A few more days!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cruisnmoma, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. cruisnmoma

    cruisnmoma Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2013
    On march 3rd it will be 21 days since our girl went broodie and has been sitting on 4 eggs. Not really sure what to expect at this point. I do not know if they are all viable. I am guessing they will not all hatch on the same day. Will she still sit on the eggs until they all hatch or give up if one or two of them do. Will she clear out the shells or do I need to take them out. This is very exciting for us. It is the first time we have had a rooster and a broodie chicken. We are hoping to get at least one baby!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    The 21 day thing is a target, not something set in stone. Even under a broody they can be a couple of days early or late. March 3 is a Tuesday. That means incubation started Tuesday February 10. Right?

    Each incubation is unique. They are living animals so no one can tell you exactly what will happen, but we can tell you what will probably happen.

    Normally the chicks hatch about the same time. I have had a broody finish the hatch and take chicks off the nest about 24 hours after the first one hatched. I have had some hatches stretch out for more than two full days. When a chick internal pips it starts talking to Mama. You can sometimes hear the chirps. That tells the hen a chick is in the way and she makes appropriate changes. She should not leave her nest for her daily constitutional until the hatch is over.

    By them chirping in the shell, she knows when the hatch is over much better than you or I ever will. The chicks absorb the yolk before they hatch so they don’t need food or water for at least three days. They can wait on the late ones. You don’t have to do anything. You do not need to remove the shells. You do not need to feed or water the chicks or broody while they are on the nest. I find I do less damage by leaving them alone.

    When the hen knows the hatch is over she will bring the chicks off the nest, looking for food and water. You need to have food and water at a level the chicks can get to it. Then you clean out the nest and put fresh bedding in it.

    My broodies normally wait in the coop a day or two before they take the chicks outside, then they take the chicks outside every day. At night the broody normally takes the chicks into a corner of the coop to spend the night on the floor.

    If you feel you absolutely have to pick the broody up, be careful. Chicks like to crawl up under her wings and all over. I once killed a chick that had crawled under a broody’s wing when I picked her up to see how it was going. That’s what I mean by the less I interfere the less damage I do.

    Basically you don’t do anything except have food and water ready when she brings them off the nest.
     

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