The first chick from our broody hen! And questions..

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by StephanRanch, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. StephanRanch

    StephanRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2014
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    Our broody hen has been sitting on 7 eggs. One hatched yesterday. It looks to be a pure mille fleur d'uccle. My concern is, the other eggs have not hatched yet, and the momma refuses to leave the best for food and water. Should I be concerned about my new chick starving or dehydrating? I don't know how far apart the eggs were. It could be four or more days. I have an incubator. Should I leave her the one chick and move the other eggs to the incubator? Or should I take the one chick away and let her focus on hatching the other eggs? I am very excited about these chicks, especially the cross breeds so I want to lose as few as possible.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO, leave her alone and let her do her job. It is normal for the mama to stay on the nest 24//7 during the last portion of the hatch. The chicks will survive just fine on their yolk sac for about 72 hours; that's why it works to ship day old chicks. When the chick needs to eat and drink, mama will abandon the nest with any hatched chicks and teach them all to eat, drink, look for hawks etc. At that point, if any are unhatched, you can try them in the incubator if you wish, because mama is through with them.

    Obviously, this is assuming she does a good job of being a mama -- but it sounds like that's exactly what she is doing, so far.
     
  3. StephanRanch

    StephanRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    She is a new mama so I'm nervous. The nest box has high walls. Babies might not be able to get out. It was never intended for any hens to hatch any eggs. And what about after 72 hours if she doesn't get up?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You may be surprised at how high a chick of a few days can jump!

    I can't actually recall reading about a case where a new mama didn't get off the nest after a few days. For one thing, the chicks will leave, and she will follow them. I think that may come under the heading of, don't cross that bridge til you come to it! I suppose if the chicks just can't get out, you may have to lift them out. They would be doing a lot of jumping and squeaking, sort of hollering to get out.

    Chicks used to hatch in hay lofts, far above the barn floor, and jump down to the barn floor after those 2 or 3 days. They normally survived the 15' or so "fall" just fine. Of course, they can't get back up that far, so a little hay or similar is helpful for them to gather under mama at ground level. She will just squat wherever she is if they run under her to warm up, which may happen many times a day with chicks hatched in cold weather. You can always set a container like a cardboard box with some hay in it; they may go for the sides of it.
     
  5. StephanRanch

    StephanRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    I came out to let my chickens out for the day and could hear little baby screams before I even got close. I open the door and all adult chickens come out, including mama. The two chicks are in the back of the coop alone and screaming. Even when I go to check on them and they cry for mom to save them she just ignored them. It is very cold outside, and my coop is raised several feet off the ground with only a thin ramp to get back in. Am I over reacting? I thought babies and mama were supposed to stay together especially when it is so cold?
     
  6. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Momma can leave for a few and come back, however, they can also abandon the babies. I would watch closely to see if she is going back to them. She should spend most of her time with them, especially at first. May want to get a brooder ready, they may not last to long if she has abandoned them. They are going to need heat. Also make sure they are eating and drinking.
     
  7. StephanRanch

    StephanRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    She didn't come back. She ran for the hills and didn't look back. I set up a brooder and took the shivering chicks inside. It took a while for them to stop crying as they warmed up. After they were warm they began pecking around, and the older showed the younger how to drink, which was adorable. I also have the remaining 3 eggs in the incubator and one hatched this am[​IMG]
     
  8. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Curious to how things are going. Did any more hatch out in the incubator?
     
  9. StephanRanch

    StephanRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    No there are 2 eggs still in there. I don't know if they will hatch or not. I'm giving them a few more days to make sure. The chicks I ordered came today too. I ordered 8 and they sent 7 extra male barred rock chicks for "warmth". That was an unpleasant surprise but I had no trouble giving the seven unwanted chicks away, so now I have 11 babies.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. SimplyLogan

    SimplyLogan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to hear they are doing well, and the chick arrival was good timing for the abandoned chicks. I placed an order for chicks to come in June (earliest to get what I wanted). I had been digging thru threads about ordering chicks and recently discovered the issues of extra chicks. They call them packing peanuts. So, its not bad enough that chicken fever has set in for me, now I'm thinking that's a good excuse to add to my order. That way I can get what I want minus a few packing peanuts lol. Hubby may kill me. Good luck and give an up date as they get bigger. I assume the hatched babies are doing well?
     

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