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Hatching Some Eggs in Incubator and some under Broody at same time.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cedarcovefarm, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. cedarcovefarm

    cedarcovefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi!
    So I'm looking for some advice from some experience hatchers. I've never hatched under a broody, but my CCL went broody in a serious way. I finally relented and gave her 4 eggs. I didn't think the eggs were fertile, because I thought my sweet Beleifelder roo was too much of a gentleman. So, I ordered 6 Salmon Favorolles eggs. The nice fella sent me 12. I go back to my little broody 5 days later with my new fertile eggs to remove her 4 eggs and find 14 eggs! The other girls had been contributing to her habit. I remove them and candle them...just to be sure. As my luck would have it, all 14 were fertile. My roo was not near the gentleman I had made him out to be;) So anyways, I left some eggs for the broody, pinned her in so there would be no more contributions to the nest and took some eggs and put them in the incubator. The oldest eggs are to hatch this weekend in my incubator. It will be a staggered hatch over about 5 days in both the incubator and under the broody. My question is: should I leave the broody's chicks with her or take them as they hatch and brood them with my other chicks and then give them all back to her at the end of her hatching? I plan to let her brood them all but I don't want her to abandon the nest.
    Anybody else hatch both methods at the same time?
     
  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have hatched using a broody hen and an incubator at the same time. However, it was not staggered. They were all set to hatch on the same day. When they were all hatched I let the broody raise them all.

    To answer your question, you can leave the chicks with her that hatch the same day, then take the eggs out from under her that haven't hatched and put them in the incubator. When the rest hatch you can give them all back to her. The problem you may have is chicks develop so quickly that there will be difference between the day old ones and five day old ones.

    Some advice with your broody is to not pin her in the nest. She needs to get off the nest daily to eat, drink and poop. Mine will leave the nest for 1/2 to 1 hour each day. I mark all the eggs under the broody with a sharpy marker on the large end of the egg and check daily to remove any new eggs that are not marked.

    Hope this helps.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cedarcovefarm

    cedarcovefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did think about the size difference of the chicks..I'm not sure what to do though. I forgot to mention that she is pinned in a rather large area with food, water and room to walk around. I was not sure what else to do with the hens laying eggs all through the day and putting them under her. I don't live where my hens are so I have to drive about 20 minutes to check and get eggs. There was some concern that if the eggs sat under the hen for several hours that bacteria/incubating could start??. I'm was not certain so I just ended up separating her. She can still see the others but she just has that far away gaze. She did get up
    And start singing the egg laying song and jumping up on the fence yesterday. Which concerned me that she had lost her bloodiness. But she went and sat back on her eggs after a few minutes. This egg hatching is mind boggling:)
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    An other consideration with this 5 day spread is that the imprint window between chick and Mama is of short duration. She may not accept late entries to the game. And older chicks that are introduced when she hatches her younger ones may not imprint to her. The best you can do is try it and see what happens. Also, assuming that you have an astounding hatch... that many chicks may be too many for her to handle. She's not a terribly big girl, is she?
     
  5. cedarcovefarm

    cedarcovefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No she's a cream legbar. Not very big. But big enough to get 14 eggs under herself[​IMG]You're right. I just got myself in a pickle when those hens started adding their own eggs to the pile. I should've looked under her but I didn't want her to leave her nest. So what's the chances of still brooding them in the same area but providing an eco brooder for the ones that she doesn't imprint on. Do you think she would try to harm these chicks she didn't imprint on? I do plan to give some away. But I hate to give all the first hatched away in case none of hers (hatching later) don't hatch...
    Any more thoughts or advice for this first time broody chicken momma?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you have an Eco brooder? If not, look at this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    I suspect that any chicks that she doesn't accept to brood will be viewed as intruders, and at best driven away, and at worst, killed.

    Be prepared to brood them, be pleasantly surprised if she accepts them all, and after the hatch is done, you can decide which chicks to keep, and which chicks to cull. After all, you can't count your chicks till they hatch!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. cedarcovefarm

    cedarcovefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was a great article. I do have an ecobrooder. I think I may just plan to brood them all away from the hen. By the time they're a few weeks, they should be about the same size.
    Totally right about counting those chicks before they're hatched[​IMG]
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I would keep an eye on her around hatching time. When about 2 days have passed from her hatching the first chick, she'll leave the nest to take the babies to eat and drink. At that point I'd pull the remaining eggs and stick them in the incubator. I hate to see momma have nothing to show for all her hard work [​IMG]
     
  9. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reasons you need to watch her closer around hatching time is a new broody may not know what to do with her chicks. I've had broodies who only knew to set in their space and when hatching time came didn't give the chicks enough room to hatch under her, smashing the eggs shell onto the chick which kills it, or killing the chick after it hatches, I believe in the broody hen's thinking that the chick was invading her brooding space.

    Some broodies knew exactly what to do when hatching time came, and did a wonderful job as a first time mom. You may have to spend some extra time going to check on her starting the day before the first one is sceduled to hatch. Since you have to drive to check on her is it possible to bring her home with you?

    Also, please don't take her new chicks away from her, because she'll be heart broken for months.
     
  10. cedarcovefarm

    cedarcovefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I ended up having to bring my little broody hens eggs home to the incubator. She decided yesterday when I went to check on her that she was no longer interested in being broody. She ran out of the pin and started dust bathing and playing like her old self. I put fake eggs In the nesting pen just in case she changed her mind but I didn't want to risk the eggs dying. She still had not gone back to the nest 4 hours later. Thanks for all the advice!
     

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