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Chicks have Hatched!!!!!!

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:53 pm
by HelenD
Hello. We have hatched out hundreds of chicks over the past few years using an incubator. But recently one of our hens has been broody, and we decided to leave her alone. We discovered yesterday morning that she has hatched out a couple of chicks, but unfortunately she has done it in one of the egg laying boxes which is about 4/5 feet off the floor. It us unlikely that any of the other eggs will hatch out as our cockerel was killed by a fox a few weeks ago, so they won't be fertilized. Can anyone give me some advise on how and when it is safe to move her. We don't want to leave it too long in case the chick falls out, and also don't want to upset her. We have put some food and water near so that she can reach, but the chick won't be able to. Have to admit that the natural way definitely beats the incubator!

Re: Chicks have Hatched!!!!!!

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:10 pm
by fredc
You can test the other eggs by putting them one at a time into a bowl of hot water. If there is a live chick inside it will float to the top and move about. If there are no live chicks then I would move your hen to ground level right away.

Re: Chicks have Hatched!!!!!!

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:26 pm
by Odsox
Sound advice, although I would add not HOT water so much as WARM water. It must be the same temperature as the egg (about 37c) or the thermal shock could kill the chick.

Re: Chicks have Hatched!!!!!!

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:27 pm
by HelenD
Thank you fredc and Odsox. I actually have a candling torch, which is probably safer for me to use as I'm likely to cook the eggs. The chicks, from the very brief look I got before she hid them, seem to be up on their feet nicely, so I shall probably move them this evening. We have a separate section she can go in so she should hopefully be happy. :)