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It sure is spring. In the last few days, chicks have been hatching like popcorn. Two batches I was aware of, two not. So today I got everyone situated, I thought. Long story short, one Mom took three of her babies out foraging, and left two behind. They were all together at 2:00, but at 5:00 I found she'd left two on their own. Both looked pretty bad, but the smallest was out flat and silent. Brought them in with a heating bottle and a light, but without much hope. Tried to get some sugar water in them, and thought I'd drowned the littlest one.
Somehow, s/he survived my care, and both are up and around. Both have at least "tested" the water, and seem to be eating.
I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips. Anything you may have done, or even heard of that might help. I'm thinking I'll mix an electrolyte solution tomorrow and offer it a couple of times, just for a boost.
I would do as Loon says to,it would be easier and less work for you in the long run.Take them out at night and slip them under her so they will stay warm.Put her in a crate or fence in a portion of your coop with a heat lamp.I keep two heat lamps going for my silkie babies to get under when then mom is busy eating ,and they run to get under them to warm up then run after mom agiain.They are outside with the moms now and they will still come in and get under the lights to warm up.They are 2 weeks to three weeks old.I does not take them long to learn where the heat lamp is,I put the food and water under it to keep it warm to.I have the water and foood sitting on a patio block and it absorbs the heat as well.
That would certainly be the best solution, but I don't think I can make it work. The coop she's in is also the one that has the nest boxes, and she's under them. No way I can figure to block that part and have enough "space" for Mom and chicks to move around (or for Mom to stand up). The other places I could have put them are now occupied, and while I will try to cobble something together, space will still be an issue.
It may be they are not going to live anyway. Their light went out sometime between 3-6 this am. They huddled together and covered themselves, but this can't be a good thing.
I wasn't prepared, and that's the bottom line. I knowingly let two hens have their nests, and added some I wanted to hatch, but the other two stealth broodies got me.
Catmad you are having a time of it!! I feel for you! My chicks are doing well but Tuwanda's little brood is so way out of sinc its not funny! She started setting apparently earlier than I thought! She continued to lay eggs too, or "Sweet Tater" was adding to the lot with out my knowing. She hatched 3 babies two days earlier than I expected , I had added 2 Maran eggs, only one hatched, the other died because she was through setting and it got cold fully formed in the shell. She still has 4 or 5 eggs in the nest so I sure they wont hatch. All I have to say is that when a Mama decides to leave the setting and get down to business of raising the brood , she does just that! She knows who will make it and who wont! Then again, if tiny newly hatched do not keep up with Mom , that is a good indication that they werent going to make it anyway... survival depends on who can keep up with Mom. Now Catmad you are their Mom and they will be alright!
That's about how I figured it, too. My "rescued" Phoenix chicks (I moved the nest) hatched 3 days early. I KNOW she wasn't setting, because she was in the coop every night but the night before her nest was found, and that's what I counted as day one. Unless the local 'possum sat on them, I don't know how _that_ happened.
The two chicks may have company soon. One of my Momhens gets frantic when I try to add food and water (they're in a birdcage), and I'm afraid she'll kill them inadvertantly. I'll set up (sigh) my brooder tub, and try to get them out, and put them all together. The odd thing was that the chicks all hatched within two days. At least there are no age issues :)