What do I do when the eggs start hatching?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by KatLacroix, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. KatLacroix

    KatLacroix Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I am new to chickens

    Do I just leave the hatching eggs with the hen, and they will fully break through their shell?

    The nest is around 4 1/2 feet off the ground, won't it hurt them if they try to jump off when mom takes them for their first walk?
     
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Has mom been a mom before? Are they with the other hens? If so watch them VERY close...many babies are ate by other hens. Don't worry about the fall...mommy will usually wait until they are ready. What you could do though if your worried is put a bunch of pine shavings or straw below to break their fall and give them something soft to land on. They will eventually just jump out. And no...when a hen lays on the eggs she will help them out if they need help. It's amazing but they are so smart when it comes to their babies especially a hen who has done it before. Just give her privacy and let her do her job...soon you will see baby chicks sticking their heads out from under her wings. SO CUTE! I learned the hard way though and now separate my broodies and eggs from all other hens. My last batch all got ate [​IMG]
     
  3. KatLacroix

    KatLacroix Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you.

    I have 4 hens, and none of them have ever been mommys.

    Mommy should be isolated from the other hens? Where, though?
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    I just used a huge watermelon box from walmart...or you could use any large box. Just large enough to put in the water and food dish and a little room for her to walk around with the babies. I would not trust new hens who have never seen babies before with chicks. It IS even possible that SHE herself may eat them. What breed is she? Is she hatchery (they see to be the ones who do this). That mommy instinct was bred out of them [​IMG] So they just see them as food. Just try to watch on hatch day if you possibly can. Do you have an incubator just in case?
     
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    I seperate mine as well. The first few batches I moved to a dog crate on the coop floor. I finally just built a wire fence to hold them all in. It allows mama to be on the floor with the babies and keeps the other nosy hens out. After a few days (once the babies are up and zippy), I take the fence out and let them have at it. Mama hens are ferocious little pterydactyls so the other hens learn early on to leave the babies alone.

    About the height thing- I have found that babies are really hardy and have no trouble getting down from things. They do have a really hard time getting back up though. My coop is about 10" off the ground and has a ramp up to the door. Apparently it takes about a week for them to figure that out and for their little wings to start working. I've lost two now that couldn't figure out how to get back in the coop and got cold. Mama tends to go wherever the bulk of the babies are, so the poor random chickie that gets left out is just abandoned.

    Congrats on the new chickens! [​IMG]
     
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Just so you know, there have been people who have let the hens stay right in with the other hens and the mother hen would protect them so IF she is a good mommy you may not have to worry. Mine was NOT, she joined in and ate right along with. It's totally up to you, how bad do you want the chicks? If you don't mind losing a few you could leave her in and test it. It may all be just fine. I'm just too chicken to test it again [​IMG] Good luck...I hope every one makes it just fine [​IMG] Let me know how it goes. I'm very curious and have been watching many threads on this sort of thing to try to see what the odds are.
     
  7. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Oh dog crate is a wonderful idea too [​IMG]
     
  8. PeepsInc

    PeepsInc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My friend hatches under a broody hen, then puts the chicks or hatching eggs in a home maid brooder. The chicks are safer, & the hen stays broody. He just sticks more eggs under her.....On the other hand, my grandpa use to put the hen in a cage that the hen cant get out of but the chicks could. Then he would move it around the yard during the day so the chicks could jump in with the hen if there was danger.(He actually made a tee pee out of sticks for this)
     
  9. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Kat when are your babies due to hatch? I have eight under two broodies that are hatching on the 10th. One of them is a great mommy and one is a NEW mommy which I am SO very nervous about.
     
  10. KatLacroix

    KatLacroix Out Of The Brooder

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    Mommy is an australorp

    I definitely don't want the poor babies to get eaten. [​IMG]

    Is there a way where I could take the babies once they start hatching and put them in the brood or must they remain with mommy until they are completely hatched and out of the shell?

    Also, the eggs my australorp is sitting on are fairly small but not very tiny. Is this okay?


    Mommy started sitting today. They aren't due for a while
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009

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