What now?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LightningRidgeF, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. LightningRidgeF

    LightningRidgeF New Egg

    Nov 10, 2014
    One of our hens has been sitting on some eggs. We thought that's great maby some chicks will hatch, not really expecting anything to happen. We went our to feed the chickens and guess what we found? A new baby chick! We're quite excited about it and totally unprepared.

    1. How will the chick get out of the nesting box and onto the floor, it's about a 3' drop.
    2. Will the hen bring food and water to the chick?
    3. Do we just leave them where they are or do we need to build a separate area for the chick that the other chickens can't get into?
    4. In general what do we need to do now? HELP!

  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Congrats on your chick :D How many eggs is she sitting on? Is she still sitting on the eggs? There may be others to hatch yet. The chick you have now maybe the first one and others could be on their way. The 3 foot drop may be a problem for the chick/s to get down from. Also to get back up to the nest. If they fell out and could not get back to the hen the cold could kill them quite quickly. So as soon as you think the hatch is complete (she should get up off the nest and start showing the chicks how to feed & drink at this point) I would move them to the floor. I found it easier to have my broody on her own with the chicks away from her flock. Some hens raise chicks in the flock successfully but there is always the risk others may attack the chicks. You need to provide chick crumb and water for the hen and chicks she will show them how but not actually feed and water them. Make sure the crumb is fine enough for the chicks to eat and that they can't drown in the water.

    Here is an article with lots of info that I think you will find most helpful ~https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/guide-to-letting-broody-hens-hatch-and-raise-chicks
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  3. cheequechick

    cheequechick Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 18, 2015
    is it possible to close/block the nest so the early hatch chick won't fall down ?

    I had bad experience about this. One of my early hatch decided to went out on his own, and he died :(
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    When my eggs start to hatch I will move mom and her chicks and eggs to the floor, most are fine with it and will continue to sit on the eggs for another day or so. I put mine in a wire ring made out of hardware cloth, to keep them together but separate for about 1-2 weeks before beginning to integrate them into the flock. Put down some food and water for them within reach, mom should try to feed her chick.

    If your hen won't accept the move, it's best to take the chick to brood it until she's ready to get off the eggs. If the chick gets out of the nest it will not last long without mom.
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    What i do is:

    1. wait until all the viable eggs have hatched before moving mum and chicks (usually 24 hours after the first egg has hatched - assuming you set them all at once)
    2. Put mum and chicks in a small mini-coop with chick food and water, but keep them in the main coop.
    3. Weather permitting, put the mini-coop outside on day 2 or 3 and leave the door open so mum and chicks can do some exploring and the chicks start to get some grit in their crop. The older hens seem to ignore the chicks.
    4. After a week or so, i simply let mum and chicks out of the mini-coop, but leave it in the main coop so mum can take her chicks back to it whenever she wants (ditto on an evening time)
    5. It seems that my broody gets fed up with keeping the chicks warm when they are around 4 weeks old (it depends on the number of chicks she has and temperature i guess) she simply goes to the roost and the babies follow. After that i remove the mini-coop - job done!

    We all do things differently, so I'd say the best thing to do is read as much as you can and then do what you feel is best for you.

    There's nothing nicer than seeing little chicks zooming around the place, so try not to be anxious and enjoy it!

    All the best

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