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Help! Need advice--chicks hatching while we are out of town!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BonitaApplebum, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. BonitaApplebum

    BonitaApplebum In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2015
    This Spring we bought 5 chickens, two of which turned out to be roosters. Once the hens started laying, the kids were anxious to hatch eggs, but so far none of the hens are broody. I borrowed an incubator and the kids put some eggs in it. I had no idea at the time that chicken eggs take less time to hatch than duck eggs. So now...they are due to hatch any day (I think), and we are flying out of town tomorrow for a week. The person I borrowed the incubator from initially said he would watch them, but now he's telling me he's out of town for the weekend, and no one else wants the job. What can I do?? Can I set up a brooder with food and water and hope for the best? Can I use the incubator as a brooder? Any chance they'll be okay for that long? None have pipped yet, so I am not entirely sure how far along they are, since the kids kept adding more eggs while I wasn't watching.

  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Songster

    Mar 31, 2014
    Oh my, what a mess.

    What day are the oldest eggs on? Chicks take 21 days.

    Did you candle any of them?

    Do you have someone else who can watch? Even to check once a day would be sufficient, but they definately cannot survive a week.

    What type of incubator are you using? If it has an automatic turner, the turner should be removed at day 18-also known as lockdown day. The turner can injure/kill newly hatched chicks.

    Hope some of the advice helps, and hopefully your next hatch will be better planned.

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