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Hatching in Hotter Climates

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by oecolampadius, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. oecolampadius

    oecolampadius New Egg

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    Sep 13, 2013
    Hi all,

    We're new to this whole chicken raising deal, but having a blast living and learning. We have 11 hens (9 red sex-links and 2 not-sures) and 1 rooster.

    One week ago today we noticed that one of our hens (a red sex-link) was brooding. Up until that point we had been collecting the eggs. So, when we saw her brooding, we decided we'd let her do her thing and stop taking the eggs. (We thus haven't collected any eggs this past week.) There were 5 in the hatch on which she was sitting last week. Well, a week has gone by and that hatch has grown to include 10 eggs as of this morning. We've also noticed a second hatch of 5 eggs in another spot and one of our white hens (unsure of the breed) hanging around them. (The eggs themselves are lighter in color which suggests that they're hers [?].) We haven't actually sign this white hen brooding though, only hanging around near the eggs.

    Daily temperatures here reach 100F and cool down to high 70s. We've heard that high temperatures can do funny things to chickens. For instance, should we expect to see the hens brooding less given the high temperatures here? After all, she broods to keep the egg at around 100F, right? So, we're uncertain how to proceed from here.

    The hatch of 10 eggs, the one on which we have seen the red sex-link brooding, seems to be "growing." Today makes a week since we first saw her brooding. Should we continue to leave these eggs for her and see if two weeks from now we have chicks? If so, should we move these eggs to a different spot so we can collect fresh eggs starting again today? We don't actually see her brooding that much--but then again, we're not out there watching every second of the day. Since we don't see her brooding that much, should we get rid of these 10 eggs and start over (assuming eggs should be collected every 1-3 days)? Or, is it the case that she's letting the high 100F temperatures do the "warming"? Sidebar: the hens seem to enjoy laying out in the heat! Funniest thing; roll around in the dust/sand and then lay on their sides.

    For the hatch of 5 whiter eggs, again, should we just leave them and see what happens?

    I'm attaching two (not particularly amazing) pictures, showing the rooster and the other two (non sex-link) hens, one white, the other black, as well the well-shaded chicken run.

    We appreciate any guidance you can offer. Thanks!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  2. babyfoot

    babyfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, I live in Western Australia, my hens always wait until the weather is warming up before they get broody. It gets to 39-45 centigrade here in summer that's usually well over a 100F. I have got into the habit of marking with a non lead pencil very lightly any eggs that are being sat on to keep the numbers down and to make sure all eggs hatch around the same time. Don't handle the eggs too often as your body grease can block the porous shell. Then I gently lift hen off (to get a drink, poop, eat or whatever) and I gather the unmarked eggs, usually about twice a day. If other hens lay eggs near her she will steal them and put them underneath her. My first time I ended up with fourteen eggs under one hen, too many for her and they were all different ages. The problem can be that as the first batch of eggs are hatched, the mother will often take the youngsters out of the nest box and the unhatched eggs get cold and don't survive. This has been my ( very limited) experience.

    I have got my hens into the habit of always laying in the same area in a secure and darkened area. I put plastic eggs in the boxes to encourage the new hens to lay in there. Once I know hen is broody and that she is not kidding me (usually two to three days) I move her and her eggs to another area within the hen house (at night when she is settled otherwise she will abandon those eggs and move back to the main nesting area) Then no other hens lay beside her and the egg batch is the same number. That is the same area that she and her chicks will stay until they are old enough to be let out with the other hens, I introduce them slowly, supervised at first but by six weeks of age they can fend for themselves and mum usually abandons then. I keep that area fenced in with a separate run for them. made with much smaller mesh to keep out lizards and snakes etc that would normally get into the bigger run as the chicken wire is much wider spaced.

    you may want to 'candle' your eggs to see if they have a foetus inside or not.

    Chickens love a dust bath, it's their favourite thing and is very good for them, helps rid of mites and lice. Is beneficial

    Hope this helps some of your questions
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  3. chickenlover28

    chickenlover28 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Dyer, Indiana
    I would move her w the eggs out of main coop. Just make sure she is eating and drinking. Better for a hen to go broody w out being disturbed. That way u can collect your eggs as well.
     
  4. chickenlover28

    chickenlover28 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Dyer, Indiana
    If she is truly broody she wont leave the nest.
     

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