One hatched out last night!


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 2, 2012
[FONT='lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]Went out last night to check on our Golden Comet sexlink hen. She is sitting on 5 eggs. I took out 3 and was going for the 4th when I heard a peep and saw little legs! It startled me as we were not expecting them to arrive until Saturday..guess my timing is a bit off.[/FONT]

[FONT='lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]How long should we wait for the other 4 eggs and will the hen care for the hatched chick while she is waiting for the others to hatch?
How much room does a new mom and chicks need? How old should the chicks be before we introduce them to the old flock? Someone said you can do it in the night and it would be easier, is this true?

[FONT='lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]Exciting![/FONT]
Congratulations! It's so exiting, your first mom and chicks. I've done it many times and I still get so worked up, you won't believe!
O.K. Questions: Wait 'till mom gets up and leaves the nest. Then check for signs of live from the remaining eggs (if any). The chicks doesn't have to eat and drink for the first 2-3 days, but I'm sure mom will be grateful if you can put a little bit of food and a small cup of water in front of her? She won't get up now the babies are coming.
They don't need a lot of space, just a few sq feet where she can walk around with her babies and somewhere on the ground or close to, where they can sleep.
You can introduce them after a week or two. Just keep an eye on your other chickens, the hens may peck the chicks. I usually do this during the day, so I can watch and intervene. it is better to feed them separately as the other chickens will probably chase the chicks away from the food. (Mine does)
Do not give the babies layer food, it's bad for them. Chick feed or cracked corn will do and after a few days some fresh greens and treats.
Introducing new chicks to broody/ new mom hens is easier at night.

Enjoy your babies and if you have any more questions fire away.

Mom in her birthing suite

Little one that hatched out last night. It seems that he has found the water and we have put in chick feed tonight.

Finally, you can see 2 of the other 4 eggs she still has under her. We peeked at them and did not see any signs that they were attempting to break out. Nor did we hear any additional peeps other than the little one we know about.

We do have a larger wire kennel that we plan to put this crate at the door of to give Mom the opportunity to stretch her legs. I also need to change out the hay as she appears to have relieved herself in the crate in a big way recently. Is that alright to do?

Since the little one seems to be well, I think we will wait for the others until Saturday but, just incase, when do we call it quits? Are there any signs to look for?

I can not believe how stressful this NATURAL process is! LOL

Thanks for all your support!
You got a nice little set-up for them.

See if you can get to mom's land mine and remove it by hand (with gloves or kitchen roll!). It would be better not to disturb her by changing the straw now. What I usually do with hatching eggs is put them against my ear and gently tap it. If there's a chick in there, ready to come out, it'll respond by cheeping. But be patient, I've had chicks hatch over a 4 day period. If there's no signs of live by Saturday I think I'd call it quits. A good way of telling if the egg is off is to shake it very gently. An egg with a chick in will feel solid (shake a fresh egg and use that as reference). A rotten egg will slosh around a bit or feel very light. A rotten egg will also smell a bit if you hold it under your nose.
Update: We only hatched one. Saturday we checked the eggs again and just had to clean the kennel as the stench was horrible. Come to find out that we had one for sure but possibly two rotten eggs (both floated in water) My DH opened the offending eggs to find one full of smelly rot and the other with a chick that did not make it. We upgraded hen and chick into a larger wire kennel and I gave my first chicken bath for mom was crusted with feces. Never thought a chicken would like a bath so much. lol

We placed everyone, including the remainder two heavy eggs in the new kennel and crossed our feathers, I mean fingers. We checked on the family about 10pm that night and she had abandoned the other 2 eggs.
We have not opened these two eggs, especially after the smell of the first two.

The whole process was interesting but the out come is sad. My DH says we should not consider it a failure, but instead consider it a success of 1.

Now we will just watch this little guy grow. I think it is a roo, but I am happy he is here just the same.
This farming stuff can be tough.
Ah well, one is better than nothing. That happens sometimes! You're right about farming being tough. I never dreamed it would be so challenging sometimes. Especially since I adore my chickens. Right now I'm lying down with my laptop and I have a 10 week old chick on my knee and another on my shoulder. They are so spoiled!
Are you going to get another chick or 2 to keep your baby company? If you do, do it a.s.a.p and slip them under mom at night when she's sleeping. If you don't it's o.k. I've had hens raise singles before.
Mom and baby were re-introduced to the flock last Saturday. There were a few tense moments when some of the hens challenged the mom, but boy did she stand her ground and protect him.
Here is a photo of them out side and then one I took last night when they were roosting.

Still not sure what he/she is since we have a Brahma roo in with Brahma hens and Golden Comets. The eggs she hatched were from a community clutch so.. Since he isn't red I would say he is definitely not a Golden Comet hen.
Cute! Thanks for the update! That is one spooky looking hen

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