Total Newb with a few pressing issues

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by DreadedMoonMama, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. DreadedMoonMama

    DreadedMoonMama Out Of The Brooder

    80
    0
    39
    Jan 26, 2012
    Hello everyone. I am a mama to 3 little boys (5, 3, and 1) and 17 chickens. We've had them for close to 4 months at this point and haven't really had any "issues" to deal with. But now all of a sudden I have several. I do plan to look through the forums and I'm sure the answers are already here somewhere, but since I'm really pressed for time I'd appreciate the help.

    First off is that we're expecting 4 chicks in the next day or so. :) Today is day 20 or so, and one egg is peeping at me. :) We've been allowing our broody hens to hatch out the eggs they're laying on, and I'm really surprised/excited that it seems all 4 are going to produce chicks! A few things - they are nesting in one of the nesting boxes and so far any attempt to move them have been futile. If I move the eggs and the hens, the hens will get off the eggs and go back to the box, so I end up putting the eggs back under them for fear they just won't move to the new nest and the eggs will die. I really don't know anything about flock behavior, so are they safe to hatch out baby chicks in just one of a row of 5 nesting boxes surrounded by 15 other chickens? Also, there are 2 mamas sharing the nest - a "normal" sized chicken and a bantam hen. None of the eggs are bantam eggs, and I'm wondering if the mamas who have shared the nest sooo sweetly for the past 3 weeks are going to fight over the chicks once they're born. Also, do I need anything special for the chicks? We use a nipple based watering system and I'm almost positive the nipples are too high for babies, as we put them just low enough for the bantams. I'm used to caring for mammals who don't need anything but mama milk, so I'm kind of at a loss here.

    Also, as if there could be worse timing, yesterday I stopped what I'm fairly certain was a hawk (although we have a lot of eagles flying around out there, too) from stealing one of my chickens. Last night we lost a sultan roo (who was kicked out of the coop by the alpha) to some kind of animal. Then today, the hawk went straight into the coop and tried to carry away the bantam mama sitting on the eggs. :( So for the moment our chickens' free-range liscence has been revoked, but I really don't like doing that because the coop doesn't have near enough grazing area for 17 chickens. But I can't leave the coop door open because obviously the hawk has no problem swooping in and trying to take off with one of my girls. The previous owners had a big owl nailed to the coop wall, but apparently that didn't deter it any. So any advice to help me deal with this would be appreciated as well. :)

    Now I'll go browse the forum and see if I can't find the answers to some of my issues myself. :)
     
  2. CountryRoosterUSA

    CountryRoosterUSA Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
     
  3. S&N Livestock

    S&N Livestock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    southern ohio
    [​IMG] from Ohio
     
  4. elegant redneck

    elegant redneck New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Jan 26, 2012
    Hi, regarding hatch behavior, we've had several of our Serama hens go broody and hatch eggs in the chicken house. They are sooooo dedicated to the nest that I don't see how they survive. Once the chicks hatch, the moms are incredibly protective. They'd try to back down a coyote. End of story, we've had several successful hatches inspite of numerous roos and other hens living in the house. I have observed that once they're a few days old, they need to be removed and mothered by a human, at least in our case, because we lose chicks if we don't remove them. Best of luck.
     
  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,515
    463
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  6. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida! So glad you joined us!
     
  7. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,786
    431
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Good news about your chicks! [​IMG] I always leave my hens and their chicks in with the rest of the flock. The mother hen will take good care of them and will be very bad tempered and protective and not let other hens or roosters get to the chicks. Just keep an eye on them for first day or two, but I don't think there will be a problem.

    Let the hen raise them. She will do a better job then we can and lot less work and worries for you! Letting the chicks grow up with the rest of the flock is much easier than separating them and then trying to re-introduce them. If you do that there is always lots of fighting to establish a pecking order - its not nice.[​IMG]

    Good luck.
     
  8. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,584
    21
    163
    Mar 11, 2011
    [​IMG]WELCOME!!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. DreadedMoonMama

    DreadedMoonMama Out Of The Brooder

    80
    0
    39
    Jan 26, 2012
    Thanks for the welcome everyone!!

    Those were my thoughts, too. But I wonder how that works with 2 mamas? I mean, these 2 ladies have shared this nest so beautifully - it really makes me happy because they've been such great mamas to these eggs, but I'm hoping they don't try to tear each other apart when the chicks hatch and they're sharing those, too, you know? Here they are today, the happy mamas:

    [​IMG]

    I can't wait - I'm so excited! I even told my sign language class all about my chickens and the babies I'm hoping to have in the next day or two! :) My boys are really excited as well. We've been checking the coop at least 5 or 6 times a day. haha
     
  10. greymane

    greymane Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,706
    16
    203
    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    [​IMG]

    We have not had issues with the hens using one of the nesting boxes to hatch, but we also have pulled the chicks after a day and put into a brooder box. We have lost too many otherwise. As for the hawks, if you are going to free range, make sure the hens have plenty of cover available. It will help.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by