Starting Out With a Weird Situation

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KrisRenee, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. KrisRenee

    KrisRenee In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2008
    Bastrop, TX
    I am new to this forum and new to raising chickens. When I moved to our current house, we were overrun with 'wild' chickens/roosters that somebody abandoned. They hang out in the yard, roost in the trees and occasionally build a nest in one of my gardens and leave me eggs. They have even hatched a few chicks. My four dogs have finally accepted them as part of the family.

    The favorite laying spot is on top of a railroad tie, behind a small Johnny Appleseed statue under some vines. I currently have a hen there that decided to go broody with two eggs on the 11th. My friend gave me 10 Aracauna (sp?) eggs and 2 guinea eggs to add to her nest and she readily accepted all but the largest of the Aracauna eggs (could not fit - she is only a pullet and not a very large one). As the eggs kept disappearing from previous hens in this spot (coons? cats? possums? snakes?), THIS time I built an enclosure around her and, so far, so good. I gave her layer feed and some water and she seems to be happy.

    We have built a coop with a run for chickens to live in once they (hopefully) hatch around the 1st of August.

    Now that you have all of the background, here is my actual question: What do I do after the eggs hatch? Seems simple but not really? Will whatever critters that were stealing the eggs previously be more aggressive once the chicks are hatched? Will I need to move them into a stronger enclosure? Do I move mama, too? She has been pretty patient with me - no growling like some others that have been around here and she did not freak out on me when I built the wire enclosure around her. She just looks at me a lot but I am not sure how she will react if I try to move her.

    Help, please! Sorry for such a long first post but I wanted you all to know the whole situation.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If she is reasonably well protected where she is, then I'd leave her be until the babies hatch, then try to move them all to a more secure location. Chicks are really good for wandering out of a pen if they can fit through the holes, and they can fit through anything much bigger than a 1" square wire.

    Dogs, cats, etc that will totally ignore a larger chicken will go after the babies in a heartbeat.

    If it was my hen, I'd move her to a more secured, chick proof enclosure (with a top/cover) after the hatch is complete.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    That is sad that they were left behind [​IMG] I'm not sure what to tell you...but I think if I were you I would move them all to a safe place right after the eggs hatch. I wouldn't do it before I don't think, She may get angry and not lay on them anymore. Good luck! I can't wait to read more about this..hope you keep us updated!
  4. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    That's crazy cool, though clearly frustrating. If you build a place that's inviting enough and fill it with yummy food they may decide to wander in without the drama.
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    PICS!! Post pics of everything!!! [​IMG]
  6. KrisRenee

    KrisRenee In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2008
    Bastrop, TX
    Thank you so much for both replies!

    The chicks will not be able to escape as I used hardware cloth on my friend's advice and not even a snake can get through those tiny holes, but a racoon or other animal could get in if they really wanted to by ripping stuff apart. The dogs are being pretty protective and leaving their mark all around the outside of the enclosure which is right in front of my front porch.

    I am guessing I will build a smaller enclosure to go inside the coop until they are bigger and they are to be the first residents.

    She is wild but pretty tolerant of me - I go out & talk to her every day a few times. Umm ... HOW do I move her? The chicks - no problem but she concerns me.
  7. KrisRenee

    KrisRenee In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2008
    Bastrop, TX
    I do not type fast enough ... thanks for ALL replies. [​IMG]

    I'll get a pic of my little makeshift enclosure tomorrow if I am not too busy building my new & improved enclosure. Have to do 'projects' on my precious few days off.

    I am PSYCHED about next Friday and hope we have 13 healthy chicks. I think the guineas take a few days longer, though ...
  8. kellim

    kellim Songster

    Jun 19, 2008
    SC, GA Border
    Yep, the Guineas will take 28 days, just had mine hatch out in the incubator as well as just had a broody hen hatch out 2 guinea eggs.
  9. perfectly_polish

    perfectly_polish Crowing

    Mar 1, 2007
    If she has guinea and chicken eggs, there might be a problem, because guinea take a week longer to hatch, and if the chicks are already out she won't want to sit on the guinea eggs anymore. Do you have a 'bator to put them in.

    And [​IMG]
  10. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

    Feb 17, 2007
    If you don't have a bator for the guinea eggs, you will have to take the chicks away from her and put them in a brooder. She will leave the unhatched eggs to take care of the chicks 2 to 3 days after the first ones hatch.

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