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Broody RIR hatching eggs questions

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I'm fairly new to the poultry thing although I did grow up in a rural area of northern IL where our neighbors had chickens and as a young lad I would help care for them from time to time.

Last spring I ordered 18 RIR 1 day old hens, not the production ones. I lost one in the brooder but 17 made it. This late winter I purchased a young RIR rooster off of Craigslist list from a local poultry farmer. I've verified that yes indeed my roo is doing his job and fertilizing eggs.

I have 1 RIR hen that has been sitting on the nest for 7 straight days now. I have not seen her get off the nest once in those 7 days. Although she might, I don't monitor the chickens too closely. She is in one of the 6 nest boxes I built that is 6 foot off the coop floor. Every time I even get near her she lets me know she doesn't want me there. She puffs up her feathers and makes a evil sound like a velociraptor or something. I did quickly feel underneath her at day 3 and best I could tell she was sitting on 4 eggs. I did this quickly because she put up a fuss and pecked my arm several times. I grabbed three other freshly laid eggs and stuck under her though. So I know she is sitting on a minimum of 7 eggs.

Being a newbie I have a few questions/concerns that I would like to bounce off you guys.

1) I understand from reading here that chicken eggs take a minimum of 21 days to hatch. So I should expect a staggered hatching. My nest boxes are 6 foot off the coop floor. How are the chicks going to get down after they hatch without a death leap to the coop floor. Granted there is a lot of wood chips on the floor becuase I do the deep litter method but still that's a long fall for a chick.

2) I thought about moving the broody hen into a large dog crate, linning the floor of it with hay, making a nest and putting the eggs in there. But honestly she would be a pretty ****** off hen if I did that. So I just decided to leave her be. My question is I've never seen this hen off the nest in 7 days. Does she get off the nest to eat and drink? Surely she must or she would die - am I right? Short of setting up a wireless video camera out there - I may never know.

3) How should I handle the staggered hatch? Should I stick the newly hatched chicks in a brooder as I see them? or should I just let momma do her naturally born instinct thing she does? Again I don't know how the chicks are going to get down out of the nest box that's 6 foot high off the coop floor. Not do I know what the other 16 hens and roo may do to them, is there a chance they may be pecked to death by the other hens or roo?

Any advise would surely be most appreciated as I'm new to the whole chicken thing.

Thanks
Edited by crealbilly - 5/10/16 at 6:08pm
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Moving to the broody hen thread - I just seen it smile.png

Please delete this thread
Edited by crealbilly - 5/10/16 at 7:00pm
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