confusion when 2 chickens brooding in same laying box

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by chick n goat ma, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. chick n goat ma

    chick n goat ma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
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    One bantam chicken was brooding on 4 eggs. about a week before they were due to hatch my other bantam started laying eggs in the same box and went broody after she had laid about 8 eggs.. Problem is that the first hen was brooding on all the eggs.and eventually both hens were brooding together.The first 4 eggs hatched , then one hatched every other day till there were just 2 eggs left. First hen then left the nest and joined the flock, second hen is still brooding on the remaining 2 eggs but nothing has happened for 4 days now. I know all the eggs were fertile. Because of the drawn out hatches I took the chicks into a brooding box in the kitchen and all chicks are doing well. How can I tell if these last two eggs are viable? or should I just let chicken number 2 brood there till either the eggs hatch or she gets fed up and quits??
    This is my first hatch and I am in a quandary because nothing went according to plan. I desperately need some expert advice
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    In the future, put a date on all the eggs under a broody and remove any volunteers.
    I'd probably give it a couple more weeks just to be sure. Make sure you mark those eggs before other hens add more.
    They rarely quit on their own.

    Another thing you can do is put the baby chicks under the broody and put the eggs in an incubator. She'll think they hatched and mother the chicks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  3. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The eggs can be candled to determine if they are viable; pictures of candled eggs are available on the internet to compare with what you see.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's true. I often don't think about it since my eggs are too dark to candle.
     
  5. chick n goat ma

    chick n goat ma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    North Central Florida
    Thanks, next time (if there is a next time) I will date the eggs. I don't have an incubator as I did not intend to have any more pet chooks. so I guess I'll just let her sit on them till they either hatch or she abandons them.Earlier I had I candled (using a small bright LED flashlight which showed the veins and eyes and beating heart extremely well) so I know all were fertile and at different stages of development but is it possible for the unhatched chicks to die in the shell? Could 'Ha'penny' (her name) be trying to hatch dead babies???
     
  6. chick n goat ma

    chick n goat ma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    North Central Florida
    These last two eggs permit no light through at all now, I assume they are completely full of well developed fetuses. I candled them again just yesterday to see if I could make out the status of the fetus.

    I know what you mean about dark brown eggs being too dark to candle, I have that problem with my two full size hens who both lay large brown eggs but so far only two of their eggs(in over a year of laying an egg a day each) have been fertile. I discover that fact when I crack them open for eating. I only have one adult bantam rooster and I thought he couldn't reach to impregnate those two girls although he tried, but he obviously succeeded on rare occasions.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    An embryo can die in the shell and often do for any of a number of reasons and a determined broody may continue to sit. If she detected movement as the embryo matures and when movement ceases, she may then quit. I'd let her sit another week and if nothing, I'd break her. Definitely don't let her sit more than 2 more weeks. They don't always quit on their own. They can atrophy sitting so long and getting little nutrition from their daily forays. I had a friend with a broody turkey hen sitting on infertile eggs. She didn't try to break her and by the time she thought to do something the turkey couldn't walk. After $3,000 of vet bills and weeks of physical therapy the hen died.

    A rooster only needs to mate a hen once every two weeks or so for all the eggs to be fertile.
    One cubic millimeter of semen contains 3-5 million sperm. A chicken is unique in that they can hold that semen at body temperature in the storage sites in both ends of the oviduct. Some are released from the vaginal end with each egg that passes and they make their way to the infundibulum where they are again stored and fertilize each ova that is released as long as the semen is present.

    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1628&context=usdaarsfacpub
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
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  8. chick n goat ma

    chick n goat ma Out Of The Brooder

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    Thankyou so much ChickenCanoe, That is exactly the kind of[​IMG]
    information I was seeking.
    One more question if you would be so kind. If I replace the eggs under Ha'penny with a the live chicks will the chicks be safe sharing the coop and run with one rooster, two bantam hens, two bantam juvenile roosters and one eunuch rooster (with no wattles or spurs who shows no interest in the girls) and 2 cinnamon queens (big hens)?. I have already swapped 6 of the new chicks with my neighbor for for her adult mallard duck and drake (who had flown into my creatures pen on their own accord and decided to stay).My small (8X4 ft) coop can only comfortably accommodate the last 3 chicks I have in my brooder box.
    My chooks only use the coop for sleeping,, otherwise they are all free ranging.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A broody hen will protect chicks from all threats.
    You can't wait too long to put them under her though. She may take to them but they may not take to her. Once chicks live without a hen for a while, they're independent and don't stay put. In that case, without a hen to protect them, they'll be in more danger from the flock.
     
  10. chick n goat ma

    chick n goat ma Out Of The Brooder

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    Thankyou again ChickenCanoe for all your help and advice plus the very informative article link > http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1628&context=usdaarsfacpub < . The 3 remaining chicks are already up and sitting on the little perch I put in the brooder and all 3 behave very independently so I guess I'll keep them there till they are feathered and ready to move into the run (in the daytime only at first) where they can be seen but not touched by the rest of the flock till mutual familiarity makes it possible to let them all free range together.
    It is extremely helpful to me to be able to access advice from well informed experts at BYC.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015

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