Broody hatching questions. First timer!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Traceaskew, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok. I have an adult Brahma that I got from a swap about 2 months ago. Last week we realized she's broody and since I've lost so many girls to foxes I was super excited to hatch some eggs. I have an EE rooster and 2 EE hens so I decided I'd let her sit on some EE eggs (I'm not even sure if 2 EEs will make another EE?) we gave her 8 eggs to sit on that were the most recently laid. She's been sitting on them faithfully for 7 days today. Last night I decided to move her because she's been getting disturbed by the other hens, as she's sitting in the favorite nest box. I waited till after dark and moved her eggs (ouch!) to my hospital coop. And realized there was another egg I hadn't marked in her clutch (I hadn't been checked in a couple days) I tried to candle them with the light from my cell phone and couldn't see much just a sort of long oval shadow, kind of covering the bottom if I laid it on its side, in the few I tried. I moved her into the coop with the eggs at about 9 pm. I went out at 11 to check on her and she wasn't sitting on the eggs :( so I moved them near to where she was sitting and she did get up and sit on them. It was prob about 75-80 degrees outside when this happened and very humid.

    So my questions are: is it ok that she didn't sit on them for 2 hours? Is it a bad sign that I couldn't see much when I tried to candle them? This morning she had moved one of the eggs to the other side of the coop. Should I toss that one? Should I candle them again at some point or leave them be? Is t bad that one of the eggs was added a few days after the rest?

    I didn't realize that keeping eggs for hatching was so complicated. We just keep them in a shelter on the kitchen counter. I wasn't turning them or doing anything specific. I am a first time chicken keeper and never hatched any :) thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    It is probably fine that she wasn't on the for two hours, but not good. Might lower your hatch rate. Never, ever, move a broody hen and her eggs.

    Candle the egg she moved and if nothing is in it or it has a bad smell throw it out. You can candle if you are curious, just be quick about it.

    It is very bad that one egg was added a few days after the rest. You will have a staggered hatch and most likely lose that chick. Do you have an incubator or something you can put it in? How many days is it behind, approximately?

    Check the eggs daily for a rotten smell, and if you discover that one smells bad throw it out after candling it.

    Hope this helps! Let me know how everything goes. [​IMG]
     
  3. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    See, there's so much conflicting info! I moved her because everything I read said she can't stay in the nesting box and needed to be separated. I don't have a candler, and when I tried it was awful at it...couldn't see anything. I guess I should get one. This is all so stressful! Lol
     
  4. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can use a torch to candle, rather than spend 3x the amount buying an expensive candles.
    I read somewhere that if they keep moving back, it's best to lock them up in the new spot for a good 24 hours.
    Sorry I am not much help as I am not very experienced in hatching with a broody.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You'll almost always find conflicting info as there are few things about keeping chickens that are caste in stone. We have all different set ups, management approaches, climates - not to mention the temperaments of our individual chickens! In the future, you may wish to try moving a broody hen that is not sitting on eggs to a location where the fertile eggs are already in a nest - it works for me, but it's no guarantee that it will work for you. Such are the "joys" of keeping chickens.

    Ct
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  6. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Well it's day 8 and she's still sitting. She took back the egg that she rejected, so I dunno if it's good or not. I tried candling with a flash light on day 6 but couldn't see anything. I found a candler on Amazon for $14 so I think I'm gonna just order that one. Thanks for the advice, I'm just going to try to let the mama do her thing. I don think she's gotten up tho, I don't see any poop anywhere. I hope she gets up eventually!
     
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd say that's a good course of action - letting momma do her thing. Don't worry, she'll leave the nest when she needs to.
     
  8. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    Sounds like everything is going well. I don't have a candler either, just a good flashlight I use if I need to candle.
     
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Is the hospital coop you moved her into, enclosed? The reason I ask is that if she can just wander out and join the others when she takes a "broody break" she may go back to her old nest site because that is programmed into her from visiting it many times. It's like being on auto pilot when you are going to work or coming home. If someone moved your home in the middle of the night and you headed off to work the next day in a rush and didn't really pay attention to your surroundings, then you would probably go back to your old home on autopilot. It is the location that she is programmed to not the eggs, so she will automatically return to her old nest site..... it takes several days of reprogramming to home them to a new nest site half way through a brood. As others have said, it is best to fasten her in for a day or two at least and then make sure you can monitor her for the following days to ensure she goes back to the correct nest. Broodies can sometimes go 48 hrs without eating drinking or pooping but it is probably best if they do so once a day. Broody poop is huge and stinks, so you will almost certainly know when she has relieved herself!

    I don't have a candler and sometimes I try to candle with a torch.... you really need to do it in the dark though or under a heavy blanket or tarpaulin. I also find blue eggs and dark brown eggs quite difficult to make out. Usually I just let the broody do her thing, but I know how anxious you get the first few times.
    Marking the eggs you set is important if she is in a communal area so that you can remove any extras. If you did that and you can therefore identify the extra egg, then I would remove it and you could even break it into a little container and feed it to your hen..... better than wasting it and the extra nutrition will do her good. Staggered hatches pose problems and the egg will almost certainly get abandoned before hatch anyway, so better to abort it now. Even if you have an incubator, raising a lone chick is not easy and trying to graft it back onto the broody if it is several days behind the others will be problematical.

    Anyway, try not to stress too much.... I know it's easier said than done..... and good luck with the hatch. Hopefully your broody will make a great mother hen and you will be rewarded with the joy of watching a broody hen raise her chicks, which is real entertainment.... just the best and cutest chicken TV!

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     

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