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ADVICE NEEDED ASAP RE: broody hen, eggs hatching, and chicks

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We had 28 fertile eggs in the incubator and they are hatching now, right on time. We also have a broody hen. We put her in her own pen a few days ago and gave her 5 of the 28 eggs. Two chicks already hatched with her but one died IN the box and the other right outside the box. I'm guessing the one got squished and the other got cold ... it got out of the box but couldn't get back in I guess??? The hen was obviously stressed (but prior to the deaths she was content). I took the dead ones out and put the remaining three back into the incubator.
What to do now? I'm thinking we'll remove the nest box and she can just have a nest right on the floor. Once a few chicks are dry I'll put them with her ... if that goes well I'll put more with her .... unless you have a better idea?
Suggestions please! Thank you!
post #2 of 8

A hen that has been brooding for a short time is not a good candidate for instant motherhood. Even an experienced hen is likely to not accept chicks as her own.  Quite possibly the hen killed the chicks as intruding on her nest. Let the hen brood and hatch eggs or give her new chicks after she has brooded longer; a week and a half. Giving this hen dried off chicks now might end in the chick's deaths.


Edited by nchls school - 4/28/16 at 11:43am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nchls school View Post

A hen that has been brooding for a short time is not a good candidate for instant motherhood. Even an experienced hen is likely to not accept chicks as her own.  Quite possibly the hen killed the chicks as intruding on her nest. Let the hen brood and hatch eggs or give her new chicks after she has brooded longer; a week and a half. Giving this hen dried off chicks now might end in the chick's deaths.
She's been very consistently broody for nearly a month - we just moved her to a private pen .....
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nchls school View Post

A hen that has been brooding for a short time is not a good candidate for instant motherhood. Even an experienced hen is likely to not accept chicks as her own.  Quite possibly the hen killed the chicks as intruding on her nest. Let the hen brood and hatch eggs or give her new chicks after she has brooded longer; a week and a half. Giving this hen dried off chicks now might end in the chick's deaths.
I should also say she had fertile eggs under her for a few weeks but when she got up for a quick drink and bite to eat another hen took the box (she was brooding in the favored nest box). So she moved to another box.
post #5 of 8

Then it should work well; especially if she is an experienced mom.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nchls school View Post

Then it should work well; especially if she is an experienced mom.
I really appreciate your thoughts. She's NOT an experienced mother ... just been broody for about a month. She is so content to sit too. I think what I'll do is play it as safe as possible - we're going to sell the males so I'll start by putting a few of them with her and see how it goes. If all seems well, I'll add a few more. If all still seems well, we'll give her all the pullets and sell the cokerels.
Thanks again!
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by easyvilleacres View Post


I really appreciate your thoughts. She's NOT an experienced mother ... just been broody for about a month. She is so content to sit too. I think what I'll do is play it as safe as possible - we're going to sell the males so I'll start by putting a few of them with her and see how it goes. If all seems well, I'll add a few more. If all still seems well, we'll give her all the pullets and sell the cokerels.
Thanks again!


Then I'd recommend that you put the chicks with the egg shells under the hen at night in complete darkness. In the morning, hopefully, the hen will accept them as hers. Remove any eggs that are under her when you put the chicks with her. Be sure to check at first light in case the hen does not accept the chicks.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
All is well - she's the proud "mama" of 12 smile.png thanks again.
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