Tons of questions...three chicks hatched yesterday!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chrisandsandie, May 21, 2008.

  1. chrisandsandie

    chrisandsandie New Egg

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    We are very new to the chicken "hobby." We were left two hens (bantys) and a rooster when we moved to the country. The dogs up the road killed our rooster but we replaced him with an adopted past show rooster. They all get along really well and the "girls" decided now was the time to start roosting. We had three of four eggs hatch chicks, the other one hatched but for whatever reason we found that little guy on the ground of the coop already gone. We aren't sure how to proceed now. They are just over a day old and still in the box with their mom. The box is just over a foot off the ground and we are worried they might fall out trying to get to the food. Do we keep them with the hen or separate them? Can I safely move the chicks to a lower box without worrying the mom won't continue to sit on them to keep them warm or will she disown them? Can I pick them up without gloves on? I have only handled them once, with gloves on for fear of her shunning them if the oil from my hands got on them. Do we have to worry about our rooster when they get older for the inbreeding problem or should we give them away when they are older? Do we have to make sure there isn't another male if we keep them? We have so many questions and at this point no answers...learning as we go and hoping we are doing everything correctly. If anyone is willing to help us out with your experiences we'd really appreciate it. For now we are just enjoying the fact our first attempt at hatching really worked!
     
  2. Josie

    Josie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you can move her with the chicks to a better location, but you don't have to were gloves. (unless you want to [​IMG] )

    With chickens inbreeding is common, you don't have to worry about it for several generations.

    If one of the chicks is a roo, you will most likely have to find another home for him or get more girls.

    I don't know if I hit all the questions, but i hope this helped.
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do NOT separate the chicks from the hens! Why would you want to do all that work? She can take care of them far better than you. To protect them from predators and bad weather, you could move them to a safe pen for a few weeks.

    Also, she will generally sit on the nest for 3 to 4 days after the first few hatch because more can still hatch. The chicks can survive that long no problem without food or water because they absorbed the nutritious yolk just before hatching. The hen will get up off the nest when it's time. The chicks can easily jump down 1 foot. I would only worry if it was higher than 1 foot.

    I would let the hen bond with the chicks -- don't interfere too much at first. It wont' be bad though, if you do need to move them. The worst part is if you interfere the henmom may startle and run off.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2008
  4. chrisandsandie

    chrisandsandie New Egg

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    Thank you both for your replies! I did manage to move them to the ground level of the coop and it went without a hitch...both hens are still mothering the chicks AND we had two more hatch this morning! We are loving this. The hens are used to me handling them so it wasn't startling or anything like that to them and they are still keeping all the chicks covered as well as the remaining eggs. We didn't separate any of them and the rooster is still there too...he is playing the role of father/protector to the hilt, he is a really good rooster.
    I did notice today though that one of the hens has a bit loose green stool. Neither one of them are acting any differently than normal and eating properly, is this something I should be concerned about considering the babies are wandering around in the same area?
    Thanks for the answer about the gloves too! I was only wearing them in case like some birds the mother would shun them if the oil from my skin was on them...I was dying to pick the little critters up and visit with them!
    Is there any easy way to determine the sex of the chicks so we know if we have to give any of them away? If all of the eggs hatch we will have nine chicks as well as three or four ducks in our little flock. They are pets more than anything but I am sure the man that let us adopt the rooster would probably love one of his chicks when the time comes. Glad to hear we will be able to keep the majority of them, we weren't sure as I mentioned about the inbreeding factor.
    Thank you again so much for responding to my plea for information.... I'm really glad I happened upon this forum!
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hens that sat on a nest for 21 days without getting up much always have a strange stool, so don't worry about that, it will go away in a few days. She should be smart enough to get off the nest to poo however. If it's getting on the chicks in the nest I would clean the nest. I don't think you can sex the chicks until they're a little older. There's tons of info on here about how to do that. Just use the search function.
     
  6. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations on your new babies!!!!
     

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