2 hens, 2 clutches, 1 nest

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by crzychkn, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. crzychkn

    crzychkn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Texas boonies
    Hiya Folks! So I mostly just read and learn from all the posts on here, and thank you, by the way, for how much I have learned from all y'all! :) But now, despite my searching, I cannot find quite the same situation-I may not be using the proper key words, who knows, so I thought I would venture my own post! :)

    We are relatively new to chickens (and I don't know how we ever lived without them!) it's been about 10 months. We have 3 silkies, among others, one is a roo and 2 hens. Our little roo is a busy boy with his girls, so we felt certain we had fertilized eggs. As it is winter and chilly for Texas, we were going to wait until spring for our first foray into having our own chicks. Well, my husband has cancer so we are out of town a lot for his treatments-while we are out of town we have a chicken sitter come to open/close coops for the day, etc. This last month while we were gone 1 of our silkies went broody. I didn't have her collect eggs for the few days we were gone that time. So we have a ballpark idea of the day she started setting.

    Ok, no biggie. Winter chicks. I have read and read and prepped and prepped! Well, our other little silkie hen, she was going into the nest when she needed to lay and depositing them under the other hen. So we just let it go. Yesterday we had an egg hatch! Wooohooo, our very first. Of course it's freezing out and they are in an elevated coop. Mud, ice, oh just awful out. So we set up our indoor broody area! The other silkie decided she would set now, too! Oh boy! We gently moved the girls, put the eggs in the new nest we made, then put both Momma girls in with eggs and newly hatched chick, and relocated them inside. They seem to be doing fine! 5 chicks now! Yay!

    My question/concern is---we still have 13 eggs. We don't have a clue when/who laid which. Based on my figures of while we were out of town I can't imagine the 1st Momma having more than 5-6 before she starting setting, but since we weren't here, who knows. Sooooo, could these other eggs be from the 2nd Momma that just went broody? Could having been under Momma number 1 all this time, different times for different eggs, give us staggered hatch days? The 2 hens are best of friends, and doing great with the chicks and each other, and they have plenty of room for them, eggs and chicks. I just have no clue at what point to take up the eggs.
    Number 2 laid as recently as 2 days ago.

    Any knowledge, advice, help, comments would be tremendously appreciated! I will say, even though we were not planning for this, it has been a welcome and joyous distraction from my husband's illness! Even he is enjoying it!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I would try moving the first broody and chicks out of earshot of the second broody. She might continue setting or she might give up. Give it a try you may save a few more chicks.
     
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with sourland. I would suggest putting the hatched chicks under the first hen, and then as more hatch, move them over to her (if more hatch). It sounds like there's a good chance that you are going to have a staggered hatch, so it's going to be important to keep the second hen on the unhatched eggs if you want to hatch as many as possible. If she keeps the chicks, she may leave the unhatched eggs to care for the chicks, and that would sabotage the unhatched eggs. So i think the main thing is to move the hatched chicks to the chick mama and keep the egg mama on top of the eggs as long as she'll stand it.
     
  4. crzychkn

    crzychkn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Texas boonies
    Ahhh, makes sense! I made another nest box in the same pen (it's a pretty big pen) on the opposite side. Momma and babies are now using it and hen 2 is in the other one with the eggs. They seem to bo good with this! I am anxiously awaiting to see what may come! :) Thank you guys!
     
  5. crzychkn

    crzychkn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Texas boonies
    Definitely a staggered hatch! Baby one hatched on the 10th, 2-5 on :Dthe 11th, 6 on the 15th and 7 and 8 hatched this morning! And Momma 2 is still on a few eggs! We have 8 silkie chicks! Oh my goodness! :)
     
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What fun!
     

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