what to do after the chicks hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LuckysMom, May 2, 2008.

  1. LuckysMom

    LuckysMom Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    South Carolina
    I have two hens who are sitting on eggs right now. I think that they'll hatch in about a week, if they're going to hatch. What happens then? Do I remove the hens and chicks from the nesting boxes? I'm afraid the chicks will fall out, the nesting boxes are about 3 feet off the ground. How soon after the hatch should I take them out of the nesting boxes? Do I take the chicks away and put them in a brooder away from the hens? That seems kind of cruel.
    I appreciate all the advice I can get. The last time I had chicks was when I hatched them in an incubator in my classroom, and there was no mother hen to worry about.
  2. swiftfoot

    swiftfoot Songster

    Dec 23, 2007
    Blountville , TN
    i would move them closer to the ground but let the hen raise them is this her first batch
  3. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
  4. newdock

    newdock Songster

    Jul 14, 2007
    British Columbia
    I would wait until night time and then carefully pick up momma and her eggs and move her to her own space away from the others.

    Sometimes other birds will hurt the chicks so you are best keeping them away from the flock at first.

    If you do it at night, it will be less disruptive. Keep a close eye on her though as sometimes moving a momma will upset her and she will get off the eggs and try to get back to her usual home.

    I usually try to move her early in the brooding process so that if she abandons her eggs all is not lost......
  5. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm going through the same thing. I have one who started sitting last Saturday, and another one who started yesterday.

    The funny thing is that my husband just bought me an incubator because I wanted some chicks. [​IMG]
    I'm not sure he understands the work he'll have to do if and when all these chicks hatch. [​IMG]

    This is the first time I have had broodies, so I'll be following this thread for all the advise I can get.

    Good luck on your hatch!!! [​IMG]
  6. Vikkisrooster

    Vikkisrooster In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2007
    [​IMG] How long does the hen take care of the chicks once they are hatched? How do they eat? My silver laced wyandotte has gone broody,and I'm kinda stumped,excited and quite honestly don't know the first thing about what I'm suppose to do for her. Thanks for any infomation anyone can give me!
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Quote:After maybe 5 - 6 weeks (sometimes earlier) her mothering instict will completely turn off and they will become just some other chickens. She will not mother them through their life or even pretend she knows who they are. Around this time she should start laying eggs for you again, too. this is natures way and generally the best way. She has already seen to it they are part of the flock and they mix and have no troubles.

    Quote:When the eggs hatch make sure you put out starter crumbles and water close to the momma and chicks. She will teach them to eat. The higher protein of the starter feed will be good for the hen too.
  8. Vikkisrooster

    Vikkisrooster In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2007
    Thanks so much MissPrissy!I just wasn't thinking about my hens hatching their own and panicked [​IMG]!I hope she and I are successful!
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    So you have a choice: Move or not

    I say move them. Get over the "cruelty" notion, as they wont care. If you want control, as any good livestock husbander does, brood them yourself.

    If you are willing to let the hen do the work for you and allow Nature to take her course, then do nothing, of course.

    Whatever floats your boat.
  10. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I too have my first broody hen so I am glad for this post. My first time brood is in her own little house (dog coop) with food and water. Once I was sure she was sitting for good I locked her in. Now, my question is once and if she hatches them, are they all to stay in the coop or should I let them outside? I am sure momma hen will be dying to get out of there. I can fence off a small section in the pen for them to keep the other nosy girls away and the momma will be able to go in and out of the coop.
    Is that feesible or leave them in for awhile?

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