Worry too soon ? Broody w/store chicks

Natilie70(z8 E Tx)June 14, 2008

Maybe I'm just worried too soon. I don't know. The chicks were supposed to be day old chicks. OK - I got them the following day - should be OK. Put them under her late last night - OK. This AM she is off the nest huddled on the floor of the coop with the 6 chicks next to her in a group. She is clucking to them. They were eating and drinking yesterday ok so I assume they got down to eat and drink and then didn't know where to go. It was in the upper 70's last night like lately so they are probably not all that cold. They were not under a heat lamp at the store. He keeps them in a separate room out of the drafts and in nice high long boxes with mesh tops. The room was probably 75. Where I had them in my shop yesterday it was also probably 75-78 where they were. I am assuming they were not so cold - no peeping. They are moving around and run under the low shelf the next boxes are on - they just don't try to get under her. If I close off underneath the nest boxes - then if they get over the backs of them they won't be able to get back out. I have tried to put some under her, but they just walk out. Some went under the nest box and she jumped in the one above where they went. I put them in with her and she talks to them, but they just stay beside her. One or more has pecked her in the eye and true to cochin nature, she just leans back so it doesn't happen again. Do they not recognize her ?? Will they ?? Is it because they are not cold and I should just chill. Mostly I leave them alone but peak in from time to time to see what is happening. I don't want to interfere with any bonding. I have read they won't accept older chicks - but isn't that older chicks ?? Thanks

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Well, at least they are accepting one another, so that's one hurdle you've successfully cleared. You just never know with store-bought chicks and broodies if it will work. But so far it's looking good.

Are the chicks huddled together in a pile, eyes closed, peeping in distress? If so, they are likely too cold and need a heat lamp. If they are active and carrying on as normal, they must be OK. If the daytime temps are warm and there are no drafts (drafts can kill), and it's sufficiently warm at night, they should be OK.

I'd say for now just keep an eye on them. Offer mama some goodies that she can peck at and call the babies to, it'll help them bond. It's very good that she is letting them peck her with no retaliation on her part.

Good luck! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 5:33PM
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simpleme

I also think they should be removed from the coop where the nest boxes are and kept together confine to a small space.
Even if you just block off a corner with some cardboard. Btw, when I go to yard sells and such I look for window screens, they are wonderful for putting up temporary divisions in the coop, you can just wire them together. I even use them to put little chick out into the grass to peck around from their brooder box when it's warm.

Anyway, if you can scoot them into a small space where it's just them and her and they can't get away from her. They don't know they are supposed to go under her, but they'll learn if they get cold to look for warmth and it will be her if she's handy.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:24PM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Well, DH said I was worried too soon and it looks like he was right. Momma spent the day huddled on the floor next to the chick feeder and water with the chicks near her - but not under her. Or they were speeding around on the dry leaves. Everyone had acted happy. Her clucking all the time. They run up and down the ramp to the nest boxes and when they decided to go drink out of the other water she moved with them and drank some sweet water too. I know the chicks are eating. I just checked on them again (now 10:30) Mom is still up on the nest and I know at least 3 are with her. 1 is next to her chest and 2 heads are peaking out from her back leg feathers (she has VERY fancy long leg and feet feathers) - so I can only assume the other 3 are under her somewhere. I looked under the ramp and under and behind the nest box shelf and I don't see any - but I really expect the other 3 are with her also. So, she is happily talking to them all the time - bonding sound I guess. As DH & friend Erma said earlier today, they are next to her and not huddled in a mass cheeping as if they were cold - so when they get cold, they will get under her to get warm. How it worked 1 1/2 years ago when I still had both cochin girls and 1 hatched 1 egg and DH bought a chick for the other one whose eggs did not hatch I don't remember - I've slept since then. Thanks for your help - I'll try to keep you posted. Oh - I like the idea of the screens. Have to remember that one. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 11:37PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Glad it worked out! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 2:59AM
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simpleme

yea! sometimes worry is a good thing, it keeps you on top of things. Good Job!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:18AM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Thanks all. Mom and peeps seem to be doing just fine together. She wanted to leave the coop a while ago - but I told her sorry, you are grounded for a few days. Gave her some clover to share and she enjoyed that. Have to finish the side run for her and the peeps. It has a bit of grass and will extra fencing to make sure they stay in. Fencing on other side of the coop is bigger 2 x 4 wire mesh and they can pop right thru it right now. New run has that also, but I have green plastic fencing going inside of it up to about 2 feet that is smaller than chicken wire. Better work on it today as I probably won't have time this week and they will have to wait until next weekend to get out. I do have another tractor that I made that would keep them in, but getting them out would be a trick - it is only 3' tall. have to crawl around inside on hands and knees. we'll see. I think they are better off where they are for right now anyway.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:12PM
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Natilie70(z8 E Tx)

Yes, worry will keep you on your toes. Paying attention is always good. She is always in brooding position when ever I check in on them - beside the chick feeder and one of the water jars. They are playing or resting near her. All seem right with the world in the chicken coop. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 3:23PM
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