From Hen to Incubator


In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2019
So I'll try and make this looking story short. We bought a house from friends and inherited their chickens. 2 rosters (1 bantam) and 8 hens mixed type. One Buff went broody and couldn't get her up at all. So we decided to let her set. She had 5 eggs. Then once dst I saw both Buffs out and about and went to check the nest ... li and behold there were WAY more than 5. First timers and didn't mark the original 5. She can running to protect her nest so we left it. Skip forward. Had 1 chick on the 11th, earlier than we thought. Next on 13th. On 14th one pipped but was covered in flies by mid next morning so we pulled that one. Expected the rest to start pipping. Finally had another pipped on 17th and got about half way out. However this one also died. Mama kept leaving the nest to deal with her 2 chicks. :( So did some research, borrowed an incubator and had gotten it ready and took the remaining 12 eggs! from her. Before putting in the incubator I candled them and ALL of them had growth but not sure how much more than 12 days maybe even 15. On the 19th one hatched in incubator. Thought a whole bunch would be coming. Took it out because it said to get the dirty stuff out. Anyway, no other pipping. What should I do? Mama hen had been getting on and off. We have high humidity here. Wondering if I could quickly try and candle the remaining 11 and see if I have a reason to keep going with the incubator or how long to let it go. I really hope I don't lose 11 more babies. :( Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Just let her take care of the live chicks and keep the eggs in the incubator. Once the chicks are out and about, she'll give up on the eggs.
You'll likely have a staggered hatch. Some may have quit but don't give up on them. They'll all be mutts.
Perhaps as they hatch, you can slip them under her at night.
I'll begin turning. And's after we quickly candled these remaining eggs toast it looks like I have 6 in the 6 to 8 day range and 5 that are in the 12 to 15 day range. In the early set, I also think one egg is a twin!
I also lowered the humidity a bit.
I heard some chirping this morning. So I'm hoping all goes well soon. I've been turning them, but I will stop since I've hearf noise. The only thing is that the incubator hasn't been holding it's humidity as well as it was. Praying it all goes well.

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