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first time broody hen hatching + ducks + pheasant orphans - advice needed

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

 

I have a broody hen sitting on 10 eggs + 4 duck eggs and they are due tommorow. We had 2 cracked eggs, but sealed them with wax and hoping for the best.

 

The question: I have another three hens sitting on eggs - at one point the broodines spread like the disease and everyone wanted to sit on eggs. After some interventions from us there were left these three that were unstoppable and we caved in and let them sit. So another one is due in a week and she is sitting next to the one that is due tomorrow. I am wondering what will happen when tomorrow the eggs hatch - will she remain on her eggs or leave them for the chicks that hatch? I have read that hens can raise the chicks together but there is another week until they both have chicks. Anyone with similar experience?

 

Also, to make things more interesting, today a friend brought a pheasant chick and an egg about to hatch rescued from a field after a mower destroyed their nest, killing the rest of the chicks. We gave the egg to the hen and are planing to give the chick to her tomorrow to hopefully adopt, after her chicks hatch.

post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

Well, since nobody else has any thoughts, I am going to update :)

 

The pheasant chick is safely nested under his new mama hen, two ducklings have hatched and are happily bouncing around and another one has his beak out of the shell. The pheasant egg is under the hen and still whole, as are all of the chicken eggs for now.

 

I have found a dead chick yesterday (a day early) - it was already squished under the hen and I am not sure what was the cause of death, it had no wounds. I was afraid the hen killed him, so I was supervising a few times during the night when the ducklings started coming out but she is great with them, so I guess he just came out early? Don't know how that could have happened. Maybe she did squish him by accident, it is her first hatching :(

 

The other hen is ignoring all of the fuss next to her, but when an egg cracks - she starts checking the eggs under herself. It is quite funny :)

post #3 of 3

I usually separate my broody hens from the main flock. That way the chicks don't get hurt by the other chicken. I have some turkeys, two of the hens were nesting next to each other and the eggs hatch about the same time. What happened was that the poults would come out from under one hen and then they would go under the other hen. After all the eggs hatch from both hens. One hen was attacking the other hen. The alpha has most of the poults and the other one has one or two. When they go out to free range, both of them take care of the poults but once they go back into the pen, they go to their own nest and the babies just get under one of them. You may have the same issue once the chicks hatch, they may come out and go to the other hen thinking that that is the mom ,or the hens may fight each other.   

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