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How long does broody hen have to sit on eggs till they hatch?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have one hen that is Broody and is siting on a bunch of eggs.  I took 5 and left 5 and marked with a permanent marker so I take new eggs everyday.  How long before they hatch?  Been sitting 4 days now.

Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
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Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
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post #2 of 9

Takes 21 days I don't count the 1st couple of days I think mine hatched on day 21 after I moved her to a new nest.

a very loving and patient  husband  4 kids 2 daughter 2 sons 2 granddaughters 6 dogs, 6 cats, 1 ferret,
3 bantams 2 Plymouth barred rock. 2  buffs 1 Red star sex links , 1 black star sex links, 2 Australops, 1 Very sweet bantam rooster. 2 barnyard mix hens                                           
the love child story. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.ph...
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a very loving and patient  husband  4 kids 2 daughter 2 sons 2 granddaughters 6 dogs, 6 cats, 1 ferret,
3 bantams 2 Plymouth barred rock. 2  buffs 1 Red star sex links , 1 black star sex links, 2 Australops, 1 Very sweet bantam rooster. 2 barnyard mix hens                                           
the love child story. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.ph...
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post #3 of 9

Once a hen starts to firmly set on the eggs, not get up and walk around during the day, her body temp will rise and bring all the eggs to the same stage of development.  Once that rise starts, an egg will need between 21-23 days.  Most will hatch on day 21-22, but a few stragglers will come along late. 

Usually, when a hen gets up off the nest and walks away with the brood, the remaining eggs are duds.  Rarely have I seen a hen leave a nest with viable chicks still in it.  (but it does happen)  I always check the eggs, listen closely, give them the sniff test, gently tap or shake to see if it is liquidy or worse thuddy.  Those are bad signs. 

Good Luck!

Proud Customer Service Rep for Purely Poultry.  Mom to 1 Great Dane and 1 Lab Mix, 2 Long hair Sibling Cats (that hate each other), Flock of 72 NPIP tested birds and their abundant offspring!   6 pet Rabbits, 6 Ringneck doves, and 2 House Quail.  (no lords a leaping here!)  B-)
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Proud Customer Service Rep for Purely Poultry.  Mom to 1 Great Dane and 1 Lab Mix, 2 Long hair Sibling Cats (that hate each other), Flock of 72 NPIP tested birds and their abundant offspring!   6 pet Rabbits, 6 Ringneck doves, and 2 House Quail.  (no lords a leaping here!)  B-)
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

she does get up and walk around a little.  She eats and forages.  Why should I move her?  She is in a nesting box inside coop.  I have 20 nesting box's.

Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
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Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
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post #5 of 9

I think it's okay for her to get up and walk around a few times a day.   You just don't want her to leave the eggs for too long.  Mine used to go outside and run around for a few minutes and just when I thought the eggs were getting too cold, she'd come back and sit on them again. 

Mine hatched inside a nesting box in a coop and were just fine.  Most people recommend moving a broody hen and her eggs to a different spot, like a cage.  Sometimes when the broody hen gets off the nest, she gets confused and gets back on the wrong eggs.  (No one said chickens were smart). 

She is also an easy target for predators if the coop isn't secure.  When the chicks hatch, it's important to make sure they won't fall out of the nesting box.  If you do move her, make sure she still has room to get up and stretch.  Put food and water in the cage for her.  and BEWARE OF THE BROODY POO!  You'll know it when you smell it!

Good luck!

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

when her eggs hatch will the other hens or 3 Roosters bother the chicks.  It is large coop with 20 nesting box's and a large roost and floor plan to exercise, they are locked in at night and have a very large fenced in area with netting over.  hawks are a big problem here.  Lost 7 to wessels, 1 year ago, but have corrected that problem

Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
Reply
Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
Reply
post #7 of 9

It is usually recommended to separate a broody but I usually don't.  Or if I separate her while she is setting, I turn them all loose in the coop a day or two after hatch.  While she's setting, it prevents others from bothering her and climbing in her nest to lay which can result in jostled or broken eggs.  It also prevents her from stealing others' eggs to add to her clutch.  She's pretty much in a trance so it's not going to bother her much.  The down side is, unless you have a small coop or pen where she can walk around, she really isn't going to get much exercise at all.  They lose weight and muscle mass as it is.  They should get up once or twice a day and just be a chicken for 10 or 20 minutes.  All mine have done a good job of keeping the rest of the flock away from the chicks, so when she stopped mothering them (usually around 4 weeks) the chicks were already accepted as being part of the group, so no integration issues.  They hang around together, by themselves, til full grown, but no vicious attacks on them.  Roosters sometimes help the mama raise the chicks; I've never seen one attack them.

Now I've only done this 5 or 6 times so I'm no expert.  Here's an article from one:

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #8 of 9

I didnt read the article posted above, but as far as moving the hen and chicks goes, I think it depends on your flock, and your hens place in that flock.  There are a lot of variables, and for safety's sake, I move the hen and chicks. 

Sadly, I have had super hens leave thier nest to protect a single chick that fell to the floor, causing the remaining eggs to die.  and vice versa, a hen stay on the eggs, while the chicks fall out and die. 

I have had hens picked at till bloody by other hens who can hear and want the chicks, or chicks taken out from under a hen.  And I have had hens that get so protective they drive everyone else out of the coop completely! 

They are peculiar creatures, and as variable as we are, so to make it easier on everyone, I put the hen and her chicks in a 'hatching hutch'.  These are modified Rabbit hutches that give them a quiet dark back room, and a sunny open area for mom to teach and feed the babies.  When everyone is 5-7 days old, I open the hutch, give them a ramp, and let em go!  she will lead them out and back in at night.  Tho sometimes you have to help the chicks figure out the ramp for a day or two. 

Later, when she is ready to 'wean' them, she goes back to the coop, and the smart chicks go with her, the others go into the hutch, and I have to move them for a couple nights till they get the idea. 

Good Luck!

Proud Customer Service Rep for Purely Poultry.  Mom to 1 Great Dane and 1 Lab Mix, 2 Long hair Sibling Cats (that hate each other), Flock of 72 NPIP tested birds and their abundant offspring!   6 pet Rabbits, 6 Ringneck doves, and 2 House Quail.  (no lords a leaping here!)  B-)
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Proud Customer Service Rep for Purely Poultry.  Mom to 1 Great Dane and 1 Lab Mix, 2 Long hair Sibling Cats (that hate each other), Flock of 72 NPIP tested birds and their abundant offspring!   6 pet Rabbits, 6 Ringneck doves, and 2 House Quail.  (no lords a leaping here!)  B-)
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Its 7 days now she has been sitting on the eggs.  She is pretty mellow and sometimes there are other hens laying in the nesting box with her.  The box is about 16" off the floor, so when the chicks are born I will move them down to the bottom box under neath the one she is in now.  Do you think I have to get "start and grow feed" for the chicks...won't the other hens eat that feed?  What does the hen feed them, otherwise?
I will have to take the large basin of water out of the coop, chicks could drown. I will put the biddie waterer in there instead.  hens and Rooster's usually drink outside basin anyway, except at night when they are locked in coop.  LOTS of predators here, especially the Hawks.

Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
Reply
Retired and enjoying life in beautiful Green Sea, S.C.  Am now pursuing all the things I have wanted to do all my life, raising produce, chickens, horses and now Bee keeping.
Reply
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