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Fertile Eggs and Broody Hen now what?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by carbon county chicks, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. carbon county chicks

    carbon county chicks Chirping

    Mar 10, 2009
    So I checked out some pics on here showing fertile egg vs non-fertile egg and our eggs have the bulls eye! Super excited. One of our hens is broody and is sitting. So now what do I need to do? I think I read that you take all the non-fertile eggs out from under her and you exchange them for fertile ones. Some many questions!

    How many eggs can I put under her to hatch?
    Do I need to separate her from my other hens / rooster?
    How do I know if / when the chicks hatch?
    Do I need to feed her anything special?
    How do I make sure she's doing her job sitting?
    I've had baby chicks in the house before, do I need to do anything different for the ones she is hatching? (smaller waterer, chick starter, no heat lamp?, no pine shavings?)

    Sorry for my inexperience. I've done the whole chick thing with day old chicks and I've even incubated some chicks but never had a hen go broody and hatch her own.

  2. Quote:Yippppeee! So much fun [​IMG]

    *I have a bantam broody and I give her 6 Standard size eggs eah time.
    *Mine is lowest on the totem pole and I put her in a small dag crate in the coop so the others are not disturbing her and giving her more eggs, lol! I open the door when they have layed for the day so she can come out .
    *21 days from when you put them under her is the norm. You will hear cheeping.
    *I give mine her own small foood and water in the crate. No eggmaker food once the babies hatch as the calcium is bad for babies. Switch them all over to a non medicated crumble when the babies wander out and start eating out of the adult feeder. Supplement with calcium if needed. Until they wander out a non medicated chick starter is good.
    * If she is in the crate and has more privacy things should go well. If she is often seen off the nest she is not ready and try agin another time. My hen is beyond broody nd I often have to remove her from the nest to poop.
    *I use the baby feeders and waterers in brooder, no heat, shavings are fine.

    Good Luck [​IMG]
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    It's good to have a feeder and waterer just for the babies in a place the adults can't get into, but not 100% necessary as long as they can get food and water from the adult's containers.. You won't need a heat lamp, mom will keep them as warm as they need to be.
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008

    It depends upon the hen's size. If she's LF, (large fowl), she can probably incubate 8 easily. I alway add a couple more, to allow for the duds, to be removed when I candle at 10-14 days.

    I do separate broody hens from the flock, but in my case it's to keep the snakes away! I wait until she's all settled in, then I move the nest and eggs as one unit, put her in and she usually settles back in after a few minutes. One thing about the nest to remember- if it has an edge or lip around it, the newly hatched chicks may get out and not be able to get back in. I use a heavy wire cage with a pile of straw only. The cage is in the coop opening, so all the others get to be familiar with the whole process. And when the chicks hatch, everyone can admire and get used to them.

    Since I do separate her, I give her her own waterer and feeder. I do let her out to run around twice daily or more. Beware the broody poop! You really don't want that in the cage! P-U! I have ducks and chickens, so they all get Flock Raiser from Purina, oyster shell for calcium and scraps from the kitchen. (BTW, the broody won't really need the oyster shell, since she won't be laying, but if she's out and about she may get some. The new chicks don't need the oyster shell.I do use a tiny waterer at first, no risk of drowning.

    Once you put the fertilized eggs under her, mark your calender for 3 weeks/21 days. Then just watch and listen. She'll let them out from under her when she's ready.

    If she stays on the nest almost all the time, she's doing her job. She may well get downright hostile towards you. Some have to be made to leave the nest for 5-10 minutes daily.

    You are in for a thrill! There's nothing like the first peep-peep coming from under a hen. Let the hen do the hard part. Your job is to keep her safe and content. Happy hatching!
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:The only caution is that the chicks should not have layer feed until they are old enough. The extra calcium can cause long term health issues.

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