped sometime yesterday, I found it when I got home from church and then this morning there were 3 chicks and I actually haven't seen them all yet but the neighbors checked on them while I was away today and said I have a total of 5 peeps. I'm just not sure what to do next. The hen went broody in a nesting box and I posted here and contimplated moving her to seperate her from the rest of the flock but actually ended up just blocking off her box. I put a metal grate in front of the box to keep her seperated and that's where she's at now. I set up a "nursery" in the coop and one outside as well but I don't know when to move her and the chicks. Right now they look fine and not restless or overcrowded in the nesting box but I'm sure that won't last. On the other hand I don't want to move her too soon and miss an egg hatching that otherwise would have. I didn't figure out how to seperate her for 3 or 4 days after she went broody so I know she has eggs under her that got there after she'd already been broody.

So I'm looking for advice about when to move her and the chicks since they can't stay in a nesting box forever! And any other info I would need to know about things I should or shouldn't be doing with these new little chicks. I got chick starter and put it in with her and them.

Thanks so much for any information you can give this novice!


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I don't know how much room the hen has to work with. If she has enough room, she will bring the chicks off the nest to find food and water when she thinks they are ready. That's when she quits setting on the other eggs. If she does not have enough room, I'm not sure how you will know she is ready to come off. Somehow you have been feeding and watering her so maybe she has enough room to work with?

I don't usually block my broody hens off from the rest of the flock when they are incubating. Usually. I did once for a couple of days when one seemed to forget which nest was hers but she relearned pretty quickly. I mark the eggs I want the broody to have and check under her daily to remove any other eggs. When they hatch, I just leave her alone and let her bring them off when she is ready.

I don't have any great advice other than to just watch her and see of you can tell by her actions that she is ready to come off. That can be in less than a day or it might be two days.

Congratulations on the hatch, buy the way. It is a thrilling time.

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