Hatching Eggs... Naturally??? First chick...Now what?


14 Years
Jun 30, 2008
Tampa Bay Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have Hens that have been on about 40 eggs for what seems like forever. (20-25 days) This is our first time with chickens and our first round of eggs. We want to let nature take its course, but I do have a few questions. Im sure the answers are here somewhere, but our first chick was just discovered and Ive been searching here for hours. There are 3 hens sitting on this pile... I believe they are a Bantum, Rhode Island Red and...something (my husband knows) I'd just like to clarify.... So we let them sit on them for 24-48 hours, and then they will walk away from the rest and I should just get rid of them? Or check them (candling) for life and leave them? Also, will the other Hens and Roosters hurt the chick?? If I just let nature take its course, when can I get rid of the last of the eggs without losing sleep over whether or not they would have lived????

Those that are not being kept warm under someone will probably not hatch. The hen has to actually cover them all up to keep them warm.
Generally one hen sits on some eggs and she knows when it is time to get up with the live chicks and will abandon the rest of the eggs and not get on them again. Some folks will put these eggs in an incubator and sometimes get more chicks.
Unless you dated the last egg and that one has been incubatoed for 24 days or more, you can bet you still have eggs not ready to hacth yet anyway. Leave them be. You will definately lose eggs here, they can't cover that many. However, let them be, they'll do what they do best, and they'll reward you with a yard full of chicks soon enough! I'd be prepared to wait another week yet.
Looks like you have a red sex-link, a black sex-link, and a welsummer on that nest. Personally, I would take the one chick and put it in a brooder inside the house until your hens are finished with their hatch. That is a lot of eggs to be sitting on and I would be worried that the little one would some how get squashed or pecked by one of the other hens. But that's just me. I would give it another 3-6 days and then candle the eggs and see where you are with the hatch. But again, that's just me. I worry a lot about the itty bitty ones.

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