Help please! All opinions are wanted!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by KameyRae, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. KameyRae

    KameyRae Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay so one of my hens recently went missing, we couldn't find her anywhere but she showed up a day or 2 later and then was gone by that same night. Once again, we went like 2 days without seeing her until she showed up once again. This is when we realized she was probally laying on eggs somewhere. We looked all over and finally found where she had been hiding! (In an old shed by our garden) And yes, like we had suspected, shes laying on eggs. [​IMG]Ive never had a hen do this before so this is all new to me. I have a rooster so chances are the eggs are fertilized. What should I do now? Any tricks to helping the hen while shes sitting? How long will she sit on the eggs? should I bring her food and water? I have many questions and just want to do whatever is best for my hen! I haven't touched her because I didn't know if that would make her angry or even cause her to abandon the eggs? So I have no clue how many eggs shes sitting on! Any advice you may have is much appreciated! please write back any suggestions or comments that you think will help! Or tell me if you've ever had a similar situation and what you did. Thank you![​IMG]
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Most hens make excellent mothers, and don't need much help from humans. One possible concern, though, is predator protection. Hens don't always choose the safest places to make their nests, and a broody hen is a sitting duck. Is the area she is in within a fenced area? If not, I would try to erect some sort of barricade or other defense to protect her from predator attacks.

    If the eggs are viable, she should sit on the eggs until they hatch (about 21 days after the start of incubation). She'll wait until she believes all the eggs that can hatch have hatched, and then lead her chicks away from the nest. If the eggs do not hatch, then she may give up or keeping sitting on them for a few days or weeks longer. If she sits on them for more than a month, with no results, I would remove her from the nest and try to disrupt her broodiness.

    In general, try not to disturb her as much as possible. However, a little touching is fine, and it is also fine if you remove a few eggs from beneath her to candle them. Candling is shining a bright light into an egg in a darkened room. It allows you to see inside the egg and check for the development of an embryo. Depending on how long your hen has been sitting on the eggs, you may see some veins or a dark, moving blob when/if you candle. Preferably, you would candle on day 7 and 14 of incubation, and remove eggs that don't seem to be alive. You don't need to candle, though; you can just let nature take its course and see how many hatch.

    You should put food and water within reach of your hen. Hens will usually leave the nest 1-2 times a day, at which point they will eat and drink. If the food and water are far away, the broody hen may either not leave the nest, or will leave it for too long and cause the eggs to chill.

    Good luck with your hen!
     
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    X2 on this information.

    Broody hens are usually good mothers.
     
  4. KameyRae

    KameyRae Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2014
    Thank you so much! Yes you are so right she is definitely not in a very protective place from pretetors so I put up a peice of ply woo that covers the opening of the small shed & elves about 2 feet at the too for her to hop over if she wants to come out & I left food & water in the shed with her! I'm very excited to see what's going to happen!
     
  5. KameyRae

    KameyRae Out Of The Brooder

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    Also will all the eggs hatch on the same day or will they be afew days apart? After theyre hatched is it best to let them go into the coop with the mother & all the other chickens or to keep them separated for awhile?
     
  6. KameyRae

    KameyRae Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much again for your help!
     
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Most of the eggs should hatch on the 21st day of incubation. However, there may be a few stragglers that hatch over the next day or so.

    I would keep the hen and chicks separate from the flock until the chicks are older. Otherwise, the other birds may attack and harm the chicks.
     

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