Hatching Eggs with a Broody Hen

flyingjen

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 10, 2014
10
1
82
Wheat Ridge, CO
This is either a grand experiment for us or an epic fail. Eggatha, my Buff Orpington went broody 3(ish) weeks ago. We bought 12 fertilized eggs for her to sit on. She has done an amazing job of keeping to her eggs. We lost one because it broke. The eggs started hatching yesterday. When I checked first thing yesterday morning, there was a dead chick that looked like it had been pecked to death. Then two chicks hatched and they are hanging out with Eggatha and doing well. Another egg hatched today and she pecked it to death. I'm hoping that she killed them because they were not going to be viable chicks (I mean she let two live...) so I still have 7 eggs left.

I'm concerned now about how those eggs are going to work out. Will she continue to sit on them until they hatch? At what point do I give up? I have read 72 hours. Do I continue to check her regularly or just let nature take it's course?
Thanks.
 

Lacy Duckwing

Free Ranging
Nov 6, 2017
2,082
7,928
532
Maine
My Coop
My Coop
I had a broody hen Peck her chicks to death. I had a backup brooder that hatched out on last chick and now that chick has three full grown chicks. I'm kinda shocked that she isn't killing those other two chicks. I would keep a close eye on her. She should know when to leave so you shouldn't have to worry about that, but if you had another broody or an incubator, I probably would want to put the rest of the eggs in that. You could always candle them to see if there is any more chicks. I've had good luck candling and have often been able to get a chick count before they hatched.
 

Lacy Duckwing

Free Ranging
Nov 6, 2017
2,082
7,928
532
Maine
My Coop
My Coop
Majority of the time I used Buff Orpingtons for brooders. The only other hens I ever used was a Buff Comet and some Silver Duckwing Old English Game bantams. Joy was my #1 brooder and she was a Buff Orpington. Her average was between 4-5 chicks. Her best hatch was her first, which was four: one roo and three hens. After that she hatched mostly roos. I had bad luck with hatching roosters. It's mainly what I got. All well. What hens I did get made up for the hens I didn't get :) .
 

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