Can nature take it's course?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by donj156, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. donj156

    donj156 Hatching

    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm fairly new at this chicken thing, and I'm learning something new every day. I've had 6 silkies for a year now, and have them in a coop with a run attached. I've had a steady supply of eggs, and am now wanting to let one of my hens hatch out a bunch of them. She's started another brooding cycle, and I want to just let her set the eggs and hatch them out. Will she do that just fine without my involvement? What are the risks, if any? Do I need to "candle" the eggs, and what if I don't ?? Can I just let nature take it's course, and let her handle it all? And what if I don't seperate her and the new peeps from the rest of the chickens? I have 3 hens, and 3 roosters total right now....
  2. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Songster

    Feb 25, 2007
    Southern WV
    Yes. I think it is best to let them brood out eggs. You don't need to mess with her or the eggs. She knows whats she doing. I've read that Silkies make great mothers. Just let nature take its course. I would separate her from the others just in case they don't take a liking to the chicks once they hatch.
  3. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    As time goes on you will find that they all have a different approach to this broody thing. I've got one that I totally trust, she does not want her chicks out in the general population until they are two weeks old. So, she has her own pen during that time. I have one that wanted her peeps out almost immediately, she's been a very good Momma, she doesn't let any one any where near her peeps. I've got another that when her single peep hatched she abandoned it and another hen adopted it. Then I have still another that if I don't remove her feathered behind from the nest twice a day she won't move.

    These are all Silkies. Each and every one is different to the hatch routine and raising their chicks. I actually have co broodies right now on the same nest. They normally detest each other but the peeps have begun to hatch during the awful cold. One leaves the nest to do her thing the peeps crawl under the other girl. Its worked out far better than I thought it would. Normally I would seperate the hens but with this danged cold weather I decided to leave them be until the temps climbed back up.
  4. donj156

    donj156 Hatching

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks folks. That sure takes a load off my mind. I'll watch and let you all know what happens.
  5. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    For my first hatch I decided to let nature take it's course and let my broody Buff Orp set a batch of eggs. We are now on day 17 and I haven't seen Twinkie off of her nest once.

    The only problem with not using an incubator is that you feel so left out. Everyone is checking temperatures and humidity and sharing incubator stories. . . . We won't even be able to watch the hatching process because we have momma's sitting on our eggs!!!!

    The suspense in about to kill me - We need to come up with a breed that hatches in fewer days!!!!!

    Good luck with your broody hen!!
  6. GoPups

    GoPups Songster

    Mar 27, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    I was curious about that as well. Thank you for posting this!
  7. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    skeeter9 the timing is that they will usually get up first thing in the morning and last thing before bedtime at night. If you truly do not think she's been up then pick her feathery behind up and tote it outside. Make sure her water and food are in the path for when she returns to the nest.
  8. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Quote:Ok Robin416, How does that work with co broodies? I have 2 trying to sit right now. first it was just the bantam, then the orphington decided to get in on the fun. Now I have actually watched the bantam peck the orphington on the head till she gets out of the nest. And there are still new eggs in there everyday from some of the other bantams.
    I have a large dog crate and was thinking about putting them both in there with the eggs, but they really don't like each other. (even with spending all this time together)
    And I have seen each of them get up at separate times to eat and drink and the other stays on the eggs, but when she comes back to the nest, there is always a battle. Every time I have seen this, the bantam always wins, but the next time I go down they are both sitting there. It is just so weird.
  9. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Robin416 - I think I may just have to do that!!! She appears to be shrinking by the day, but her comb is still bright red. I stuck my hand under her breast yesterday and she feels all saggy. Seems like she's losing weight???

    I did put her out of her nest box the other day while I was candling the eggs. She was not a happy camper and was back in the box waiting for her eggs by the time I brought them back 20 minutes later!
  10. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I was wondering about this myself. I dont trust myself to incubate, candle, and all that. I had enough of that when I bred expensive birds! lol [​IMG] I figure I'll let a broody sit the eggs and hatch them out. Then, do I let HER raise them? Or bring them inside to bond with people for a few weeks before taking them back out, or would that cause them problems in the "pecking order" sceme of things? Say THAT ten times fast! lol [​IMG]

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