1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Broody hen day 22

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Laura53, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Laura53

    Laura53 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Feb 28, 2016
    Hi everyone! Just looking for some advice if anyone has any!

    We have a broody salmon faverolle sat on 11 silver laced Wyandotte bantam eggs. I rehomed her from a friend who said every summer for the past three years she's gone broody and had clay eggs to sit on, so this is the first time she's had some fertilised eggs to sit on. I haven't hatched eggs before but as far as I can see she's been amazing! Made all the right noises and puffed up her feathers like others say they should do, and other than me taking her off the nest once a day she has religiously sat on those eggs.

    I candled at day 10 and 10/12 had veins. At day 14 one had a blood ring so I removed that, could see 5 with definite veins but unsure on the rest - it wasn't pitch black outside though so it was hard to see. I've just left them alone since then. From day 18 I stopped taking her off the nest as I've read, she did toilet in her nest on day 20 which I quickly picked out as it was in reach, then yesterday day 21 she stood up for a drink and I managed to get a quick look at the eggs but there's no sign of any pipping. I've read from day 18 though as soon as the mum feels movement in the eggs she goes into protection mode and won't move off that nest for anything? So it baffled me a bit that she just stood up for a drink on day 21. She has also been moving position over the past few days as well which I thought she wouldn't do if she knew they were hatching (position of the eggs for pipping etc etc). This morning I went to check on her and there was again no sign, magpies made a racket overhead and she half kind of stood up so I got a little look. It's not looking good though is it? I've read bantams tend to hatch early as well :(

    I'm going to leave it till Friday which will be day 25 but my gut feeling is nothing is going to happen. Anyone experienced this and has some advice?

    If nothing happens would anyone suggest buying some day old chicks and seeing if she accepts them? Obviously I would have a brooder on stand by if she didn't, but I'm 80% sure she would as she's such a lovely, laid back hen and all she's wanted for the past four years is to be a mummy! Any advice would be really appreciated, thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Kim Z

    Kim Z Chillin' With My Peeps

    153
    19
    73
    Apr 5, 2014
    Madbury, New Hampshire
    I have had good luck introducing day olds to a hen that has been broody for three weeks. She has taken them in every time with no problem. I have just done it with my one silkie cross though so I have a small sample size. More anecdotal really.
     
  3. Laura53

    Laura53 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Feb 28, 2016

    Thanks for the reply! How did you introduce them? I've read doing it at night but I'd be terrified going to bed so I think I'd have to prepare myself for an all nighter sat at the coop! I saw a video on YouTube of a woman who just emptied the box of chicks in front of the mum in daylight and she just took them in. So I was considering trying it in the day then if she didn't accept them try again in the dark, what do you think?
     
  4. Kim Z

    Kim Z Chillin' With My Peeps

    153
    19
    73
    Apr 5, 2014
    Madbury, New Hampshire
    I have always done it during the morning as I order by mail and pick the chicks up from to post office around 7 am.

    I remove one fake egg at a time and put the chick in its place. She is so docile that she doesn't mind me reaching under her like that.
    Not sure if yours would kick up a fuss. It seems that as long as she has been on the nest long enough she will accept any chick that comes her way.
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,795
    952
    223
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I think you a crossing a bridge too early and she will hatch her own given a bit more time. I've had 3 years of broody hens raising chicks and whilst I have a couple that I have complete confidence in, each year there are new ones that I fuss over and worry about and convince myself none will hatch.... My latest one got to day 23 and I did a float test and saw no movement. She had been sharing broody quarters with another new broody and they had been playing musical nests and once I found both of them in one nest and these eggs cold. I put her back but when it got to day 23 and no pipping and no movement with a float test, I cracked one open, Please don't be impatient like me..... the chick was fully formed and to my horror....alive.... but the yolk sack was not absorbed and I had to cull it in the end. I put the eggs back under her and 5 more hatched although some had quit at about day 7 which presumably was when they got chilled.

    Broodies moving about during those final days is not unusual and in fact sitting completely still would be detrimental for her. I do wonder if they deliberately soil the nest to increase humidity and I sometimes pour a little warm water into the sides of the nest if conditions are particularly dry towards the end of the incubation period. My mother used to cut a sod of turf, turn it over and use that for a broody nest. Our straw, hay or shavings nests must be very dry by comparison.

    Anyway, I wish you luck with your hatch and please have more patience that I did last week..... I'm sure you and your broody hen will be rewarded.

    Regards

    Barbara

    PS. Mine were bantam cochins (we call them Pekins). I've had 3 clutches of them this year so far and every one has been late whereas my large fowl have hatched on time.
     
  6. Laura53

    Laura53 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Feb 28, 2016

    Thanks so much, will try this is we have no luck by day 26! Mine is so docile, not aggressive in the slightest so I have every confidence in her :)



    Thanks so much for this fab reply, it's exactly what I wanted to hear! Given me hope that something might happen :) sorry to hear about your experience with the little chick though, I'll wait till day 25/26 before we think about removing them.

    Re them moving around - I read that in the wild they stay completely still so not to attract any attention to themselves? This could be wrong but I'm glad you've said it's normal for them to move about!

    Would you recommend putting some warm water into the sides of the nest today??

    Thanks again for the reply, I would be over the moon with just one little chick! She deserves it after all her hard work so I have everything crossed :)
     
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,795
    952
    223
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    It depends on your nest construction and weather conditions. If you have a warm humid climate, then I probably wouldn't. If your nest is on a stone floor in the shade, then I wouldn't. If your nest is up off the ground in a wooden box with air flow underneath and your weather is dry and breezy, then I probably would add some water. I should warn you that I've not heard of anyone else doing it. It was something that occurred to me after my first broody soiled her nest and I've done it a few times since then and it hasn't caused a problem.... I can't specifically say if it has benefitted or not, it just made sense to me that the hatching process requires a humid environment and how can broodies achieve this if they are up off the ground in a wooden box with dry matter for nesting.

    I'm sure even in the wild.... although our domestic chickens are a long way removed from that.... they must shift position or ease up and stretch their legs a bit during those last few days otherwise they would lock up. I've had broodies get off the nest on hatch day and have a break and come back and everything has been fine, so I really wouldn't be too concerned about that.

    Look forward to reading reports of your hatch in the next few days.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  8. Laura53

    Laura53 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Feb 28, 2016

    Thanks Barbara :) she's in a coop by herself which is attached to a run - the coop itself is off the floor with a ramp up to it. It's all wooden but the floor of the coop has a really thin metal type sheet on it (easier for cleaning I assume, this is what came with the coop). It isn't like a big piece of metal so it never feels cold or anything. The nest boxes in there are about 3 or 4 inches higher than the floor of the coop - when I put her in by herself with the clay eggs she actually pulled the clay eggs down off the nest boxes and sat on the them, so she chose her spot! Good for the chicks as well. When I've seen the eggs the wood shavings and straw does move away though I assume with all her shuffling so they are pretty much on the bottom of the coop with just a few bits around them, then obviously loads of straw and woodshavings around her. When she stood up for a drink I could see moisture on the metal type flooring though so she must be doing something right regarding humidity!

    I will keep you updated, thanks :)
     
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,795
    952
    223
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    So she is actually nesting on the metal tray rather than in the nest boxes. Maybe she realises that the metal will not wick the moisture away like the wooden nest boxes will. Not saying she understands the nature of metal and wood but she will be able to sense the different environment they create under her.
    It sounds like the little coop I have my two broodies in but they nested in the nest boxes which were very dry.
     
  10. Laura53

    Laura53 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Feb 28, 2016
    Yeah when I put her in there she had a good scratch around and after a couple of minutes pulled her clay eggs down and sat on them quite happy :') I was given this coop by my auntie, don't think I would have chosen it myself I don't really like the set up of it! But she's happy in there and it has an attached run which is good for the chicks and can easily be extended once they grow.

    Anyway thanks for the quick replies! Hopefully I'll have some good news in the next couple of days :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by