One of my hens secretly hatched some chicks and I am in need of some advice!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cupman, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. cupman

    cupman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    As the title states, one of my hens sneaked out of the new coop and started sleeping in my old coop. I didn't think much of it until two nights ago when I saw her wandering around at 8:00pm and thought to myself, "Wow, it's late for her to be out" ...only to find her two baby chicks she hatched. I am at wit's end with my birds and I didn't want to get anymore birds... but watching her with her babies I realized I didn't have the heart to take them away. So now I am trying to raise a mom and her two chicks. Here's my first problem. I put the mom and the chicks in the garage the first night because I knew raccoons would probably get her if I didn't move them. One of the chicks hopped into a mouse trap[​IMG]. I couldn't believe it. I should have known better. It caught the chick's leg and I quickly released it. Ok, I'll get to the point. Here are my questions:

    1) The chick with the leg that is hurt seems to be doing OK. It doesn't use it's other leg but it hops around just fine. Is it possible the chicken will be ok? or will I eventually just have to cull her? Her leg doesn't look broken or anything but she won't put weight on it.

    2) Is it safe to introduce the hen and her two chicks to my flock? I have them sealed up in the old coop/run now but I am not sure when I can introduce them to the other birds.

    My rooster dropped dead randomly the day they were born. No signs of illness and no trauma to his body. It was sad and I was dumbfounded. So these chicks are kind of the last remains of his bloodline. I am just hoping to raise them to adulthood. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. fleedo

    fleedo In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2012
    if she has the mind to hide the eggs she will be a great mum if she is strong it will be fine to leave her with the flock (in the old coop if they are together)

    the chick should be fine you can splint the leg but you might as well just leave it

    good luck keep yourr fingers crossed[​IMG]
  3. I would try to section off a small space in the coop or secure run that they can have so the others can see them for a few days and then put them together. If you cant do that then be around to watch and make sure mama protects them from the others. I always let my broodies hatch eggs with the other chickens partitioned off. They can still see and hear one another but they have a chicken wire divider. Then after a couple days I let them go with the flock. I have never had a mama not take care of them and protect them from the other hens. The roosters are always good with the babies. Sorry about you roo.
    Good luck and have fun watching mama raise her babies. It is a blast to see!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I leave mine with the flock whenever possible. I have a bantam hen who brooded and hatched out two chicks in my grow-out pen.....It was amazing to watch that 1lb fluffball stand off half a dozen 4 month old large fowl cockerels when I dropped some cukes in the run for a treat [​IMG]. She spread those wings out and told those teenagers on no uncertain terms her babies got to eat first and they'd better keep a nice respectful distance, which they did. I've had hens raise chicks in the flock quite a bit and only had a problem once, when a very dominant hen and a very omega hen had chicks within days of each other and the dominant hen tried to kill the omega hen's chick, but that was a pretty rare occurrence. It's so much easier when the chicks grow up with the flock, they learn good manners and the other hens learn to accept them as they grow up.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Hi Donrae,
    I agree with everything you said and come to think of it the same thing happened to me with 2 broodies that hatched within days of one another. Good thing I was there or Sophia would of killed that chick.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  6. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    Hi! One of my BSL chicks had a hurt leg that didn't mend properly. She learned to get around with her weight on one leg and using the other to hop with. She limped when she moved around but was FAST! She did just fine for about a year and a half until a predator got her, along with my rooster and one of my Buff Orphingtons. So far, no more losses as the remaining hens stay close to the coop and under cover. Your chick will get it figured out once her leg heals enough for her to put weight on.
  7. cupman

    cupman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Hey, everybody. Thank you very much for your responses. The mama and her babies are in my old chicken coop that has a run attached. So they are fine for now. I think I'm just going to wait and see what happens. So far the chicks seem to be doing ok, even with the bum leg. Fingers crossed. Thanks again.
  8. I bet the hurt chicken will recover also. These birds have a remarkable sense of healing.
    Good luck with all of them,
  9. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Songster

    Aug 12, 2014
    Our Shih-Tzu got one of our babies at 5 days old--got through the fence where the kids had them outside and BOOM--chick in the mouth! After a blood-curdling scream from my daughter, my husband got the chick out, but we thought he/she was a GONER! Literally sat still for a day. I put its beak in water and it would take a smidge of food, but essentially slept for a day. Limped for maybe two...and now we literally could not tell you which chick our dog got!! No limp--nothing! I was AMAZED at their resiliency!
    That being said, we are being WAY more careful! We are heading the electric poultry fencing avenue.
    Best of luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: