communal broodies - help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Pekin Sam, May 12, 2007.

  1. Pekin Sam

    Pekin Sam Hatching

    May 12, 2007
    I have 3 bantams siiting on eggs in the same hen house. Although I tried to separate them off using cutout cardboard boxes, they just removed the eggs and sit huddled together on the floor. 6 of the eggs are due to hatch a good week after the first batch but they are now so mixed up due to nest hopping/robbing I'm worried about what will happen when the first chicks hatch. Are the other eggs likely to be abandoned? Should I risk removing all 3 birds to resort the eggs or am I best to wait for the first hatch then remove the hen with the least chicks and give her the remaining eggs? Or will the hens continue to sit until all the eggs are either hatched or removed? I never had this problem with the incubator!
  2. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I would imagine the one that has the first to hatch will leave any unhatched eggs to care for the babies after a day or so. You can put any unhatched eggs under anohter one. I t would not be a bad idea to candle and see where the different ones are in development and maybe mark them and place similar ones under one chicken or the other.
  3. chasehope

    chasehope Songster

    Mar 2, 2007
    Eastern Washington
    I have this going on with only 2 hens though. My only advantage is that as soon as they hatch I am removing the babies. They are sitting on eggs sue at 4 different times. I want them to continue to sit though until the last ones hatch, which is why I remove the babies. I just marked them when I put them in, or they were first layed, so that I know when they are due. If I was in your position, I would take one of the hens and the first hatch of babies and seperate them from the other 2 and leave the other 2 to hatch the rest. If they are anything like my 2, as soon as 1 is gone or out of the nest, they will steal her unattended eggs, so abandonment shouldn't be a problem.
  4. Pekin Sam

    Pekin Sam Hatching

    May 12, 2007
    This seems the easiest option, thanks for the advice. Do the hen recognise which chicks have hatched under them? I'm just thinking about if one hen will accept any chick hatched at the same time? Also how is turning affected? When I used an incubator I had to stop turning 3 days before the hatch?
    Fenella (Sunny Wolverhampton)

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