Oh Heavens! What do I do now?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bearjing, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Bearjing

    Bearjing New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Hello all! I think I need some advice.

    I had a broody hen that just refused to "let go", so I let her "keep" 5 eggs and sit on them. One of the eggs was lost a couple of days ago - perhaps a hatch gone bad, I do not have the experience to know, but the nearly fully developed chick was dead. I removed it from the nest and went on with life.

    Well, this AM I checked on her and discovered a little chick, all puffy and cute, cheeping under "Quail", the mama.

    I did not prepare properly, I am an idiot I am sure. I think I believed this whole progression was impossible or something. Oh I am mad at myself! "Quail" and her chick are in a nest that is raised rather than floor level and not heated.

    What do I do? There are 3 more unhatched eggs. Do I move the family team? Do I leave well enough alone and hope for the best? At the very least, how on earth do I see to it that an exploring chick doesn't fall the 2 feet to the floor?

    I realize that the only answer here, really, is not to get myself into this situation, but I will take care of beating myself up for that quite well. I've already started that part of the process, and am trying to figure out how to fix my mistakes as best I can for the Lady and her baby.
     
  2. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    First off - DON'T WORRY. Your momma will take care of everything. You just need to provide chick starter and fresh water and she'll do the rest.

    I had a 28 wk old Barred Rock that went broody way back in Aug. She would sit on that nest 24/7 only getting up once or twice a day to rush out eat, drink, and BIG poo then back to the nest even though I was taking the eggs others would lay in her nest since I don't have any roos for fertile eggs.

    While picking up my first goats back in October, I asked for 6 possible fertile eggs. Candled them and put 4 of the best under her. I didn't want to overwelm her with more than that. All 4 eggs took and they hatched out happy and healthy 4 wks ago. 1 black star (sex link) and 3 brown leg horn mixes.

    I didn't move her at all. The nest is 6-8" off the coop floor. I just took a board and made a ramp for the little chicks to get back up in the nest. The only time they go back to the nest is at bedtime. In the morning I let the 7 other hens out in the run and close the door so they won't go back in the coop and bother momma and babies. So far, the big hens could care less about the little ones running around and if they do get too close, momma lets them know with a growl.

    You don't need a heater or a light. When the chicks get cold they get back under momma. She will hunker down with her wings out so they can climb under.

    Good luck with your little momma hen. It really is a joy to watch them raise the little ones.
     
  3. Bearjing

    Bearjing New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2009
    OK, taking a deep breath. Thank you for the help - it gives me a little more confidence that perhaps this will turn out OK.

    I will go out and get chick starter right away, and put water into the coop with them.

    I am afraid any ramp I build will be too steep, as the coop wall is only about 2 feet from the edge of their nest location. This worries me. The ramp would be at a 45 degree angle! I have to come up with some solution. Without cutting the walls themselves I have no idea how to make this work. I must figure *something* out.
     
  4. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    After they all hatch put a box at ground level for mom and chicks to sleep in at night or put little pieces of wood on the ramp so they don't slide down or put a box under the ramp to raise it a little. If the chicks fall off, it won't hurt them. They are pretty hardy and full of fluff so they will just bounce anyway if you have a layer of shavings or other bedding. It will only take the chicks a week and they'll be flying up 4-6".
     
  5. Bearjing

    Bearjing New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2009
    OK. I can do that. I will dress the floor up with tons of bedding and make create a sort of 'stepped' system in there so they won't have far to fall if they do.

    The coop is very enclosed - but has a removable back panel. It is a solid wall, basically, but removable. I guess maybe I should make a screened version of that so they can play during the day in the light? Then I can switch it out to the solid version at night. They won't get much light unless I remove that panel. I am thinking out loud!
     
  6. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    I don't think a ramp made out of 'tons' of bedding will do the trick. You need a box for her and the chicks on the floor. There is too much of a chance of a baby wandering around and not being able to get back to the Mom and freezing to death.

    Make sure you provide a water container that is not deep enough for them to drown in. If you don't have a chick waterer use a shallow bowl. Chick starter should be sprinkled with chick grit because Mom will introduce them to other foods besides the starter and they will need the grit to process the food she shows them such as grass and small pieces of scratch she finds for them.
     
  7. Bearjing

    Bearjing New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Quote:I totally understand - Yes as soon as the other's hatch I'll move them all to the ground level, that makes perfect sense that it'll be easier for them to get back to mama. So far the one chick mostly just hangs out under mama, so hopefully he/she won't explore to much before the other's arrive.

    I went out and bought a chick waterer. I'll add grit to their starter. Thank you for that tip I would not have realized I needed to do it.
     

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