Can Broody Hen babysit growing eggs for a few days?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by yellowflower, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. yellowflower

    yellowflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2009
    Bradford NH
    Hi,
    I have silkie eggs from my birds in the incubator due to hatch on the 7th. I have 20 that look good to go. A week after I put these in I put in more eggs and there are 16 out of them that are growing.
    The plan was I was going to use a styrofoam cooler and a heat lamp and a sponge for humidity to hatch them in so I could do the stagering hatching. But now I'm getting nervous and I know I won't sleep for 3 days as they hatch so I had another idea.
    I have 3 broody silkie hens in my coop that are my most broody hens. I was thinking I could have them babysit the later eggs for a few days while the other ones hatch. I could split the eggs between them. The only thing is it's still getting under 30 degrees here at night. Will they be able to keep the eggs warm enough? Should I put something under their nest boxes so it would be warmer on the bottom? I have cardboard boxes for them that I just change when they get dirty.
    Do you think this will work and do you think the eggs will be okay?
    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 5, 2011
    They will be able to keep them warm, if its makes you feel better feed them some mixed corn because it rises the temperature of their broody pouche. Also if they hatch why not just let them keep the chicks and raise them??
     
  3. yellowflower

    yellowflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2009
    Bradford NH
    Thankyou! I'm going to let them babysit. The thing is they are all sold and I would feel worse taking them away from the hens after they hatch. :( As soon as it warms up enough I will let them keep some babies that I want to grow out.
    Wouldn't it be too cold to leave them with them? I don't have any heat out there.
     
  4. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    The hens can supply all the heat the chicks need, but if you are taking them away as chicks then i dont think you should let the silkies hatch them because they are great mothers and would be upset but its up to you :)
     
  5. yellowflower

    yellowflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2009
    Bradford NH
    Yes, I know that's why I'm not going to let them hatch with them. This time. Maybe the next hatch I will. I just need them to keep the eggs warm while the others are hatching in the incubator. Then I will take the eggs away from them to hatch in the incubator.
    They will get some eggs to keep soon. :)
     

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