First time broody hatching eggs overnight (right now!)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sarahal88, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my hens went broody for the first time and since then she has been perfect on her clutch of 13 eggs, which I gave her almost exactly 21 days ago to the hour.

    Now, just as I'm about to go to bed, they're hatching! She is outside in her own pen and I can't see anything but I can hear all the "tap tap tap tap, scratch scratch" and the occasional muffled "cheep!"

    I am hoping nothing major happens until in the morning. Since it is her first time being broody, I don't know if she's going to know what to do with the chicks once they are no longer in their eggs. There is nothing I can do but wait. Think she'll at least sit tight through the night? Is it very common for a hen that goes broody to set very well on her eggs but not know how to care for the chicks?

    At what point will I actually be able to see what is going on under there? Will she move around or get up once some of the chicks have hatched, or do they just fluff up right underneath her?

    Cross your fingers for my good first hatch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  2. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How exciting! I haven't had a hen go broody yet, so i've got no wisdom to share. Congratulations on your first natural hen hatch!
     
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll get to see in the morning :D


    They usually stay put until most of all have hatched. They'll get up and take a peek, but they usually stay on them so the temperature and humidity don't fluctuate too much. The chicks might peek out later in the first day, but she'll keep them in the nest for about a day before venturing out to show them where water and food are. I usually can't help peeking, and will grab any leftover shells while I'm in there, but you don't have to worry about them; mom will eat them or kick them out of the nest.


    If she's a first timer, keep a close eye and make sure she keeps them all together, 13 will be a huge brood to tend if they all hatch and can be a bit overwhelming for a new mom.


    Also, make sure that your water pan us "chick proof". I had one drown because I forgot to put a different waterer out and it got in the water pan and couldn't get out. :(


    Some breeds make great broodies, some not so much... What breed is your broody, if I may ask? :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed




    I am sure she will do just fine..:)

    She will leave the nest in about 24 to 48 hours....Once the Chicks are dry and in need of food and water...Lots of times with huge clutches they will abandon the nest to feed the first chicks...Put the food and water close to the nest and she might sit longer?...How exciting...:)

    I never bother my Hens and they do great...Its so exciting once she leaves the nest and I get to see all the new Chicks hopping around ..;)


    Best wishes!


    Cheers!
     
  5. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! By 7am this morning there were two completely hatched chicks - one fluffy and one still drying off. They are sticking their heads out from under mamma from time to time. She is perfect, clucking gently to the chicks and eggs. Now I just hope I get a few more to hatch. It sounds quiet in there now that these two are out, no tapping. I've got food and water close by so hopefully she can stick it out. Here she is with her first chick.

    . [​IMG]
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    So cute....Congrats!..... Best wishes....:) Cheers!
     
  7. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, now this hen has a bunch of chicks. I think I counted 9 or even 10, but they are still mostly staying under her so it's hard to count because, she is still sitting. This morning is 24 hours since the first 2 chicks were completely hatched, and most of the rest hatched later yesterday.

    This morning I reached under to see what was left and did find an egg. I started to try to candle it but then I heard faint tapping under the shell so I put it back in - there was no external pip, though.

    How long should she wait on these eggs before she takes the rest off the nest? I have been occasionally offering her food and water where she can eat and drink without moving, and she has gladly chowed down, along with some of the older chicks. I am assuming she'll know when to get up and move on, but is there a cut off date when I should take the eggs away? I am 12 hours into day 22 at this point, with most of the chicks having been out by the end of day 21.

    FYI, these eggs were all set at the exact same time, but one did get chilled after she pushed it out of the nest. When I candled it, it was developing but seemed behind the others so I left it in. Wondering if this latecomer could be that egg.

    Either way, I'm pleased because it looks like I've gotten a good hatch 10/13. I think this one is the Black Australorp x Rhode Island Red:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now 12/13 are hatch and the 13th one is tapping on the egg but no pip. Mom seems to be done incubating and is up with the chicks. Any way I can continue incubation of the last egg so it can have a chance to finish hatching? I don't have an incubator. I stuck it back under her and she is on it for now, but the way she was up walking around with the other chicks I think she has decided she is done. And I don't blame her. Anyway, 12/13 ain't bad!
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a great job! Congrats! :)
     
  10. Sarahal88

    Sarahal88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    #13 didn't make it past the internal pip, but the remaining 12 are doing great.
     

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