Broody hatching eggs soon...couple of questions...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LittleBoPeep1, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. LittleBoPeep1

    LittleBoPeep1 Songster

    Mar 12, 2015
    This is my first time hatching eggs and I was just wondering if my hen could hatch her eggs in the nesting box she is in right now that is about 12 by 12 inches and about 3ft off the ground (it has a door so I could close her in) or if I should move her to a dog kennel that I could put in the coop before the hatch.

    On a different note, the two eggs she was sitting on were set about 24 hours apart. Is that ok or should I give one of the eggs to another broody that I have so the chicks hatch separately.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    If you try and move her, it could well break her broody instincts. I'd leave her (but I would not close her in)... Once the chicks hatch you can move them to ground level.

    I'd be inclined to leave both eggs with one broody. Having two hens with new chicks can sometimes be a bit tricky. In addition, the chicks will likely do better together, rather than being kept separate (but it's not a deal-breaker).

    These links may be interesting:
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I’ve seen a hen get her chicks out of a ten feet high hay loft, she said jump and they did. They bounced up and ran to her. I’ve had a lot of hens hatch in a nest three feet above the coop floor. They don’t have trouble getting the chicks down.

    The one problem I’ve had with an elevated nest was when I let a hen hatch in a 7-1/2” x 11-1/2” cat litter bucket, also about three feet high. When the early chicks hatch they sometimes like to climb up on Mama’s back. In that nest Mama was too close to the side so when they fell off some missed the nest and made it to the coop floor. Four different times I had to pick a chick up and put it back in the nest. The chicks were not hurt by that fall, by the way. I don’t know what your nest looks like or how close she is sitting near the edge but a 12” x 12” should give her a lot more room than a 7-1/2” wide nest.

    The 24 hour difference in start time gives me more concern. When the chicks hatch they absorb the yolk. They can live off of that yolk without eating or drinking for three full days and often quite a bit more. Not all chicks hatch at exactly three weeks after incubation starts so that’s one issue, the wrong one could be slow. But they should easily be within that three day window.

    Before a chick hatches but after internal pip the hen and chick start talking to each other. That way the hen knows another one is on the way and does not abandon the nest too early. I’ve had some hens wait three days after the first one hatches to bring the chicks off the nest. I’ve had some bring them off the nest in less than 24 hours after the first one hatches. It depends on how drug out the hatch is.

    She only has two eggs, you don’t know if they will both hatch or not anyway. These staggered hatches add a lot of drama to it, I really don’t like staggered hatches but sometimes life tosses things at you that you don’t like. If it were me I’d leave both eggs with that hen and see what happens. I might even lock her in that nest for a full 24 hours after the first one hatches since you have that technology. Usually I would not suggest that but you need to tailor each situation to the situation.

    Good luck!
  4. LittleBoPeep1

    LittleBoPeep1 Songster

    Mar 12, 2015
    Thank you for the help! As for moving her and her (hopefully) new chicks into the coop, do you think I should put her in the flock if I have one broody hen, one hen that's not broody (that can be a little bit aggressive sometimes), and one VERY calm hen (that I know wouldn't do anything to the chicks). Would that dynamic work out and would the chicks be safe (I am especially concerned about the possibly agressive hen with chicks). Would the momma hen protect the chicks?
    Thanks again!
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I think for the first week you should segregate the broody and her hens using wire. Make sure she's in sight of the flock. Then integrate her. The seperation will make it easy to watch the broody as she hatches those babies out. Sometimes new mommas aren't the best at their job.
    sylviethecochin likes this.
  6. LittleBoPeep1

    LittleBoPeep1 Songster

    Mar 12, 2015
    That sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the help
  7. chestnutnightmare

    chestnutnightmare In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2018
    I have this issue with my hens and at the moment I have 8 broody hens with eggs. So far 3 have hatched chicks and I separated them for the first few days so the babies could strengthen etc, before letting them out with the others. The hen will fight with other chickens to re establish pecking order but after that they are generally fine. I would definitely separate mum and babies if they aren't fitting into the flock or they are being picked on.
  8. LittleBoPeep1

    LittleBoPeep1 Songster

    Mar 12, 2015
    So I just had a chick hatch today. The chicks weren't supposed to hatch for another two days. The other egg is not hatched yet. What should I do at this point?
    1)Should I keep the hen locked in her nesting box with the chick and egg until the other egg hatches?
    2)Should I try to feed the chick as the hen does not seem to be letting her out from underneath her?
    3) The hen pecked at the chick a few times, is this normal and is that okay?
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Congrats...I put feed and water close so Chicks can pop out from momma to eat and drink while momma stays on the nest to hatch the rest..
  10. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    The chick will be fine for at least 48 hours without food or water. I'd keep the hen confined for another 24 hours to see if the other egg hatches.

    A hen may gently peck at the chick to move it back under her for protection. If she's pecking it aggressively and trying to kill it, that's the time to remove the chick for its own protection.

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