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curious. what does a hen do while eggs are zipping?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by nok13, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. nok13

    nok13 Songster

    Dec 8, 2012
    jsut what it says:
    all the times we've had hens, we we come in one morning and fine a hen with a bunch of chicks following her around the yard (in petting zoo). i never actually got to see a natural hatch while it was happening//
    does the hen move the egss, does she talk to them (goat mothers talk to their fetuses and newborns).
    what does she do with the shells which would obviously attract predators
    does she check them out, or nuzzle them or something.?


  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It's hard to say. It pretty much goes on out of sight. I try to leave a broody as alone as nuch as I can during hatch. I can't help and I can harm.

    A broody and her chicks will talk to each other way before they external pip. I think part of that is that the hen sooths the chick and the chick is telling her that its not out yet so don't abandon the nest.

    I haven't seen a hen do anything with the shells. Most of mine never go back to that nest with the chicks so they just leave it behind.

    As long as the chicks stay under her or in her immediate vicinity, whe seems to ignore them. If one starts to wander she might peck it or otherwise tell it to stay close to home. A lot of the time the chicks will stay hidden under her, but sometimes they will look out, crawl up on her back, or maybe walk around a bit in the nest.

    Sometimes the chicks crawl up under her wings. I killed a chick because of that. The broody had brought them off the nest so I picked her up to see how many and what colors she had. I crushed one that had crawled up under her wing. I mention that as an example of why I strongly suggest leaving her alone during hatch and after. I can do harm. I can't help.
  3. gambit2178

    gambit2178 Songster

    Oct 6, 2011
    My Silkie hens just sat quietly in a sorta trance while the eggs hatch.

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