Help with broody bantam not sure she is eating or drinking.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Carol.in.WV, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    First off, I have absolutely no experience with hatching either with a hen or incubator.

    I found some bantam eggs on a shelf in one of our outbuildings a while ago and removed the eggs and put a box with hay in it on the shelf where I picked up the eggs but must have missed one or two days. I don't remember exactly when I first noticed one of the little black Japanese bantams on the nest but think I thought she was laying and did not disturb her. After a few days I figured she was broody and felt some eggs under her. I put some eggs I had gathered that day in the nest not remembering just how many and put some food and water in that building. I never saw her off the nest again and some days later after we finished the coop and had most of the birds in it I just moved her box and all. One time I went in the coop that she wasn't on the nest but only once caught her off the nest. We have had bitter cold temps and below zero windchill, but at night my little Cochin bantam would go in and sleep with her. Last night the Cochin didn't join her in the nest so this morning I brought her in the house she is in a smallish box inside a rubbermaid tub with a hole cut in the end and shavings in it. I put food and water in front of the tub this morning and don't think she came out at all.

    Now I am wondering if she has ever eaten or drank water since she started this and by my figuring it is very close to 3 weeks. A few minutes ago I read a post that said she picked the broody hen up and put it by the water and food, so I did that and she just lay there .... I counted the eggs: 3 standard and 7 bantam, which is probably too many and they aren't all due to hatch the same day. I picked up a couple to see if I could candle with a flashlight and couldn't so I put them back and the hen (really a 30 wk old pullet)

    I had been thinking "just let nature take its course", but not I am feeling anxious about the little girl and maybe the eggs too.

    Should I just leave her alone or is there something I should do? What is "lockdown" does that mean don't touch the eggs when it is close to hatching time? BTW the nest is perfectly clean ... no doo doo.
     
  2. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    All I can help you with is, lockdown. That is what people say when they have eggs in the bator and they are on day 18. After day 18 you don't open the battor. I hope everything turns out ok for you. [​IMG]
     
  3. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    Quote:Thanks for the good wishes. Do you know why you don't open the bator?

    This morning I moved her in the tub to the living room and we took her off the nest and she is sitting on 12 eggs 3 from our Golden Comets and 9 bantam. I do not think I put all those eggs under her, so I wonder if some are from the Cochin, which could make them a lot later than the rest. I tried listening to the eggs and think I may have heard a heartbeat on most. I smelled them to see if any smelled bad and they didn't but one of the large eggs (and these large are jumbo) was colder so I still don't know if they are viable. It took a while for her to come out of her trance and finally eat and drink and even had a large poo, so it looks like she will live.

    Will she continue to sit if some of the eggs aren't ready to hatch for a few days after the others ..... that is providing anything hatches at all?
     
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I'm no expert, but I have read .... that the broody will usually leave the nest to care for the babies, rather than to continue sitting on eggs due later. I dunno...

    If you have an incubator, maybe you could put the (later due) eggs in it, after she has hatched out and gets off the nest ???

    Good luck!
     
  5. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your little broody should be just fine
    You have moved her many times so she might be a bit nervous about leaving the eggs.
    A broody will generally only leave the nest once a day to eat drink and poop. Other than that her whole mission is to hatch those eggs. Many of our broodies will not leave the nest for two or three days at a time.
    A broody will move the eggs around under her to regulate the temperature on them. If the eggs were all placed under her within a weeks time, then she should hatch them all within a day or two of each other. Once the first egg hatches she will continue to sit on the rest off the eggs for up to three days. After that time, the ones that haven't hatched may be lost. She will be more concerned with caring for the chicks that did hatch. New chicks can go for up to three days wthout food and water when they are first born.
    Leave your broody in peace and quiet as much as possible so that she feels secure and comfortable and let nature take it's course. The benchmark for hatching is 21 days but with a broody, many times you do not know on which day she actually started her set. So from the time she starts to lay her clutch of eggs to the time she stops laying and starts setting is dependent on her.
    I hope that helps you.
    Eric

    edited for spelling
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  6. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Carol.in.WV :

    Quote:Thanks for the good wishes. Do you know why you don't open the bator?


    Yes, it's because you don't want your humidity to go down. It needs to be around 70 % so the chicks can break the shell easier. I wouldn't worry about your eggs hatching at different times. They should hatch like ThePamperedPullet said within 3 days of each other. Let us know how you make out.​
     
  7. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    Quote:Eric, thank you for easing my mind. Now that she is in the living room brooding in a rubbermaid tub, I see that she usually comes out once a day and does her thing then it is back on the eggs.

    Now I have a new question: Is there any way to tell if the eggs have chicks in them. I tried listening with a stethescope and think I hear heartbeats in most if not all but it may be my imagination. I think some of the eggs or maybe all just aren't warm enough because when she gets off some of the outer eggs feel a bit cool to me.

    Today when she was about to get back on the eggs I thought I heard some chirping sounds from the eggs, but my DH didn't hear anything and for that matter I don't know if they make any noise before they hatch. Do they?
     
  8. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    oh yea they will chirp inside the egg, right before hatch. good luck
     
  9. Paraclete 2

    Paraclete 2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 13, 2009
    That was excellent infor from pampered pullet, the less you mess with them the better off your sitting hen will be and the better the outcome will be. Quit stressing the hen knows just what to do. Relax, relax, and relax again.
     
  10. Carol.in.WV

    Carol.in.WV Chillin' With My Peeps

    128
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    109
    Nov 10, 2009
    Pendleton County, WV
    Well, one of the Golden Comet & RIR eggs hatched on 12/23. Then nothing while the baby was bored and bothering the mama finally I heard chrips coming from the box in the early AM on 12/25 and when opened up the box there were 4 more that had hatched; another GC, a black with white wing tips bantam, a brownish bantam and a little pale blue/grey bantam with black skin, probabaly at least half silkie. Momma was ready to go parading around with them but I covered her box and kept her in the dark until the morning of the 27th when she just wasn't having any more sitting. I feel like most of the other seven were alive at that point. I put a light in the box but think I got it too hot and probably killed 5 others. Two of the eggs I am keeping next to my body.....best I can do but only 98 not 102 like momma, one of them has been periodically talking to me and I don't know what to do now....keep waiting or open the egg?

    Dec 23
    [​IMG]

    Dec 25
    [​IMG]

    Help!
     

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