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Aus

Help Looking After Chicks, In An Aviary...

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Our hen who we tried everything we could to stop her laying has finally won and managed to lay & hatch an egg.

 

Some history, we tried everything to stop her, we took her out of the Aviary for 6 weeks before returning her to the Aviary, she would lay off the perches and smash the eggs, she laid in the feeders and we changed them around until we ran out of options. We finally decided to give in and we set up a cage we could pop her and her Cock into so they could breed without a worry.

 

Today we where going to move them, but when we went to the aviary to check them this morning we could hear chirping from one of the feed bowls she's taken up residents in. Finally worked up the courage to have a look this afternoon and she's got a healthy looking chick, just started to grow Down, so it hatched during the week sometime.

 

Should mention that we knew she had eggs in there and we'd not taken this round out since every time we took to eggs out and refilled the seed bowl she would empty it and lay more eggs, we thought if we just let her keep them until we could move her it would help settle her down..none of her other eggs have ever hatched, and when I checked it last weekend she had about 10 eggs in there.

 

There is still two eggs left in the bowl one looks like it might hatch soon, has dark shadows inside, and the other is a Cream colour (so not fertile, right? that's what all her other eggs looked like)

 

I'm a bit worried about what to do now, we never intended to Colony breed, and tried everything to stop this Hen but she was determined to breed. One of our other Hens is keen to see the chick she's over there looking as soon as Mum pops out of the bowl. Do I need to worry about the other Hen wanting to kill the chick? Can I move Mum, Dad and the bowl into the other cage without upsetting them too much? Any advise on what to do now would really be appreciated now I've got a chick I don't want to lose it.. Should I put something in the bowl to stop the chick having issues from the Stainless Steel making it too cold etc??

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I would personally move them mother, father and chick with there nesting place into a safe place. That hen that's having a nose might not nessiasarly kill the chicks but she could steal them and hurt the mother hen in the process of claiming them. But I would also wait for the other members opinions also because I have completly moved house with a mother nesting with four chicks before (they were her first clutch too) And she was fine so was dad and the chicks but the oldest chicks were almost fledging age so that may have had something to do with the success of the move. Also I never changed their cages I just moved house (which is still stressful anyway)

 

I hope all is well.

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moving the chick into a proper nextbox might help.i use to clean out nexting boxes and leave the chicks in a open bowl then when it was clean i would put the chicks back in and the mums would take the babies back but depending or your type of cock or hen this could be diffrent but the baby must be moved to a nesting box please let me know how you go

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Hi, I think the danger to chick from other hen would be a bigger risk than moving her. If your "nest bowl" would fit into your cage I'd leave chick and eggs in it and put it into cage as is. Maybe put Mum & Dad in first then add bowl. Once they are in cage she may use a nest box after other eggs have hatched, When I clean my nest box's I take out chicks to a temp box, clean the box, put in new wood shavings etc then replace chicks, haven't had a problem, yet.

 

If your cage doesn't allow this I'd prepare the nest box in cage. Add Mum & Dad to cage. CROSS FINGERS transfer chicks and eggs( without much movement) from bowl to nest box. Them keep really close eye to see Mum goes into box. Maybe if she gets to rear a chick or 2 she may stop the chronic egg laying.

Over to you, but let us know how you go whatever you decide. :)

 

P.S. as to putting in nest material, you could add seed, rolled oats or wood shavings etc but she may toss it out,worth a try. Stainless steel would be very slippery and chick could end up splayed without something to get a grip on in the bowl.

Edited by robyn

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Thanks Everyone :)

 

Hubbie is going to use his woodworking skills to make a concave wood base to fit into the bowl tomorrow once he's done we'll move Mum & Dad and the chick into the other cage, I'll take the chance while doing move to weigh the little guy and have a good look at him and snap some photo's too. Fingers crossed Mum will be okay with the Move, she's been in the cage before so its not a new environment for her.

 

I'll let you know how we go tomorrow.

 

Thanks again for the advice.

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Moving didn't work, we put the wood in the bottom of the bowl & moved everyone to the other cage, and she wouldn't go back in the bowl she totally ignored the poor chick, we ended up moving them all back. Once they where back she was right in there...

 

We'll have to try something else...

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Hi can you move the other birds in the aviary until the chick fledges or a least the inquisitive hen, then when the chick is flying you can put the pair into the cage to breed in a box or she will just go back to the feed bowl.

Cheers Jenny

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Moving didn't work, we put the wood in the bottom of the bowl & moved everyone to the other cage, and she wouldn't go back in the bowl she totally ignored the poor chick, we ended up moving them all back. Once they where back she was right in there...

 

We'll have to try something else...

 

Just curious as to how long you waited to see if the hen would feed the chick. Maybe she just needed more time.

 

I agree with Hilly that if you are going to keep the parents and chick in the aviary, you need to at least remove the nosey hen. And if you can't remove all the rest of the birds, you might end up needing to remove each new nosey hen, one at a time, because I think other hens is what poses the most danger.

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We left them for about 4 hours it was starting to get cold so we didn't want to leave him without warmth.

 

We added seed to the bowl this morning, tomorrow morning we're going to put cardboard in the bottom with seed on top, if she's okay with that we'll try moving them on Saturday morning, then I'll be able to keep and eye on them all day.

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If your hen didn't sit on eggs for four hours they may have chilled and could be d.i.s. is there any way of placing a cage type cover over bowl with chick and parents as well and leave it where it is? Just a thought. :unsure:

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Yeah the egg was dead, when we added the cardboard to the bottom of the bowl this morning I checked the egg, it was cracked open and hard on the inside. She's been okay with the cardboard in the bottom and the little guy is going good, his eyes are starting to open, We'll move them again on Saturday morning and see how they go I think we left it too late in the day when we moved them the first time. The other her is just curious I think she's never see a Chick, besides when she was one. She's my oldest girl had her for maybe 5 years now.

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Good News we moved them again this morning :) Patch (hen) was back in the bowl with the baby within 10 minutes :) All three seem happy now :) One small issue is the chick has a cut on his head, it happened during the day yesterday, he was fine when i checked him in the morning but went i got home and checked him it was there, it looks like it is healing okay, do i need to put anything on it???

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Sorry nobody answered your question sooner. After five days, the chick is probably healed by now, right? I would not have put anything on it, just watched it. But maybe other people would put ointment on. I think that would just make a mess, and the mother would try to pick it off.

 

Do you have any idea what caused the cut?

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agree with Finnie since you had just moved them, best to leave alone if it wasn't bleeding still.

 

Hope you can give an update

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Hi All :)

 

He's doing really well, the cut is fully healed, We Checked Mum & Dad over when we moved them and Mum had broken egg stuck on her that had sharp edges so I think that was the cause of the cut.

 

Here is a couple of photo's of our little guy, Not sure what colour he's (She's?) going to be, Mum is Black/Grey & White Pied & Dad's just a normal Blue.

 

baby19-101-web.jpg

 

Baby19-102-web.jpg

Edited by Aus

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Hi Aus. chick looks great, looks like could be more mum's colouring. If little tail feathers aren't showing blue you could have a pied. Few more days will tell. Great work to keep it going with all drama's Mum & Dad could be great parents. :P

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He's Blue, here are some photo's of him today, he's a cute little guy, Hubbie has named him Moe :)

IMG_1206.jpg

Edited by Aus

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Hi Perhaps this will help in the future. Re, EGG LAYING

It is quite normal for a mated or an un-mated hen to lay eggs. It will NOT automatically lead to her death.

Years ago, records from a Belgium laboratory the number of eggs laid by un-mated hens in any one

season have ranged from 1 to 30.... Over a 9 yr period one hen laid 300 eggs.

Rather than go into the complicated changes that take place in a hens body as she reaches maturity.

I'll keep it very simple & say, under normal conditions, a hens egg laying cycle is controlled by her

hormonal level which rises as conditions become suitable for raising a family & lower at the seasons

end for the moult, rest & recuperation.

 

The advice (Cure) for this so called, problem usually entails some disruption to the hens environment.

 

Hens with a low hormonal level will only lay a very few eggs approx only 1 or 2, before stopping.

Giving the impression that it was due to the changes to her daily routine. (So the cure works?)

 

Hens with a normal hormone level can lay a full clutch of eggs approx 5 or 6, before stopping.

Again giving the impression they have stopped due to constant harassment. (So the cure works?)

 

Hens with a high hormonal level can lay a full seasons compliment of eggs, 18 to 20 before stopping.

They are immune to any & all the owners efforts to stop her laying. (So the cure doesn't work.)

 

When it comes to so called cures. They all work if you persevere.......Sometimes.....B.J.

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wonderful work Aus, you have a great looking bird there. Is this one staying inside as a pet or joining the rest?

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Moe's going in the Aviary with everyone else, Mum is in the nesting box with 5 eggs now, she's been in there for the last 2 weeks, Dad's doing a great job of looking after both Mum and Moe :)

Edited by Aus

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We have another chick :) only a few days old, we're waiting to see if any of the other 5 eggs hatch :) Chick looks good so Mum's doing a good job so far :)

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