Getting Really Nervous!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lauriej57, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Ok, I had a hatch last year, and one this year, but both times I kept the broody separated, and had a terrible time integrating her back into the flock. Was never able to integrate her and the chicks.

    My speckled sussex went broody a few weeks ago, and I decided to let her go, but leave her in the main coop. Trying to do it the old way, and let her deal with everything. Her original six eggs is now down to one egg. The other hens lay in her box, and sometimes I would find her in the other box setting on the new days eggs. I was doubting if any of the eggs were good. I lost the last 2 eggs about 4 days ago, not sure what happened but they got cracked or pecked, and there were chicks in both eggs, looking to be about a week away from hatching, so I have hopes for this last egg. Mama hen is starting to look bad, really pale comb. I've been giving her some sugar water, and literally putting water into her. She does not leave that nest unless I let everyone out to freerange, and the last time I did that, a couple of days ago, everyone beat up on her, to the point I had to intervene, then she went right back to her nest.

    I'm concerned that she didn't fight the others to protect herself, so I now doubt her ability to fight the others off to protect her chick. I went into this, somewhat as an experiment to see how it would go, but now I'm having nightmares of seeing all the other hens chasing each other, with this chick in one of their beaks, and of a bloody chicken fight as she tries to protect her chick.

    Am I over worrying?

    I really can't separate her where she's at, but I do have an area in my smaller coop where I can move her to, but I hate to disrupt her and have her quit sitting. That also goes against what I was trying to do, but I think since she hasn't been out and about, it's no different than having separated her in the beginning. It's a dark egg, from one of my welsummer's and next to impossible to candle. I'm only going to give her six more days, just at a loss what I should do right now.

    And maybe I should just do what was originally planned and let nature takes it course....but that's what is giving me these nightmares.
  2. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    I'm sorry your post has gone unanswered. I think we all have had to work out what works for us..

    I have a coop that is big enough to do what works for me. I take my broody hens with their new chicks and place them in a corner of the coop inside a cage. There they stay for a week or two (depending on how my hen is acting) .. and then I begin opening the cage and letting mamma bring the kids out during the day while the other chickens are out.

    So far, I've had really good luck with the other hens accepting babies like that. Usually when chicks are about 3-4 weeks old, mamma will try to roost in the evening, and if the chicks join her, I let'em work it out... There's alot of peeping and squabbling, but I end up with scrappy little chickens.. lol.

    The issue of broken eggs and hens continuing to lay happens with my silkie. I marked the original 6 eggs, and just lifted her and removed any unmarked eggs everyday .. this seemed to help..

    I hope you figure out what works for you!
  3. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    I don't usually have issues with the hen bringing the chicks back in. I have had a hen get off her nest and the other hens fight with her BUT when she arrived with babies be accepted back into the flock. I would keep a close eye on everyone to start with. If it doesn't look good seperate her.
  4. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Thanks for the thoughts. I think I am going to move her in the morning. I have the next 2 days off, so I can watch what is happening. If she quits sitting, I will put her back and put my banty cochin in with the egg, and hope she decides to sit on it. It should be in the 80's the next 2 days, so the eggs won't get "cold". It will be my luck that this is the one egg out of them all that isn't good, but at no point am I going to crack it open to find out. It will just be put gently into the garbage after I figure enough time has gone by.

    For some reason, I really want this egg to hatch. It's a mixed breed, but the hen that laid it is a beautiful welsummer.

    I'll let you know what happens.

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