Broody hen questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Triplecross, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 7 month old EE mixed hen who has been sitting on 5 eggs for 14 days. This is my first experience with a broody hen.

    Questions:
    How many eggs can you put under a broody hen?

    How many hens can 1 rooster "cover"? I have a 5:1 ratio and hope these eggs are fertilized.

    I’ve heard of eggs being collected on a kitchen counter for days before being put with a broody hen. Is that possible? Don't the eggs need to be warm? How long can you keep eggs like this for hatching?

    When should chicks be "weaned" from their mom?
    I read you cannot vaccinate chicks that were hen-hatched for Marek’s because they are exposed to their mom who in turn has been exposed to the disease. What if I took the chicks the moment they were born and vaccinated them? Is there still a chance of exposure?


    Sorry about all the questions...[​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures/0_20
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. Jedi Clampett

    Jedi Clampett Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2013
    Wow Flockwatcher, this is a great post!! You've answered most of my questions too. Thank you!!
     
  4. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Flockwatcher. I had some questions about your comment on raising the chicks with the mom in with the flock. I can keep the chicks and mom with the flock? I though that the other chickens in the flock would kill her chicks. And you said I don't need to separate the chicks until they are older from the flock. Why is that if they if they would already be accepted?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I must have been unclear, sorry. I don't separate the chicks at all. What I was trying to communicate is, if you keep the mama and chicks in a separate area til the mama is through with being a mama, you need to continue to keep the chicks separate til they reach full size, because they willl likely have to go through the same integration process that strange hens would.

    I do separate the broody while she is sitting on eggs, though. This gives the broody some peace, and freedom from being bothered by hens who want to steal her eggs, add to her eggs, harrass her, etc. When I first did this, I discovered that when the chicks were about a day old, they and the mama both badly wanted to get out of their fenced off corner of the coop and be with the rest of the flock -- so I let them out. I never lost a chick to another hen, although the hens tended to chase the chicks and peck at them, not really violently, but enough that the chicks probably would have been injured sooner or later if the mama hadn't intervened.

    Yes, the other hens can be aggressive toward the chicks, but the mama runs them off and protects her chicks. My roosters either ignored the whole process or helped the mama.
     
  6. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2013
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    Okay, I got it. I think I will try your method and let the broody raise her chicks with the flock. It will be a good experiment to see how the other hens and roo do with these little chicks. If not so good, I will put mom and chicks into a new location.

    Thanks
     

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