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Hatching Chickens Naturally, Without the Aid of an Incubater! Woo!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by The Mother Hen, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. The Mother Hen

    The Mother Hen Chirping

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    NEW PART OF MY POST! I just went and candled some eggs. So far I have about five healthy chicks in their first cycle of their embryonic stage! I can't be more proud of my hens and rooster!

    So I plan to hatch some eggs naturally, with a broody Bard Rock as their mama, I am aware there are a few precautions I should take, and I have. At night I cover her box with a thick mesh/netting. To secure her and the babies I place rocks along the lip and walkway to secure the mesh. Then I take an old metal garden hose wrapper and place it outward to ward off any pests. I clean the box once a day and clean out any poo left from other chickens when the mama is gone. I am wondering how can I further help her hatch a good clutch of eggs? Does she need to be on at night or can I take her off (it gets 95-100 degrees outside and 85 at night)? When can I start candling the eggs (I've taken eggs from a four day period)? I am wondering what illnesses I should worry about and how to prevent them. I have hatched eggs in an incubater (all healthy mind you) but this is the first time I've let a hen raise chickens. Thanks for any help!

    Here is the picture of my rooster, and he's much taller than he looks:

    [​IMG]By the way, this guy is for sale. He is going through a molt, but that is to be expected.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

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    I don't candle eggs under a broody. If they're fertile and she doesn't break them, they should hatch. I imagine if one is bad, she'll kick it to the curb.
    Don't worry about disease either. Just let nature take its course.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't know your set up but I'm wondering why all the mesh, etc? When my hens brood, they just set on eggs in a nest box. I do mark the eggs she's brooding, so no eggs get added during her broody period and get only partially incubated. Other than that, just let her do her thing. She needs to be on the nest all day and night, she'll get off once or twice during the day to eat/drink/poop/dust bathe and generally terrorize the rest of the flock, then back on her eggs. 21 days and *poof* baby chicks! Leave her in the coop with the rest of the flock, let her protect them from the other hens, make sure the feed and water is low enough the babies can reach it and just enjoy!
     
  4. The Mother Hen

    The Mother Hen Chirping

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    Thanks Canoe, I heard of Mushy chicken disease on here and it kind of freaked me out. I want my new hatchies to be healthy so I can let them grow and take care of them. I am also worried about the other hens being too mean to them.
     
  5. The Mother Hen

    The Mother Hen Chirping

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    The stuff about the mesh is because we had some possums terrorize our flock at night last Friday. I came home from a play, went out into the backyard and noticed a trio of them headed for the coop, the chickens clucking nervously. It turned out that my mother and I scared the daylights out of them, but to protect the broody bard rock I place a mesh over her nesting box in order to keep her secure. We've had chickens die from an animal attack, and I just want to keep her alive and not turned into a chicken dinner.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

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