Urgent advice needed PLEASE

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I had an incubation go wrong and out of 15 eggs, only one hatched. This chick hatched five days late and seems slow (only hatched about 36 hours ago) and is very wobbly and sometimes falls onto her back and just lays there and scares me half to death.

I have a broody hen who has been sitting on some eggs for about 15 days and I introduced the baby chick to her this afternoon thinking she could help, as I didn't want the poor thing to be alone, and also thought it would help to have a mama encourage her to eat and drink. This evening I saw that the chick did eat for the first time when I fed the hen, which made me really pleased.

HOWEVER, twice today I have checked on the chick and the hen was laying on her eggs (I moved her and the chick into an enclosed cat box with her eggs) and the poor chick was laying a few inches away on its back and feeling cool (not cold, thankfully, I checked often enough to not let her chill too much). Anyway, it is now 9.10 pm and I am setting down for the night but I am really worried. I am afraid I might go out in the morning to find the chick died from chill having got out from under the hen and the hen didn't do anything to help her back. So what would you do? Bring the chick inside for the night and put her in a box setup all alone or leave her in with the hen overnight? Either way has its drawbacks and I just can't decide. I just want her to survive the night. But if I take her away tonight, I am not sure how the hen will act if I try putting her back in the morning?

Desperately need some experienced opinions. Thanks!
 

LaFleche

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 22, 2012
5,758
21,170
852
Germany
I had an incubation go wrong and out of 15 eggs, only one hatched. This chick hatched five days late and seems slow (only hatched about 36 hours ago) and is very wobbly and sometimes falls onto her back and just lays there and scares me half to death.

I have a broody hen who has been sitting on some eggs for about 15 days and I introduced the baby chick to her this afternoon thinking she could help, as I didn't want the poor thing to be alone, and also thought it would help to have a mama encourage her to eat and drink. This evening I saw that the chick did eat for the first time when I fed the hen, which made me really pleased.

HOWEVER, twice today I have checked on the chick and the hen was laying on her eggs (I moved her and the chick into an enclosed cat box with her eggs) and the poor chick was laying a few inches away on its back and feeling cool (not cold, thankfully, I checked often enough to not let her chill too much). Anyway, it is now 9.10 pm and I am setting down for the night but I am really worried. I am afraid I might go out in the morning to find the chick died from chill having got out from under the hen and the hen didn't do anything to help her back. So what would you do? Bring the chick inside for the night and put her in a box setup all alone or leave her in with the hen overnight? Either way has its drawbacks and I just can't decide. I just want her to survive the night. But if I take her away tonight, I am not sure how the hen will act if I try putting her back in the morning?

Desperately need some experienced opinions. Thanks!

You are right to be worried.

As long as the broody is feeling eggs underneath she will stay in stupor and will not take care of the chick.

I would set up a brooder with a heat lamp and bring the chick inside the house, feed her (millet, scrambled egg, oatmeal) and give her water with added vitamins every 2 hours only some drops using a dropper, so you will not drown her.
 

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I see. I put the broken eggshell in with the chick and had hoped she would think her eggs started hatching. I will set up a brooder and bring her in. Thank you very much!
 

LaFleche

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 22, 2012
5,758
21,170
852
Germany
Tomorrow you could try again, but take away the eggs from the broody first and then put the chick underneath her wing and stay there for some time to make sure it stays underneath the hen and will be safe and warm.
 

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I will do that! As I said, I have been checking on the chick about every 15-20 minutes pretty much nonstop for the last 12 hours. I will try again tomorrow, removing the eggs to another broody hen.
 

LaFleche

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 22, 2012
5,758
21,170
852
Germany
If you have several broody hens you could even try with some of the others if the first one will not come around taking care of the chick.

Several years ago I tried with six broody hens and was about to give up when alt last my French Marans who was just beginning to sit on her nest was willing to take the guinea keets that just hatched some hours before.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,027
27,583
1,077
St. Louis, MO
Putting a chick with a hen that has sitting on eggs you plan on letting her hatch for only 15 days, that could compound the problem if she decides to mother the chick. The reason being is that she will abandon the eggs to care for the chick.. She can't do both. Sitting on eggs requires 23.5 hour a day job. Caring for a chick is an all day light job. So you can see how the two tasks can't be simultaneous.
Introducing a chick to a broody shouldn't be done in the morning. It should be done after dusk when they will all be sleeping for the night. Then the whole dark period will allow them to bond so by morning, that bond would already been achieved.
 

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I actually have three broodies and this hen only had one egg so I moved that egg to one of the other broody hens. I ended up bringing the chick in for the night and trying again the next day. I made a little crate with water and food and put her in the night before. I slipped the chick in while feeding the day after and they ate together and then the chick snuggled in under her. They were good all day - they even got a short little trip out into the warm grass and sunshine. So I gave it a go overnight that night - seems like a success!

I can't believe this little chick actually survived, as she got such a slow/poor start and I thought she might not live the first 48 hours. Now she has a mama, she is eating and drinking, chirping and snuggling like a champ now and past the dreaded day 4 so I am starting to relax.

I can't thank you enough for the advice!
 

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