First Time with Hen hatching eggs--do I need to help Hen with hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kkubal, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. kkubal

    kkubal Hatching

    Apr 12, 2010
    I am not sure if I need to help out the hen who is foster hatching a couple of eggs. Will she be nice to the chick? Do i need to take it away from her? Will other chickens hurt the hatching chick? I tried to move the hen to another location that is separate, but it distressed her and she wouldn't sit on the eggs in a different spot. So she is hatching these eggs in one of our nest boxes where the other chickens have access. Do I need to keep the hatching eggs away from the other chickens? About 3 hens take turns sitting on the eggs. Thanks for the help![​IMG]
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    When they are hatching, the early hatches will be up running around, and the hen will sit on the nest waiting for the last to hatch. She will give it about 24 hour, in my limited experience. The chicks that are running around do need protection from the other hens, as they will give some nasty pecks.

    I just locked my layers in the run out of the coop for that 24 hour period. Then the broody hen has been taking care of her chicks, (she doesn't know that the eggs were not hers) and will protect them from the other hens.

    I do let my free range quite a bit, so they are not penned up tight for long periods, but today, did not get down them real quick, and everyone, including the rooster was leaving the chicks basically alone. Mrsk
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Your hen won't be colour, size, or even species prejudiced (will hatch duck eggs etc.)

    Try to isolate her from the other adults who may not react well to babies.

    Momma hen will give any help needed to hatch her eggs.

    good Luck,

  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I have found it helpful to put a piece of chicken wire over the nestbox while the hen is hatching, to keep the others out. As soon as she has hatched her babies, you can move her and the chicks to a safer location, and she will stay with them.

    The only problem with the other chickens having access is that they will add eggs to the clutch. So it's helpful if you mark the original clutch, or you'll end up with a staggered hatch rate, which the mother hen may not have patience for. Well, and sometimes, they will fight over the eggs, and the eggs can get damaged. This one depends a lot on the personality of the hens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by