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hens sitting on eggs

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Not sure if I am posting this in the right area but I have four hens that are sitting on eggs.  Two are sitting separately and two are sitting together on one set of eggs.  Right now I have 10 hens and 2 roosters and they are all together.  I do let them out of the pen during the day.

                           - how long do the hens sit before the chicks hatch
                           - once the chicks hatch should I dispose of the other eggs that didn't hatch
                           - will the hens take care of the chicks or should I separate
                           - will the other hens and roosters hurt the baby chicks

Thank you for help!

post #2 of 11

There is a lot of great material on this site about all your questions, you should check it out.

I just hatched my first eggs under a broody hen.  They took 23 days.
I marked then end of the eggs with a sharpie (date) becasue other hens kept laying eggs in the nest everyday.
I did not seperate her until the eggs hatched and one of my other hens tried to eat the new baby chick ACK! The I moved them to a dog kennel.
Candle at day 10 to see which ones are keepers.
I disected and discarded the ones that didn't hatch-was pretty intersting.

Good luck being patient-that was the hardest part for me.

 Advocate of Chicken Math. New chickens, new rules same old poop,

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 Advocate of Chicken Math. New chickens, new rules same old poop,

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post #3 of 11

I too utilize mother nature for my hatching. I currently have 5 hens sitting on 3 nests. 1 is on one and two are on the other two nests. I had my first experience with a hen hatch last year. They took 23-25 days. I notice they do happen to take a few days longer to hatch under a hen for some strange reason. Try to reisit the temptation to touch the eggs or bother the hen a lot while it is okay to take a couple eggs at a time out from under her to candle them and as suggested above I would do it around day 10. Make sure you study the candling photos you can find on the site. Candling can be VERY tricky when you are inexperienced. Also, here are the answers to your questions:

- how long do the hens sit before the chicks hatchas I said anywhere from 23-25 days


                           - once the chicks hatch should I dispose of the other eggs that didn't hatchIf the hen stops sitting on them yes, if she still continues to sit I would let them go a couple extra days maybe up to 28 days I have had some that took that long. Not sure why but I have seen it, so if she wants to sit let her.
                           - will the hens take care of the chicks or should I separatesometimes a hen can be broody but not want to mother the chicks when they hatch, you will have to watch her and see what happens. If she doesnt get off the remaining eggs, she may not mother. You may have to put them in a brooder. Either way, you will probably have to seperate them. Especially with a roo in there. He will not be prone to taking the chicks being in his territory. Also the other hens may get jealous, either way I have seen a chick get pecked to death, thankfully not one of mine but I is the most likely turnout so I would be sure to seperate the hen and the chicks, if you want to let her finish sitting then but some sort of a shield over the front of the nest with food and water in it for her and the chicks. So she can still take care of the chicks and the eggs.
                           - will the other hens and roosters hurt the baby chicksanswered above


Hope that helps you, HAVE FUN and good luck! It is very hard not to be impatient with hen hatching because you really cant just watch the eggs, you have to check the nest and wait lol. It is addicting though soon you will find yourself investing in an incubator!

More birds than I care to count... just reminds me of the feed bill.... 5yo DD, 5yo pup, 8yo pup, and 5 yo kitty
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6827544#p6827544 < <<<< BEAD SWAP!
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More birds than I care to count... just reminds me of the feed bill.... 5yo DD, 5yo pup, 8yo pup, and 5 yo kitty
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6827544#p6827544 < <<<< BEAD SWAP!
Reply
post #4 of 11

Some people have reported that chicks will hatch out earlier when the eggs are incubated by the hen.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated"

 

Small kitchen flock of 2 Welsummer hens, 2 SLW hens, and 2 Production Red hens.

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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated"

 

Small kitchen flock of 2 Welsummer hens, 2 SLW hens, and 2 Production Red hens.

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post #5 of 11

ok question related to this, i put 2 hens in a separate cage with a rooster both hens laid eggs, i took one hen out after about 14 eggs were laid between the 2 hens. THe hen that is in the cage with the rooster still only appears to sit on the eggs when she is going to lay a new one...so the question is when will she start sitting on them to hatch them? or when should i start counting the days til they hatch i guess would be the way to word the question?

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaleyC09 

ok question related to this, i put 2 hens in a separate cage with a rooster both hens laid eggs, i took one hen out after about 14 eggs were laid between the 2 hens. THe hen that is in the cage with the rooster still only appears to sit on the eggs when she is going to lay a new one...so the question is when will she start sitting on them to hatch them? or when should i start counting the days til they hatch i guess would be the way to word the question?


She might not ever decide to sit on the eggs. A hen will go broody if/when when her body tells her too and nothing you can do will change that. You don't need to leave eggs in the nest, I had three hens start sitting on nothing but pine shavings. Some breeds are more likely to go broody then others, what breed(s) are your hens?

post #7 of 11

They are buff orpington which i believe are broody.

post #8 of 11

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/thumbs/57041_1.jpg

I think shes starting to sit on them now, Ive went out three times the last couple hours and she has been on them

post #9 of 11

Yes, Orpingtons are know as a broody breed so hopefully she'll set for you. You really don't need to let them collect eggs to get them going though, when they're ready they'll go broody whether or not there are eggs in the box.

My BO went broody in an empty nest box and after a week or two I stuck some day old EE chicks under her at night--she's a great mommy and even though I left her and the chicks in with the rest of the flock nobody messes with her babies. She's very protective and thumps up on any other chook that looks sideways at her family.

Hope yours hatches out some chicks for you, I love watching the broody mommas with their little ones.

post #10 of 11

sometimes if you have 2 hens setting, you have different days that the eggs were layed... unless you have a good count. I had a hen setting and chickens kept climbing in there and laying eggs in her nest! We put the hen and chicks by themselves in a different pen/area so they can be safe. other chickens may go after the chicks. Otherwise it takes 21 days for chicken eggs, 26-28 days for duck and turkeys.

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