help! hatching okay?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by songbird, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. songbird

    songbird Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2009
    New England
    Hi,
    Sorry to be panicky, but this is my first time awaiting grandchickens. So many questions I just can't quite find the answers to.
    I have a hen sitting on 10 eggs, which unfortunately were laid over a span of about 7-10 days. First chick hatched 2 days ago.
    1) If eggs have a pip or part of a zip, how long should it take for them to hatch?
    2) If egg is peeping, and has the pip or part of a zip, does that make a difference? Sometimes they peep, sometimes they are quiet. They do respond when I talk to them ;-) (how cute is that!)
    3) How long should I wait from pip or zip, to intervention? Will the hen help them?
    4) The nest box is up high and the coop is cold (not for hens, but for chicks) so I need to steal them as soon as they hatch. How often should I be trekking out in the blizzard to the coop to check for babies?
    5) This hen spends most of her time with a sort of outcast hen...these two get along well, and I get the feeling that the other hen is trying to help. When I put the babies back with mom, would it be safe to keep these two hens together, or would the other hen be a meanie to the babies?
    6) Does anyone know of any resourceful ideas for dividing a coop and pen when you have babies?

    Thanks so much for your wisdom!!
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    I have a hen sitting on 10 eggs, which unfortunately were laid over a span of about 7-10 days. First chick hatched 2 days ago.
    Were they put under her at different times or all at once?
    1) If eggs have a pip or part of a zip, how long should it take for them to hatch?
    Depends, but usually within 24 hours.
    2) If egg is peeping, and has the pip or part of a zip, does that make a difference? Sometimes they peep, sometimes they are quiet. They do respond when I talk to them ;-) (how cute is that!)
    All good signs. Sometimes they need a break, it's hard work hatching!
    3) How long should I wait from pip or zip, to intervention? Will the hen help them?
    Most hens will not help them. If you notice what looks like they are saran wrapped you may want to help them but the ones that hatch on their own are stronger. If saran wrapped then assist by placing damp towel over it long enough to moisten it back up.
    4) The nest box is up high and the coop is cold (not for hens, but for chicks) so I need to steal them as soon as they hatch. How often should I be trekking out in the blizzard to the coop to check for babies?
    Leave them with mom if you can, this will make for stronger birds. I suggest caging them somehow so that they can't get trapped away from mom. I put a shelf with 1/4" hardware cloth around the box and put food and water in there. This allows her to raise them and they can't get trapped from her heat.
    5) This hen spends most of her time with a sort of outcast hen...these two get along well, and I get the feeling that the other hen is trying to help. When I put the babies back with mom, would it be safe to keep these two hens together, or would the other hen be a meanie to the babies?
    Only you know your flock well enough to answer this. I am more worried about mom being mean to the other hen to protect her babies. If you want to try you can put them together and watch them for a long while. If there is any aggression from anyone take the other hen out and leave it at that for a while.
    6) Does anyone know of any resourceful ideas for dividing a coop and pen when you have babies?
    Deer netting. It is $13 at hardware stores for 7 foot by 100 foot roll. It is thin black plastic, easy to handle, cheap, and the holes are small enough to prevent the chicks from escaping moms heat.
     
  3. songbird

    songbird Out Of The Brooder

    97
    1
    41
    Feb 16, 2009
    New England
    Thanks for your input.

    The eggs were laid at different times and were added to the clutch she was sitting on (by the hens who were sneaking in.) So the latest additions won't be ready until 2/21.

    How can I see if the chick is "saran-wrapped?"

    If I were to move mom and eggs into the house with any (hopefully) chicks, would she be stressed and stop setting? She is definitely comfortable with her little routine in the coop, but I don't know how I can enclose her with her babies in that elevated nest box. I will look at it tomorrow though and see if I can rig something up.

    When the chick first pips or when it makes a hole in the egg, does it matter if the hole is up, on the side, down, etc?
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Because they were set at different times I do suggest that you take away the little ones for a while to keep her sitting on the last eggs. You can bring her and the eggs in the house before hatching for ease if you want. The best way to do it is to bring the eggs in first then her at night time. She will be calmer at nighttime and if you move her before the eggs she will freak out. Saran wrapped eggs look like the inside membrane is dried on them and they can't pip threw it (egg shell will be off). It is rarer in broody hatches. They say that the hole should be up but I have had great hatches with broodies where the piped part was in all different directions including down. Trust the broody! She knows what she is doing.
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Out Of The Brooder

    97
    1
    41
    Feb 16, 2009
    New England
    Thanks for your help. The little peeper from yesterday is a perfect yellow chick this morning. The egg that is half zipped is silent and still...doesn't seem alive, but I will give it more time.
    I think I will move the chick inside this morning (afraid it will fall out of the nest) and move the rest of the scene tonight. Does that sound reasonable?
     
  6. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Sounds great!
     

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