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Two questions re mother hen behavior post hatch -

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by loeuf shack, May 1, 2016.

  1. loeuf shack

    loeuf shack Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2015
    1. Sitting on the new chicks with beak open, gasping for air - is this common, or should we be concerned. Days unusually warm - would that be the cause? also have one other chicken doing the same (not on brood), concerned about respiratory issue, and of course passing on to chicks.

    2. What I know is Mother hen is a do-it-yourself process for newborns, and she needs to stay near for warmth. That said we have them all in a dog crate inside the coop, and she hasnt pooped in at least 48 hours. Should I be concerned, do something about it? Force her to take a run in the run? Let her go? What should we expect?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    1) Sounds as if they may be warm.

    2) Her instinct is to not defecate in the nest. She regards the crate as her clean place. Let her out of the crate so that she can defecate.

  3. loeuf shack

    loeuf shack Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2015
    Thanks - have tried to let her out a couple of times and frantically runs back. Will keep at it -
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    When the chicks start hatching, the hen often sits on the nest for a day or so without leaving. This is to keep the humidity up for the piped eggs. After 2-3 days, she'll get up and lead the chicks to food and water. I'd leave the crate open. Depending on the set up she may not be getting enough airflow, causing overheating. She should get up tomorrow and start tending to the babies.

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