Hatching with a broody hen question????

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Double T, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Double T

    Double T Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2011
    W Texas
    Just to grins and giggles, I traded some fertilized (I hope) eggs from my brother to give to my broody Buff Orpington hen. I gave her 5. She chose the popular nesting box, and I don't know if she is coming out to eat and or drink or if the others are getting on top of her and laying but I end up with 2 extras every evening. I marked the 5 I gave her with a black marker. My question is, should I do or add anythign else? Also I have to kind of pick her up and figure out which are the unfertile eggs (as my rooster isn't working), and which are the ones I've given her, sometimes the black mark is on the bottom and sometimes on the top, does it hurt to pick the eggs up and look?? She's not too happy with it, but i don't want wasted eggs so the others have to come out. And although she doesn't try to peck (her butt faces out and her head to the wall, lol) she's got this little game of when she's uber annyoed, of doing this urrrrr clucking sound and a second later shooting poop out at you. LOL I guess it's her defense don't know, but she's good at it. lol Anyways no idea if she'll hatch 'em but she wasn't leaving that box even with no eggs in there, so I felt sorry and thought 'What the heck, we'll try it". How long should i wait before expecting to see little fuzzy heads??
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It takes them 3 weeks to hatch, or a day or two either way. Sounds like you are doing fine. I've done the same several times. I learned to draw a circle all the way around the middle of the egg to make ID easier, but the handling won't hurt a thing, she turns them anyway, and you turn eggs in an incubator.

    They are supposed to get off the nest once a day to take care of business, but they do lose a little weight and muscle tone, anyway. I always take my broody off the nest when I go in the coop so I'm sure she is eating, etc. This probably isn't necessary, but I feel better about them if I do it. Usually they leave the nest only when you aren't looking.

    Broodies will also steal eggs. They can carry them by tucking them under their "chin." For sure if you let her hatch in the coop, you have to check under her every day. Many recommend putting them in a separate pen where they won't be bothered by hens laying on top of them or getting in their broody nest when they are out. Probably results in a little higher hatch rate -- but once a broody chooses a nest it is very difficult to move them, and can make them abandon being broody entirely. I like mine to raise their chicks in with the flock, anyway, so I just don't fight whatever they want to do.
     

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