Day 21 under broody hen, what to watch for?

kimmom

Songster
9 Years
Feb 20, 2010
102
0
109
Is there any early signs we can watch for? The kids are very anxious for them to start hatching! When we took Mama out for her morning poop no sign of anything yet. Can it vary from 21 days much?
 

boxermom

Songster
10 Years
Feb 22, 2009
847
3
139
Spencer,IA
My first broody hatched 10/12, 2 1/2 wks ago. I never saw them until they were all dry on day 21. On day 20, I cheated and took out an egg. It peeped and me so I quickly put it back. That is all the peeking I did until I saw the first 2, then I tried to look around a little more. It's just like Christmas.
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ChicknLover

In the Brooder
12 Years
Mar 27, 2007
55
2
43
Montello
Hi, me too, I have a first time broody hen egg hatch so far there are five and a couple more are pipped, but when I peeked the hen pecked at the chicks, almost like they were intruders, then when they got underneath her and quieted down she stopped, should I be concerned? I don't know if I should leave her with them to get aquainted or remove them and put them under a lamp? I figure I will watch until the rest of the hatch is over and see what happens, I am so thrilled and don't want to lose any of my new babies... so cool!
 

Barry Natchitoches

Songster
11 Years
Sep 4, 2008
649
43
194
Tennessee
What happened with my buff orpington broody with her first clutch is that she cooed to the little babies once she heard them pipping, sort of like welcoming them into the world. I never saw her help them out of their egg shells, just softly coo to them to encourage them to fight their way out.


I didn't know exactly when they were hatched. It all happened underneath the broody's feathers.


But at some point, dry little fuzzy butts began to appear out away from her, while she remained on the nest. They'd venture out for a very short period, then tuck themselves back under momma's protective feathers.


Momma allowed hatching activities for about 24 hours. After that, she basically decided enough was enough, and got off the nest -- first time in 21 days, other than her brief visits to eat, drink and poop.


From that point forward, she ignored the remaining, unhatched eggs, choosing instead to start spending quality time with the fuzzy butts that did successfully hatch.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,100
19,561
857
Southeast Louisiana
It can vary a bit. Remember that 21 days means 21 full days of development. If incubation started on a Sunday, they should hatch on a Sunday. Some can be a day early, some can be a day late, but most should hatch around 21 full days of development. And hatching is not an instantaneous thing. They pip. They rest, maybe 12 hours. They zip. They push out. They dry off. You can possibly hear peeping but will probably not see a thing until some heads start peeking out.

The best thing you can do for a successful hatch is to not disturb them, hard as that is. Mama can get upset and hurt her chicks trying to defend them. She has to do some serious temperature and humidity control right now. If she is disturbed, she might take her chicks off he nest early. I did that once on the farm growing up and Mama left several eggs unhatched, all due to my interfering. Hard as it is, especially with children, let her do her job.


I have a first time broody hen egg hatch so far there are five and a couple more are pipped, but when I peeked the hen pecked at the chicks, almost like they were intruders, then when they got underneath her and quieted down she stopped, should I be concerned?


I suspect Mama was pecking at the chicks to tell them that there is danger out here, there is a big threatening intruder, so you get back under me where it is safe. I personally would not be concerned about her behavior.
 

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