Hey Velvet, broody question :)

gardengalrn(5KS)July 1, 2009

Velvet (or any of the knowledgeable people here), I was merely humoring one of my Buff Orps several weeks ago when she took up on a favored nest. She has been a religious and loyal brooder for several weeks now, perhaps almost 3. I know that if the eggs are fertile, she will probably be a momma here pretty soon. She is in one of the laying boxes about 2 feet up. I don't dare move her right at this moment but I know that if those little chicks manage to hatch, the other chickens will get them for sure. What would you suggest? Lori

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gardendawgie(5)

Immediately make a safe enclosure for the hen and chicks. Either get them into the safe enclosure before or after hatch. It is not good to move the eggs the last 3 days before hatch. so it depends on many things but I would probably try to move them as soon as hatched.

they should hatch in the box. you might enclose the box so the hen and chicks are confined with food and water for the hen. after hatching well you can move them.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 7:28PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Exactly what gardendawgie said. :) I'd add that if you leave the nest in place where it is, you need to make sure the nest box is secure and enclosed so that the newly hatched chicks cannot fall to the ground and hurt themselves, and so other adults cannot get in and harm the babies or fight over who gets to set the eggs and kill the unborn chicks. Once the hatch itself is done, then you can move mama and babies to their own enclosure.

If it is possible to move the nest box itself, mama, eggs and all, to a secure pen for the little family, do that. Make sure that you have a waterer ready that the chicks cannot drown in, and appropriate food for the chicks--either chick starter or grow mash.

Good luck with the hatch! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:46PM
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