Broody hen on day 19. :) What to do??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lowillobe, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    Our hen went broody so we ordered some eggs. I read somewhere that eggs under a hen hatch in 20 days.

    It is day nineteen.

    I've set up a chick station for when they hatch. (we've raised chicks before but never hatched any)
    We are gonna raise the chicks because we want the hen to keep sitting on the duck egg.


    If someone could answer some questions for me it would be GREAT! [​IMG] (i'm mostly finding info on incubating eggs.)

    1. What is all this about pipping and zipping?

    2. Will she squish them?

    3. Do they hatch while she is sitting on them or does the hen kind of squat??

    4. Any hints or tips. Or a step by process?

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. mothersin2ition

    mothersin2ition Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Othello, WA
    Okay Im not an expert but here's my advice. First of all, I dont think your hen will be able to hatch a duck egg because they require so much more humidity, but Im not 100% on that. Im sure someone will confirm or deny that one.
    Pipping refers to the first initial poke through to the outside of the shell. Zipping is the rest of the hatching process- they kindof peck a line from the inside of the shell all around, and them pop out.
    A good mother hen will not squish her babies, though I have had an experience where the mama was setting on too many eggs, and somehow 2 of the fully formed babies did get squished as they were nearing hatch date. How many are your sitting on? Oh, and she is definitely sitting on them, not squatting because they need every extra ounce of humidity during hatch to get out. She will not even get up those last 3 days to eat, drink or poop.
    My advice is to let mother nature do her job. Most of the time, the hens know exactly what to do and when to do it. I am not sure Id take the babies away though, she may be very distraught and depressed. I hope someone else can give you advice about the duck egg- I swear I just read that they need way more humidity to hatch, and to serve that purpose, mother ducks will take a dip in the lake or pool etc and then sit back on the eggs to give them that extra moisture.
    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

    Edited to add: I love your avatar pic!!! So cute [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  3. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    Ok. Thank you so much for the clarification on pipping and zipping!!

    I'm so excited! I hope they hatch.

    I guess I'll probably leave the chicks with her until they all hatch.


    I live in southern Louisiana and it is very humid and its been raining so its even more humid. Maybe it will be enough?
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chicken eggs take 21 days. Some hatch early, some take longer. Don't toss out eggs on day 22, if they haven't hatched, as they may hatch on day 23. Some may hatch a day early, which you may have heard was day 20.

    Duck eggs take 28 days.

    Pipping is the hole tapped through the shell by the chick inside.

    Zipping is the series of little holes tapped through the shell around it, from the first pip point. By the time the chick is done, the series of little holes "zips" the shell open.

    Momma MAY squish them, but generally doesn't. It can happen.

    That's all the information I can offer. Good luck!
     
  5. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    I have her sitting on 8 bantam eggs and 1 duck egg.
     
  6. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 17, 2009
    NJ
    Hi There![​IMG]

    I'm a BIG fan of Mama Hen doing her thang!!!![​IMG] To answer your questions...here goes...
    1. What is all this about pipping and zipping?
    Pipping is when the chick first breaks a small hole in the egg during the hatch...this small hole is the beginning and allows the chick to breath.
    Zipping is when the chick is actively breaking out of the shell and pecking a straight little line around the perimeter of the egg right before POPPING OUT![​IMG]

    2. Will she squish them? 99% of the time NO! She's a Mama...she has GREAT instincts and knows exactly how to do this![​IMG] (of course nothing in life is fool proof even with humans...accidents happen) BUT...guaranteed she'll knock the socks off of an incubator any day of the week![​IMG]


    3. Do they hatch while she is sitting on them or does the hen kind of squat?? She stays sitting on them to maintain the proper humidity during the hatch...remember a hatch usually takes 24-48 hours from the time the first chick hatches. Again...don't fret...she was designed to hatch eggs![​IMG]: ALL KINDS! I've heard some really neat stories about Mama hens and Mama ducks hatching out each others eggs...no big deal! They also raise the babies WAY better than us humans ever could! I've noticed that the babies that are raised by Mama are calm...& extremely quiet and way less stressed than brooder babies with no Mama.

    4. Any hints or tips. Or a step by process? Just make sure you feed Mama hen daily(I know some people don't)...but especially if she's been broody a long time it can take a toll on her health. I keep a small dish of water and food close enough to her that she doesn't have to get off of her nest to eat and drink. My girls love high protein left overs, yogurt is great!, or raw eggs or cooked eggs are excellent for them! They may refuse normal feed but my broodies look forward to their snacks!
     
  7. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    Thanks everyone!

    And I've been making sure she gets off the nest to eat and drink. And then she runs straight back to her babies!
     
  8. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    So, should I take the chicks from her when they all hatch or individually? Is their bantam size a problem? (I'm taking them away because of the duck experiment and because I love running down to laundry room to see them in the middle of the night.)
     
  9. kasey08

    kasey08 Aunt Kasey's Farm

    Mar 29, 2010
    Scottsboro, AL
    was the duck egg put there a few eggs before the chicken eggs? if not she may leave the egg thinking its dead i'm kinda new to chickens but my hen hatched out 3 eggs 2 of hers and one rir egg i gave her. the rir hatched out the day after the others did. i left my chicks with her she was very good at letting me see them. when they were prolly 4 weeks she started laying again.
     
  10. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    No, I put the duck egg out at the same time. So, that one has like 7 days left.
     

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