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Should I be concerned?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FirewifeJess, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gallifrey
    I don't want to be alarmed so I'm just kind of taking this as it comes, but I gave my broody hen 4 chicks this morning before it got light. She was sitting on them for at least an hour before she had enough light to see them. She's been broody for 3.5 weeks and is a Buff Orp.

    Anyway, she isn't really mothering them, but she's not hurting them either. Slight pecks at them here and there, but nothing that has hurt them. After an hour I went outside and pulled them out from under her one by one. She seems confused and a little upset with me, but not the chicks. ONe of them keeps pecking her wattles mercilessly and she just sits there. They have each eaten and drank right next to her and when they try to get back under her she just sits there and doesn't really cover them, so the last time that happened I lifted up her front end to help them all out.

    Will she get the hang of this mothering thing or does it look bleak? Does she just need more time? I don't want them to die from lack of care but I also know she'll still sit on the nest for a couple days before taking them out, which is why I gave them food in the nest.
     
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old were the chicks you put under her? My expereince has been that the hen doesnt do much with them the first few days except be there to keep them warm. And the chicks usually burrow under the mom. She will nudge them back under her. It seems like shes doing what she needs to do? Is your concern mostly that shes not pulling them in under her?
     
  3. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gallifrey
    There was 1 - one week old chick, and 3 - three day old chicks. Those were the youngest I could get. They're all about the same size = TINY!

    Yes, I'm just worried that she's not encouraging them back underneath her, she's more agitated when they try to get under her. And they're not coming out from underneath her unless I go out there and pull them out and set them near the food and water. But maybe that's normal behavior when they're with a mama hen vs. having free access to food in a brooder?
     
  4. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again jsut my expereince/understanding but hens usually wont leave the box much for the first 3 days (In nature when a hen hatched them, the chicks will be absorbing the yolk during this time and it allows for time for the other eggs to hatch if needed). Chicks usually will stay under the hen until she leads them out to food and water. Being that they are a little older, having food and water nearby for them to venture out is a good idea. You can feel their crops to see if theya re eating? Also, the mom hen may not like you messing with her chicks much at first. Did the chicks feel cold when you found them out from under her?
     
  5. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They haven't come out from under her unless I took them out. Yes, she was agitated that I was messing with her but she's not a mean broody so she just yelled at me but doesn't peck me. The chicks are warm though, and they seem to know to get back under her one way or another, I'm just worried about her not letting them and me finding them cold. I'm checking on them every hour all day long though.
     
  6. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like your doing the right thing. You will have a better idea after watching her for the day, if shes being a good mom. I would also feel and see if they have a lil bump in their crop at bedtime to make sure they are eating something.
     
  7. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all your help yesterday, Lucy is being a good mom to them after her first 24 hours and I'm not worried anymore!
     
  8. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah!!! [​IMG] (Its kinda like being a new mom LOL)
     

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