Help with broody chicken and hatching eggs, please.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hawkeye2, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. hawkeye2

    hawkeye2 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Sep 12, 2014
    Oz
    Hey,

    My Araucana has been broody, today is her 5th day of trying to keep 2 plastic eggs warm so I'm giving her some fertile eggs tonight.

    What do I do after that? I know they take 21 days to hatch but that's all I got for now.

    Both myself and my Ara (she only started laying 2 months ago) are first timers for this so I need all the advice!

    She's taking 10-15mins off the nest every morning to eat, drink, stratch around and poop and she's pecked out all her tummy feathers.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,666
    3,335
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    [​IMG]

    Sounds like she's doing everything right. Your job is to make sure she's in a safe place and let her be. When I have broodies setting, I make sure that food and water are available and pretty much leave them alone otherwise. Every now and then I'll gently lift her up to make sure there are no broken eggs (it does happen on occasion), and when hatching time comes I'll maybe lurk about in the coop now and then to listen for peeping or hopefully see a little head sticking out from under the mama somewhere. I don't continually check under her or bother her while they're hatching. A day or so after hatching, I'll check for signs of life in any unhatched eggs (listen for peeping, look for pips). If there are no signs that they'll hatch, I remove the family from the nest and take the eggs away. It's quite simple, really. Let her do what she was made to do! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. hawkeye2

    hawkeye2 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Sep 12, 2014
    Oz
    Okay, awesome. I'm very excited, I'm hoping she'll like me at the end of this, she lets me pat her now she's broody, before that she was such a B.

    Do I candle them at all to see if they're developing? and when they hatch do I sperate her and the little ones from my 2 Isas? It's hard cause I'm in suburbia so not much room. haha. And do I count 21 days from tomorrow after I put the eggs under her tonight?
     
  4. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    460
    67
    121
    Dec 10, 2013
    Tennessee
    I candled between 7-10 days. If you don't have a lot of room fix a small area where the chicks can escape if harassed. Put feed and water in there too in case older chickens won't let them access the existing feeder and water fount. My chicks started mingling with the flock at less than a week old. I put eggs under my hen at night and counted the next day as day one. Keep in mind that sometimes it takes up to 23 or 24 days. Don't toss em if they don't hatch exactly on day 21. I tried not to bother my hen. One day she let a big broody poop all over the eggs and I had to clean them off with warm water. Other than that I let her do her thing. Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,666
    3,335
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Candling is a personal choice. You can if you want, I'd wait until at least Day 7. You can leave them right with the flock if you want. The mama will protect them. Boy, will she protect them! A protective mother hen is a sight to behold. Making a place for them to go if needed is a good idea. My broodies always make sure the babies get to eat. They don't allow the other hens to keep them from food or water, but separate feed and watering stations would work if you have room. Day 1 is 24 hours after you set them. If you set them on Sunday night, Day 1 is Monday night. Basically, if you set them on a Sunday, they should hatch on a Sunday. That is a guideline, of course. My last batch hatched on Day 20, I've had them go later.
     
  6. hawkeye2

    hawkeye2 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Sep 12, 2014
    Oz
    Okay! :) I put 16 eggs under her yesterday night. A couple people said it was too much but I was given extra when I went to get a dozen and I don't have an incubator. I helped her make a better nest and put them in a circular shape and she's now happily blobbed all over them. She didn't hop off this morning like normal cause she wanted to stay on them. :)
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,666
    3,335
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Sixteen is a bit ambitious... The problem with too many eggs is, they may not all be covered adequately, and as she moves them around under her, some or all of the eggs at one point or another will cool down - possibly too much. This can adversely affect their development and your hatch. Definitely keep an eye on things and make sure they are securely under her.
     
  8. hawkeye2

    hawkeye2 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Sep 12, 2014
    Oz
    I took two off her cause they weren't secure under her and were cold but she wouldn't let me touch the rest. Puffed up and did a weird growl at me. They all feel warm though. :) :) I cracked the ones I took off her and one looked like it had already started cell division so I'm so excited for the next 3 weeks to go by fast.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Good luck with your hatch!

    Something else you may want to consider, is that 14 chicks (or even a dozen) is A LOT for one hen to keep up with. I'm not sure where you're located, but here in TN its starting to get chilly. As those chicks grow, its going to be harder and harder for your hen to cover the chicks. Now, all of your eggs may not hatch, but now would be the time to figure out a game plan if she has problems keeping them all warm as they grow.
     
  10. hawkeye2

    hawkeye2 Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Sep 12, 2014
    Oz
    Thank you! I'm in Australia, it's spring time and getting warmer everyday so by the time the little ones hatch it should be warm enough for them not to even need mumma to keep warm. Today is 31 degrees and it's only going to get hotter next month. One of my other hens likes tucking smaller ones under her as well and I'm making a little area on one side of the run that only they can get too with one of those cloth strip brooder things I saw in case they want to go there instead of mumma. It's her first time so I dunno how maternal she'll be so I'm thinking of all the alternatives. lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by