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#73506 - 06/08/07 01:19 PM First chick!!! Now what?
Chickeecheek Offline
Bantam

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 53
Loc: Tennessee
I discovered a new chick today. I was a bit surprised, because the eggs were supposed to hatch a week from today. It must have been sat on (and probably hidden) before I marked eggs and put them under the hen. It could have hatched today or yesterday, as I was gone yesterday. It was still in the nest with its mothers. I say "mothers" because what used to be a project to let one broody hen hatch babies turned into a project to let seven broody hens hatch babies. :p It became a communal nest. Argh.
I know that the chick can live on the egg yolk it took in right before hatching for a few days, but it will need to eat sometime, and one of the mothers (hopefully they won't fight over it) will try to take it out into the world. But the nest that the first hen chose to be broody in is about three feet off the ground, with a wall to keep eggs from falling out about 4 inches high. I have no idea how it will be able to get out. Should I just pile hay on the ground and let the baby do the rest? Or should I make a ramp of some sort, covering a piece of board with an old strip of carpet or something? What we SHOULD have done was make a separate nest for the first hen when we decided to let her hatch chicks, but of course we didn't do that. :rolleyes: Anyway, suggestions and I-remember-when-that-happened-to-me stories would be extremely helpful. Thanks!
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Chickeecheek

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#73507 - 06/08/07 03:50 PM Re: First chick!!! Now what?
Fleta Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 157
Loc: Arkansas
If I were you I would take the baby out and try to raise it under the light. so many hens on the nest is not the way to go. you need to figure a way to keep one hen seperate from the rest and let her hatch a clutch of eggs.
This can be very trying when you don't have a place set up for the hen to set but it needs to be done.
When you decide to move a setting hen do it at night and hopefully she will settle right down on the new nest.
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Fleta

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#73508 - 06/09/07 03:12 PM Re: First chick!!! Now what?
Chickeecheek Offline
Bantam

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 53
Loc: Tennessee
Well, one chick turned into three, and I eventually moved them down to the ground with one of the mothers. Later I came in to the chicken coop to find three very maturnal, clucking hens surrounding and being motherly at three very happy peeping chicks. I guess that works.... With three nannies to take care of them, they ought to be okay, right? I know the situation got rather out of hand, but hopefully this will solve it.
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Chickeecheek

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#73509 - 06/30/07 02:03 PM Re: First chick!!! Now what?
Freds Fine Fowl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 149
Loc: Pennsylvania
There is another issue with hatching chicks from eggs set at different development stages...

Probably with a group of hens, some would remain on un-hatched eggs. A single hen, once having a hatchling, would probably remain on the other eggs a couple of days, then leave the nest to tend the one that hatched.

This even happens at times, when banties are hatched with large fowl eggs, the banties often hatch earlier than standards and the mothers go off happily with the hatchlings and leave the still viable eggs to cool and die.

Just some food for thought there. I have to agree, that several hens on the same clutch of eggs is a potential disaster, no matter how well they seem to get along.

Take care

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