moving baby chicksgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We just noticed our first baby chicks hatching today. Hurray! We are so excited. They are hatching in our nesting boxes that are about 3ft off the ground. The nesting boxes have a 4 - 5 inch lip that I am worried will prevent the mother hen from getting the babies to the ground when they are ready. How do I go about moving mom and babies? Do I need to worry she will reject the babies if I handle them? When do they need to be moved? As best I can tell, we only have one hatched so far and one about half way hatched. Thanks folks!
-- Tiffani Cappello (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 26, 2001
Tiffani, I know it's hard to be patient, but try try not to bother them for a day or two(at least until tomorrow). Sometimes if you disturb a hen during the hatch, she will begin fidgeting and squash the almost hatched chicks. Depending on how hot it is, I like to leave them a day or two as long as the hen is sitting. Keep an eye on her, though. If she gets down on her own you might want to step in. I have never had a hen reject her chicks because I moved them for her, but if she is wild, you will want to wear gloves;) Oh, and congratulations! Aren't they wonderful?
-- mary, in colorado (email@example.com), June 26, 2001.
The first time I had a hen hatch out chicks, she had her nest about 4- 5 ft. above the floor. How she got all those chicks down is something I couldn't tell you, but she did it without losing any. Since then I've always put my expecting hens in a small pen down on the ground with a nest box (dog house type). I usually kept them in the pens until the chicks were about two days old. Afterwards I would let them run in a bigger pen for a couple of more weeks.
-- Russell Hays (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 27, 2001.