When will baby chick leave nesting box with mama?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by VivaLaChicks, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. VivaLaChicks

    VivaLaChicks New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2015
    Our bantam just layer her first hatch ever (ours too!) and is in a nesting box separate from the rest of the coop that is elevated about 18 inches high and has a nice little "den" for her and babies. I've put some food and water in the elevated area with her, but am wondering how long until she will leave the nest, if babies will go with her, and if I should put in a ramp for the chicks to get back and forth (can they get up 18 inches on their own?). Also, at what point will they leave this separate nesting area and rejoin the rest of the flock in the coop? Many thanks for any insights!
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Long Beach, WA
    I would move the whole brooding setup to ground level. That kind of height is not safe for a chick. They are incredibly uncoordinated for the first 24 hours after hatching.
    It takes 21 days from the beginning of incubation for an egg to hatch. While brooding, a hen should get off the nest, once or twice a day to eat, drink, and poo. Approximately 48 to 72 hours after the first chick hatches, the hen will get up and take the chicks to food and water.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi

    Congrats on your first broody hatch. If the nest where she is with the chicks now, is where she incubated and hatched them, then she will usually want to leave within a couple of days of the last one hatching. She will encourage the chicks to jump down and they are more than capable of dropping that far without injury but it's best to make sure there is a layer of bedding material below to break their fall. They will not be able to get back up, but the broody may not want to take them back up there anyway. She will nest on the floor of the coop somewhere with them or perhaps climb into a low level nest box if there is one.

    Good luck with them. Watching a broody hen rear chicks is a joy.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As other noted, once she leaves the nest, they peeps will follow, 18" is not too high, make sure they have bedding below.
    She will not take them back to the nest box. Its a predator avoidance thing, once ground nesters leave a nest, they never return with there chicks. Same with turkeys, ducks, grouse, etc...
    She will find a spot in the coop, usually a corner and brood them there. Make sure they have access to food (chick starter) and water. On day 2 or 3 , I put food in my hand, held it down by the hen and she called them over, showed them to eat. Had a hand full of peeps in no time!
    At about 1 week old she will take them out of the coop to the run. That's where it gets tricky. My hens peeps couldnt figure out how to get back up the ramp and I had to help them in two nights in a row. The 3rd night she just started brooding them in the run, under the coop. Worked out well.
     

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