Hen hatched a chick but seldom leaves nest- problem?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    My dear black Jersey giant has patiently sat upon 7 mutt eggs for 3 weeks and finally got a chick on sunday! She and her broody neighbor have been frequently nest swapping, and there seems to be some sort of custody dispute going on... both in regards to the nests full of eggs, and the lone chick.
    Anyway I am horrible and didn't notice right away when either went broody, so I do not know when the eggs are due. Since they are in the coop with the others, its possible some eggs were added early on (though we have been checking since we discovered broodies) so some eggs could be a few days behind. I candled a week ago and thought all the giant's eggs looked the same level of developed, but I am so new at candling, I could be wrong. I think she is waiting for her other eggs to hatch, and I am not sure they will. I worry about Frosty (the chick) who doesn't even seem sure who his mum is, but he seems happy, healthy, and I know they both feed him. I am worried though that I never see either hen off the nest (my room mate said he has though) so I worry Frosty might not get water as often as he needs. I worry about taking eggs away, not just because they may hatch, but because I think the two hens would just squeeze into one box and leave Frosty outside. Oh, he'd wiggle in there, but who would care for him? The gold laced (other broody) is a bit behind the black giant, so I am not surprized she keeps setting. But the Giant...wouldn't she give up if they won't hatch?

    I need help. Do I take Frosty away and raise him alone? Do I take the risk that Char's eggs won't hatch and dispose of them in hopes she will start acting like a mother? Do I take them and give them to the other broody in hopes they can all hatch together? If I remove Char's eggs, I will have to fence off the other broody's box to keep her out. But will that help? Will she go raise her baby if I take her eggs? I want to let this happen as naturally as possible. I hate having to meddle.

    Advice?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2010
  2. powerline

    powerline Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2008
    The hen that hatched the chick, take her off her nest and throw her remaining eggs away. If possible, put her in another pen with the chick and she will care for it. You may want to take her off the nest at night.
     

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