Broody Hen Giving Up!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kristin Brown, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Kristin Brown

    Kristin Brown Out Of The Brooder

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    My beautiful Black Cochin hen went broody again this summer, June to be specific. She collected four fertile eggs in her clutch a few weeks into her broody-ness. The other 20 something we threw out. Fast forward to present day, two of the four have hatched! Oh lard are they cute.


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    The other two eggs she lost interest in sometime this morning. They were left cold! :hit

    Best option seemed to give them a second chance in the incubator. Unfortunately for them, I have never used this incubator before and this is just a shot in the dark! Keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep the temperature and humidity good for at least a few days until they are ready to hatch. It was either they're left out in the cold to die or try to strike luck in this old incubator.


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    If you've had a hen quit her nest, what was your experience? Did finishing off the hatch in an incubator work for you?

    Here's to hoping. :jumpy
     
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Hi, Kristin! If the eggs were all set at the same time, they probably won't hatch. If they were added to the clutch later than the ones that already hatch, they likely will hatch (as long as they are incubated properly.) Did you candle them? They may be clear and no amount of incubation will hatch them!

    Good luck!
     
  3. Kristin Brown

    Kristin Brown Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2012
    Arvada, Colorado
    The only eggs that were fertile in the clutch she collected were light brown bantam eggs, so I know they could have only came from my bantam Red Frizzle hen. I'm assuming they were each laid at least a day apart for that reason. Yes I candled them and both still have movement inside with a large air cell, however yolk seems mostly have been absorbed, indicating they are close to 20 days.

    Its a victory I got that incubator to steady out at 100 degrees! The water resevior is filled but I don't have a way to measure the humidity. Should I add a wet sponge just to be sure the humidity is high?
     
  4. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    No, there is more danger in too much humidity (it suffocates the chicks) than in too little (makes the shells a bit harder to break through.) You could actually lower that temp a bit. I hatch at about 98.5 - 99 degrees. If it was hard to get it stabilized, though, 100 will be fine.

    ETA: I hatch at that temp, I incubate at 100.

    Also, on the time between the hatches, you know that the eggs only start developing once the hen starts sitting, right? They can be laid days or weeks apart and all the chicks will hatch on the same day, but if she is sitting on eggs, then someone adds eggs to the clutch, those will hatch later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  5. Kristin Brown

    Kristin Brown Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2012
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    Thank you! I could try adjusting it a few degrees. I'll just leave the main reservoir full and not add more humidity.

    The hen has been sitting on her clutch all summer. The other hens kept laying their eggs in her nest, so they just accumulated over time. Yes I realized it would be a staggered hatch. At the time I had two other broody hens and figured I could transfer eggs if needed. Those others have since quit, so if anything this is a good excuse for a learning opportunity about incubating!

    :D
     
  6. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    When I let a broody sit, I mark the eggs that she will be hatching and remove any freshly laid eggs that appear daily. They get used to me gently lifting them and taking the ones that haven't been there from the start. It alleviates the headache.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Kristin Brown

    Kristin Brown Out Of The Brooder

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    Good news, one chick hatched Wednesday night! The second has just pipped the eggshell today. I'm so happy I decided to give this experiment a shot.

    On a side note, I got this digital hydrometer for just a couple bucks from Grainger. It is just what I needed. :D

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    I'll have to get some pictures of these two bantam babies soon! To be continued.
     
  8. sahmhomesteader

    sahmhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay!
     
  9. Kristin Brown

    Kristin Brown Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2012
    Arvada, Colorado
    Bad news! You've been warned.

    The second chick was making progress on hatching tonight. We went up to the mountains for a few hours and came home to a heart wrenching sight. The chick had hatched and stumbled over to a shallow water dish. It had fallen in, drowning itself. I thought it was figured it was far enough away from where the egg was placed, where when the chick dried off it could join the other eating and drinking. Bad news indeed.
     
  10. newbyegglover

    newbyegglover New Egg

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    Aug 16, 2014
    I am so sorry that must have been so sad I just lost one of my checks tonight too. :-(
     

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