Eggs Hatching, switching coops

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jleigh4510, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. jleigh4510

    jleigh4510 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello BackYard Chickeners! This is my first time posting but I have read many threads. I have some questions that I could not find answers to.
    1) We gave our broody hen eggs to hatch a little over two weeks ago around 7 in the evening. Does that count as day one? I am not sure if today is day 17 or 18 and I'm not sure when to start lock down, or if I am even supposed to lock down a broody hen or if that only applies to hatching eggs in an incubator.

    2) We built a new coop so that our broody hen could have the old one to herself and her babies. My chickens will not go into the new coop! [​IMG] I only have a few days left before the babies hatch and I am not sure what to do! If I lock them out of the coop will they go make hidden nests in the yard somewhere? Should I lock them in the new coop for a couple days so they get used to it? I don't want to stress them out.

    Any advice would be great! I need help quick!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] I would count today is day 17 others might say 18. It's sort of irrelevant, as the hen is now in charge. Most broody hens will institute their own 'lock down' and not leave the eggs the last several days. If she does leave to eat, drink, and defecate it's no big deal she knows what to do.

    I'd try locking the other hens in the new coop until the eggs hatch. If they still want to return to the old coop, allow them to and move the hen and chicks to the new coop. Good luck for a successful hatch.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Lockdown does not apply to a broody hen. As Sour said, she is in change. Just let her do her own thing.

    An egg does not have 24 hours of development two seconds or even two hours after you start incubation. It takes 24 hours to get a day’s worth of development. If you are counting the day you start them is “zero”, the next day is “one”.

    A way to check yourself is that the day of the week you set them is the day they should hatch. If you set them on a Friday, they should hatch on a Friday. But that is only theory. In reality, whether in an incubator or under broody, they can easily be a day or to early or late. Yes, it can get very frustrating. When a woman has a baby, it’s not always exactly nine months. The baby can come early or late. Same with chicken eggs.

    Sour is also right about locking the hens in the new coop for a few days. Chickens are creatures of habit and hate change. They will resist. But they are also adaptable. After a few days, say a week, they should accept the new coop as home. Locking them out of the old coop when you let them loose until you are sure they are going into the new coop can help with that transition. They don’t come with guarantees, some are more stubborn than others. You can win this, just be more stubborn. It really won’t stress them out long term. They are adaptable. They will get over it pretty soon. It’s probably the only way you will get them to switch.
     
  4. jleigh4510

    jleigh4510 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I tried to get them into the new coop tonight and they won't even get close to it. Its like they know I'm going to lock them in. I did shut the old coop and put golf balls in the new nesting boxes, so hopefully they figure it out in the morning. If they can't get to their regular nesting boxes what will they do? One morning we forgot to open it and they were all standing with their legs crossed yelling for me. Haha.
     
  5. jleigh4510

    jleigh4510 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh and another thing, my broody never gets off the nest on her own. After about 3 days of going broody I realized that she wasn't eating or drinking and she looked awful. I was taking her off twice a day and now only once a day. I give her food in her nest and water. I figured if she eats and drinks she will get up on her own to use the restroom? Should I stop feeding her?
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you provide food and water at the nest, she is more likely to defecate in the nest and ruin the clutch of eggs.
     
  7. jleigh4510

    jleigh4510 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok I will stop then. I moved it away from her but still have it inside the coop. For when the eggs hatch. Thanks for all the help! As you can tell I'm New at this.
     
  8. jleigh4510

    jleigh4510 Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 5 babies so far!! There are two eggs I can see the membrane on, is this normal? I'm scared they are stuck and can't get out. Any suggestions?
     

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