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Yet another broody question.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Can you tell in their behavior when the eggs are about to hatch? 

My hen seems a little restless in her box right now and I'm not sure if the eggs are about to hatch or what, or if she's cold. She is at day 21 right now, so I expect chicks today or tomorrow. 

 

Also, what is the probability of her actually hatching out the eggs? Shes been laying on them non stop, barely coming out to eat, just like she should be doing. But its been cold here, especially for SC. It snowed Saturday and Sunday was very cold, last night was colder and today isn't looking great for warming up. She has a ton of hay and a really deep nest of hay, pine shavings and feathers. I also put a heat lamp in there for her yesterday because I think the cold and lack of the proper amount of food is taking a toll on her. 

Will she even hatch the eggs out? Has she been able to keep them warm enough? 

1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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post #2 of 15

Exciting!!!

I've noticed my broodies usually don't get out of the box for one or two days before hatching. I also noticed the "restlessness" you mentioned - I think they are changing positions as needed as the hatching goes on. So... it surely looks like you're going to get some new chicks today!!

 

She will not get out of the box until all "feasible" eggs hatch. I once had a broody that had 7 eggs under her. Six hatched within 2 h of each other, and she continued to stay in the box for 2 more days. I was about to throw the last egg away, when it hatched!!! So she is communicating with the chick, leave it to her, mother knows best :-)

Poop Cleaner Extraordinaire...

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Poop Cleaner Extraordinaire...

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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I hope I get some chicks today! She needs to eat! haha. I saw her out the day before yesterday, she didn't come out at all yesterday and I just opened the door and she hasn't been out. She also didn't seem so aggressive when I started talking to her. So maybe there will be some chicks soon! 

 

She's laying on 15 eggs, would she be able to keep them all warm enough even though its been so cold? She is jersey giant and quite large. 

1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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post #4 of 15

My hens will become restless before the eggs hatch because she is adjusting their positions, making sure they stay warm, and communicating to the chicks, encouraging them to hatch.The probability of her hatching eggs is far higher than a human hatching eggs in an incubator. She naturally turns them and knows what temp to keep them. I had a broody hen who hatched the first of February this year and she hatched all of hers. I wouldn't really worry about her keeping the eggs warm as long as she is in a sheltered area. She uses her skin and feathers to keep the eggs warm, and since she is warm-blooded, she can produce her own body heat. As far as keeping her warm, to make her comfortable you can put a light in with her for warmth but it is not necessary. I do believe you will have an excellent batch of chicks wink.png

post #5 of 15

Keeps us updated on the hatch!  :-)

Poop Cleaner Extraordinaire...

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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys! That makes me feel so much better. I would say the last 21 or so days I have been been really worried about her! haha. 

Yay for chicks! I guess I should start getting the chick feeders out and getting everything ready for the arrival! 

1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

Reply
post #7 of 15

If you don't think she will come off the nest to eat or drink, then hold a small water dish in front of her so she will drink. You might do the same with a feed dish. In other words...give her breakfast in bed .  It sounds like she will have a good hatch. A heat lamp is a good idea so if any babies get out from under her, they still should stay warm. Make sure heat lamp is not too high nor too low. You don't want them overheated. Heat lamp should be a red bulb and not white.


Edited by ladytoysdream - 2/18/13 at 7:48am

60 chickens + 3  roosters. Started with mainly buff orpingtons.
March 2010 first time hatching w 1 broody & 2 incubators
Started serious Spring 2009.  Raise own replacements. Closed flock.

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60 chickens + 3  roosters. Started with mainly buff orpingtons.
March 2010 first time hatching w 1 broody & 2 incubators
Started serious Spring 2009.  Raise own replacements. Closed flock.

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post #8 of 15

I don't know your setup, but I keep my flock together (a lot of people separate the mom and chicks for a while) - so, when I have a broody with chicks, I change the feed for all the flock - instead of layer feed, everybody gets to eat chick starter or broiler feed, which don't have as much calcium, because too much calcium is not good for the chicks. The layers get the extra calcium they need from oyster shells, which I leave close to the nestboxes.

 

I have hanging waterers, so I make sure to put a shallow waterer on the ground for the chicks - if a bowl, I add some stones so the chicks can't jump on it at drown. I leave the rest to the mom - finding delicious bugs, grit, keeping the chicks warm and protecting them from predators and the flock.

 

I let my flock freerange all day, so what I've seen is that mom and chicks stay in the run for two days or so, until mom is ready to let the chicks explore. she takes them further and further away from the coop, as they grow. She will stop and let them go under her when it gets cold - it is a hoot to watch! I can't wait for one of mine to go broody - so far this year none has.

Poop Cleaner Extraordinaire...

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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm in the process of making them a bigger run area because they're living in a dog pen right now, its a 10 x 12 but with all the babies I think it will be a little tight. The roo and hen used to be free range everyday but not anymore, since there will be babies. Once I get the new pen set up, it will be so much better, they'll have more stuff to play on and more stuff to do. 

 

I have some of those long feeders with the holes in them, you guys know what I'm talking about? I'm going to use that for feeding and I have a mason jar waterer that I'll use, its shallow and small enough for the chicks to reach it but not big enough for them to get into and drown. 

 

I'm going to feed the babies manna pro medicated chick starter, so I guess the hen and roo will eat that too, I need a bigger bag! haha. 

I think everything should be fine. I just have to put some chicken wire around the bottom of the pen so the babies can't get out of the chain link, I can't have them popping out and not being able to get back in or something. 

 

I probably should have done this sooner, but...I am such a procrastinator. Jeez, bad chicken mom! haha. It shouldn't take me long to get it done though, then the big coop is next and that also shouldn't take very long. 

 

I'm going to check them now to see if there are any babies! 

1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have chicks! I just went out to check and I saw 2 little fluffies and I think I heard more cheeping from under the hen! I am so excited. 

What a good mama hen to hatch out babies in the middle of winter! 

I'll post some pictures later of them. Gotta go get everything settled. 

1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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1 blue slash jersey giant roo, 1 blue black jersey giant hen, 1 dog, 5 cats, and 1 fat bunny. 

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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Yet another broody question.