URGENT Can mother hen brood the chicks?

by Colin
(UK)

Baby chick

Baby chick

Question




We are new chicken keepers. We bought two fertilized eggs to put under our broody hen. One of the eggs hatched yesterday.

The surrogate mum is continuing to sit on the other egg with the hatched chick under her wing.

We have provided chick crumbs and fresh water in the nest box but there is no sign yet of the chick feeding.

How long can we leave the chick and should we be removing it from Mum now? We need urgent information. Any advice would be most appreciated.

Answer



First of all, baby chicks can easily survive for 48 hours after hatching on parts of the egg. This is why commercial hatcheries are able to ship baby chicks.

Make sure you have fresh water and a chick starter feed. However, with that being said, a hen knows how to raise baby chicks far better than any human.

If you are free ranging, let the mother hen do what she does best. Mother hens will take care of protecting the babies and finding food.

Every situation can be different and if you feel the need to help the baby chick(s), then do so by placing the beak in the water until it drinks. In most cases you will not have to do anything.

I am assuming you have two eggs that were fertilized at the same time. If this is the case and the other egg has not hatched within 24 hours of the first egg, it may be you have a bad egg.

Some people will give it more time than this, but in most cases the egg will not hatch.

You asked if you should remove the chick from the Mum. I do not know how you intend on raising your chick(s) but, if it were me I would let the mother hen do all the work.

However, if you want to raise this chick to be as friendly as possible, you will need to pick it up and hold it as much as possible.

My wife has two chickens she raised and they are very friendly. Don't ever let anyone tell you that they won't make good pets.

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Broody hen with adoptive chicks

by: Anonymous

In the middle of the night, we stuck two new chicks from the local grange beneath our broody chicken after loosing her two buddies to raccoons.

The chicks have spent all weekend beneath her wing, peeping out occasionally. the mama still appears broody, not moving, sitting on her nest in the corner of our coop, super fluffed up.

But she seems to protective with her wings spread out, making room for them, adjusting her body as the come and go, and therefor I am assuming, mothering them!

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by: Anonymous

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