Originally Posted by Faraday40
I tried slipping my Dominique eggs under a broody. (I thought I'd save her 2 weeks of incubation.) She was unsettled by me moving her into the broody box & abandoned the eggs. I found them covered with poo & cold the next morning. I turned the incubator back on & one actually hatched - well over 24 hrs late.
In some tough hatches, a broody can have a higher hatch rate. My bantam orp did much better hatching bantam eggs than I did with the incubator. However, I must admit that I was very upset with the other broody for killing some of my Dominique eggs.
The temperature is not a big deal for a broody. If it were me (& she was strongly brooding), I'd give her 1 egg & then slip the rest of the chicks under when they hatch. I believe the mama's hormones change as she feels the eggs hatch. Mama also talks to the chicks as they hatch, so it helps them bond. I have slipped a few chicks under a hen during the 1st 24 hrs with no problems. When I tried to do it at day 4, the hen tried to attack the new chicks to protect her own babies.
Speaking of broodies, my own had a rough day. Her chicks went to their new home. She was calling for them. Then the other hens tried to pick on her, a roo wanted to mate, & a giant hawk kept making fly bys. I had to lock her up inside the broody cage for her own safety. On the other hand, her chicks had no problem with the separation. I gave them a nice warm, dark box and put a microwavable pad under the box. They snuggled in & fell asleep. It was a very quiet ride. (I was expecting a lot of peeping for mama.) I had a nice visit with chickendreams24 then drove to Great America to enjoy Fright Fest.
Awww poor girl, hopefully she will be back to her old self soon. And why do the other hens pick on the poor friend who is in distress? All mine did the same thing with Coco when she was having a hard time breathing. I don't understand that at all and I just wanted to scold them all!
And as for my broody, I think I am going to take your advice and put 1-2 eggs under her, and once they have hatched, then slip the incubator chicks under. I hope she makes it til this Saturday, she has been setting for over 2 weeks and I think she is on lockdown, cause I didn't see her come off the nest today. I am going to have to go back and look at my posts to see when she began setting. I have to start a Chicken Journal!
I know you aren't suppose to be able to reliably wing sex Orps, but I have had decent results doing so with my blues. So I will see if they are correct for my Splash orps. If going by wing sexing, I would say I have 3 girls, if I was going by just looking at their size and stance at day 3 I would say 2 girls and 1 boy. Can't wait to see! Then, I sat down and began a breeding chart of who I could breed to who, and playing with the chicken calculator. Can't wait til next spring!