Please help... Mama and chick question. Suggestions needed.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chocobroc, May 18, 2011.

  1. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2010
    Eastern, NC
    Is there a such thing as taking the chicks away from the mama too soon?? I know the chicks will be just fine if I put them in the brooder, but how is mama going to react?

    This was my first hatch. I had a total of 5 as of yesterday and was going to give it until tomorrow before taking the unhatched eggs.

    Well... I went in this morning and there was a GOD AWFUL smell. I just had to get under my broody to see what was going on. Well I found another healthy chick making it a total of 6, but there was also two dead squished chicks that I think just weren't going to make it. They still had egg stuck to them, so I don't think mama accidentally killed them.

    I had to get her out so I could clean up the nest and of course she flipped out on me. I got the two dead chicks and the two unhatched out right as she jumped back in. The bedding is absolutely disgusting and she isn't letting me clean it. She is spazzing so much for what I've done so far I'm afraid she was going to hurt the healthy chicks. So I left her be.

    I have to get in there and clean it out.

    I have 3 eleven week olds in my brooder now. I was thinking that I could put mama back in the coop/run with her original flock, moved the babies to the brooder and put the three 11 week old in the playhouse coop once I clean it up.

    Is this transition going to go smoothly?? HELP?!?!?!
  2. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2010
    Eastern, NC
    Anyone?? [​IMG]
  3. L.L Farm

    L.L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2010
    Its up to you. A momma will usually take good care of her babies, but accidents do happen. If you were to take the chicks and put them in a brooder away from her she will most likely spaz out again and will be that way for a few days. Once the mom is tired of the babies, she will start pushing them away, not wanting to be with them, etc. But its up to you
    Taking the chicks from the mom into the brooder = chicks that are more used to being handled by humans
    Chicks that stay with momma during the early days = chicks that are not used to humans and might be flighty
  4. vnploveschickens

    vnploveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there another area/nest/box that you could move the Momma/chicks/eggs to? That way, they can stay together while you clean up.
    Maybe they can even stay in this new space for now.

    Good Luck! Keep us updated [​IMG]
  5. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    I had a broody that lost her one week old chicks in a rainstorm. For at least a month afterward she seemed quite depressed.
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Really? Mine usually forget within a day or two at the most. But then again, I don't attribute human emotions to them. [​IMG]

    Seriously, 20 years with chickens and I am convinced they don't have the same emotions that humans do. They do get upset when things happen, but I think it's more because their routine has been shaken up than anything else. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  7. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2010
    Eastern, NC
    She is currently in a separate place with her chicks, and she is being a good mom. She just isn't letting me get in there and clean it. It is a mess from the unhatched and dead chicks. I got them out but the bedding is still gross. Plus once I removed it and she spazzed, she let go a massive wet gross poo all in the nest. Now I definitely have to clean it. When she spazzes, I'm afraid she will hurt a baby.

    I thought it would just be better off if I returned her to the orignial flock, moved the babies to the brooder, and after scrubbing the playhouse down that she is currently in, move my 3, 11 week olds in it.

    I really want the babies to get use to being held/handled, and I'm not quite sure I'm going to keep them just yet anyway.

    I'm just really hoping that mama goes back to her original flock (3 other girls) smoothly...
  8. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mama will follow the babies. Can you try putting a second box out there and put the chicks in it? The mother hen often will go and join them, and while she's calming them down you can yank the soiled bedding out and give the old box a good cleaning, then re-bed it and leave them to decide which box they want.

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