Broody Hen Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Skyesrocket, May 1, 2008.

  1. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    Hi, I could use some advice.
    I took eggs from a silkie nest and put them into my incubator. 3-5 days after I set the eggs a silkie hen went broody and was sitting on an empty nest. I took 3 eggs from the incubator out to her and she has been sitting on them. So far so good....
    The other silkie/showgirl eggs I left in the incubator. Today is day 21 and the chicks are starting to pip the eggs.
    The problem is that the hen got off of her nest yesterday to eat and I checked her nest and there are another 6 eggs in there, besides the ones I gave her. One of the other hens must have been laying them.
    I would like to have as many eggs to hatch as possible, but I know the eggs the hen is brooding are in different stages of development. And she will leave the nest within a couple of days of the first batch of eggs hatching.
    Do I go out at night and take the chicks from the 3 eggs I gave her....or do I pull the other eggs after the chicks have hatched and finish incubating them in the house?
    I'm not sure which way would be least likely to upset the hen.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Carrie
  2. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    i would leave the chicks with the hen,and take my chances with the new eggs in the bator,plus if the ones that are in the bator and the ones with hen hatch at the same time i would take my bator babies and give them too her also
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I agree, I would let the broody raise the babies she hatches and the ones in the incubator. You can then move the one that are not as far along to the incubator to finish. Check Air Cells it should give you an idea of how far along they are.
  4. I mark the eggs went I put them under my 2 chickens that are broody right now, because they roll the eggs together and sit on them, the eggs are like 2 days apart.
  5. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    Thanks for your help. I will bring the eggs in and leave the chicks with the mom.
    One of the chicks in the incubator hatched last night and more are working their way out. Two of the three eggs I put under the broody hatched last night too. I'll pull the other hens eggs from under her later on today and stick them in another incubator.
    In hindsight I should have marked the three eggs that I gave to her. But she was stuck tight on that empty nest and it never dawned on me that she would end up with eggs from other hens. Lesson learned...mark eggs next time. [​IMG]
    Showgirls are not pretty I was up most of the night watching and when the first one came out...all looked strange with the black skin and the yellow wet fuzz. She is looking cuter now that she is drying out!
    Thanks! Carrie

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: