first time chick hatching, need info


Apr 26, 2015
HELP! I've got a hen sitting on 5 fertilized eggs (about 95% sure they were) We are on day 22 ish and she hasn't moved. She is sitting in a little different position instead of hunkered down. I don't know if there are chicks under her or what. She doesn't like me getting near her at all. I need advice, please! How long should I wait, should I force her out just to see or leave her be for a few more days. Will she keep chicks under her for a while or will they show themselves to eat and drink.....
Eventually they will show themselves,. Do you hear any chirping or peeping when you visit her? Does she leave the nest at all, to eat, drink, poo. It is very necessary to her health that she continue to do this at least a couple times a day, even if you have to put her outside. In that very short time frame, you can see if any chicks have hatched. Just do not handle them - leave things the way she has them.
Hope she has a good hatch.
Howdy jljcunningham and welcome to BYC

How exciting for you; I do not think I will ever tire of watching a mumma hen and her bubs.

As Diva has suggested, listen carefully for any peeping.

Also, if they have hatched or are zipping, you may notice her poking around under herself more than usual as she is pushing the little ones back under so that you cannot see them.

The “different position” may be because she is not wanting to smother any little ones that have hatched and also because of the zipping of the little ones while they break out of their shell.

For the three weeks leading up to the hatch, you will probably have noticed that she pretty much just sits there, in the zone, occasionally moving the eggs around.

At hatch time or close to hatch time, you should have noticed some increased activity from her, while not actually leaving the nest, she may have been a little bit more fidgety on the nest and quietly clucking away; both a good sign that you will have some bubs soon.

Also, as Diva has suggested, I would leave it for a couple of days yet before giving up hope on any hatching.

Once mumma has decided that any remaining eggs are not going to hatch, she should leave the nest and take the bubs with her. The chicks will be OK for the first 2-3 days if she does not leave the nest as they survive on the nutrients from the egg yolk they have drawn into them. It is however, a good idea to put some food and water close by; ensuring that the water is chick safe and they cannot drown.

If you can manage to lift her and take a peep, I recommend this. I have heard of an empty shell that a chick has zipped out of managing to slip itself over another egg in which the chick is trying to zip, meaning the poor little munchkin breaks through it’s shell only to find another over it (this is rare).

Good luck with your hatch and if you do get some bubs, please share some photos
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