February 4, 2012 at 1:36 am #256547
Today I got a very very nice suprise.
My white sussex had been hiding behind the big tree at the back. I suspected she was on a nest but as its hard to get there and she and the other girls rotated turns on the nest so I as I saw her off the nest for quiet a while , I thought they would be wrotten eggs.
Today I though I really should go check whats going on and suprise accidently timed it so I saw her little baby chicks hatching. But now I have no idea were to go.
There is a rooster and three other girls who will crowd around her when I come but as it was getting dark I had to go back in.
She isnt in a secure area just under a tree (that also has lots of bush around the tree) in the chicken pen.
So I was wondering if anyone can give me any advice as it was a real suprise. When should I move her and her chicks to a more secure smaller pen without stressing her out or Should I just leave her and put the smaller night pen closer to her with food and she might just go in?
Also how long will it be before she gets of the nesting area with her chicks and start moving around. The rooster is real protective of her and even gave me a few warning looks not to touch her so I think shes reasonably safe during the day but Im worried about rats and cats at night?
Sorry for all the question, I think I will be spending all night listening to make sure nothings wrong and doing more research but any advice would be extremly helpful.February 4, 2012 at 1:51 am #519554BlueWrenMember
Nice surprise Jodias! :tup: But I will let more experienced “chook people” advise you.Hope it all goes well.February 4, 2012 at 2:20 am #519555kimkenMember
lovely surprise!!!!! I found when my ducklings hatched the parents were so proective – and I dont have a night pen for either my chooks or ducks. the chooks wander into a house at night and the ducks are happy to stay out in the open and I have not had any problems with cats or anything else. even my dogs and cat wew wary of the mother duck!!!!! Let her go, she knows what’s best and if u don’t have serial pests like foxes, she is likely to scare even cats away she will be so protective. She may also be wary to have her babies too close to other hens who may also get a bit aggressive. But I’m no expert either!
KimFebruary 4, 2012 at 2:51 am #519556
thanks that’s great to hear, everything i’ve read so far said I should of put her in a broody area but I think natures done well so far.
I am planning on seperating her tomorrow morning to be extra safe, although I have a sneaking suspision there not all hers and all the hens have contributed to that nest pile as I also have a cochin hen and a couple of chicks are quite brown like the cochin and smaller.
They were (other hens and rooster)next to the babies today and no problem so far but they did keep eating the mash I put down for the chicks so I think your advice would be good to follow.
Thanks for the reply, this suprise has really made my day :):):)February 4, 2012 at 2:54 am #519557
Thanks everyone for the posts, its always great to share good news with fellow animal lovers.February 4, 2012 at 10:22 am #519558ClarafloMember
What a lovely surprise for you! I’m inclined to say just let them go as well. They hatched in the garden, they are probably safe. Enjoy your new chicks.February 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm #519559BlueWrenMember
When you say “mash” – ? I always get “chick crumbles” for the first eight weeks and then “chick grower” for their main feed until a week or two before point of lay.If they are with their Mum I also give mixed grain and the chicks do eat some of that as well.
It would be great if you can safely leave them where they are I think.Could you put a small temporary pen around them while they are really small? They won’t need much room while they are tiny. But what about air borne predators? Crows, kookaburras, eagles around?February 4, 2012 at 10:49 pm #519560BronMember
Are they safe from the weather? If not, you can move them easily at the moment, she won’t stress.
I have my babies in with the other chooks and roo and the mamas protect them very well. They even take on the tougher chooks and win. But unless I stand and chase away the other chooks, they will get in and eat the babys’ crumble, so I either stand there or put it into a pen that the babies can get into but the big ones can’t. When they’re very young, I put the mama in too, for a short while as she will stress even if they’re only separated (cos it’s her job to introduce them to food).February 5, 2012 at 6:41 am #519561
Thanks for all the replies guys :P:P
I went and got some chick starter crumbles today, I did seperate the other girls at 5:30am this morning and I think all chicks were there. I never got a real count of how many were hatched as shes a big girl and can hide quite a few, but haent seen any dead baby chicks so assuming they were all safe.
But from today I have a count, 5 were born yesterday and one hatched today , mother hen was nice enough to stand up so I could see it being hatched but I think she got leg cramp or something cause she did a little run around and squished the poor little thing (I actually though she was going to kill it but she got of it when I went in to grab it from under her foot)
So far no deformities because of the ‘squishing’ episodes. I think being a day younger its a bit slower and she was getting impatient to start walking around (poor mumma bird, they have such great patience)
One was not strong enough to get out of the shell so didnt make it, which I really wanted to help but sometimes you have to let nature take its course.
Is it normal for the mum to eat little bits of the dead chick and give it to her babies? cause thats what she did with one third of it and I do know chickens eat meat so didnt want to intervene.
So ten eggs were laid and 6 hatched, she’s still sitting on two (one smelt really rotten so I got rid of it) but Im not really expecting them to hatch.
Apart from the squishing she’s a very good first time young mum. Teaching them how to eat food and scratch in the dirt and how to drink water.
One of the other white sussex girls tried to steal her babies to make her own today, but I figure this one did all the hard work of sitting on the nest she should get the job. Im know wondering if maybe she was trying to help out but I think Mothers doing a good job apart from the occasional squish (if there to slow to get out the way why’s she scratching). That’s the same one that kept eating all the baby’s food so maybe she was just trying to teach them to eat the food as well.
We do have crows, and Im defiently keeping an eye on them but I put mother and babies into the night box which has a small fully enclosed run, so I think when Im not there just keep her in it for extra safety.
So all is going good so far, Mother let me touch her little chicks and hold them (she didnt like it but didn’t peck me either but I had to put them in the night box as Im out all day tomorrow)
If the other two hatch , it will be a nice suprise but Im extremly happy with the 6 little chicks. I’ll try post pictures on here. There a wierd mix though so I have no idea what there going to turn out like.
(Rooster – buff cochin, Female – White sussex)
Thanks for putting up with my long post 😛 :cheer:February 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm #519562EdiediohMember
Chick crumble is no good if laying hens are roaming about with access to it — all commerical crumble has antibiotics in it (it’s not even listing in the ingredients — you have to read the really fine print on the packaging) and if your laying hens are eating it the drug ends up in your eggs — which then end up in you when you eat the egg.February 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm #519563BronMember
Yes, I know 🙂 But I don’t ever use ABx so I’m not overly concerned about the resistance build up happening. If I was getting ill and needing them (my immune system is very strong), I’d ensure the hens couldn’t get it.
We had a lovely surprise this morning. I can never remember when I’ve put eggs under our broodies (and being part pekin, they never ‘go to term’ anyway, always early). This morning, when feeding them, the broody was awfully protective of her new babies 😀
She got to keep three (she’s part silky, part pekin so not much of her), these 3 were dry, and the wet one and the two eggs still hatching were put under another broody (who’s been broody long enough to accept them).
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