hen hatching chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by folly foot, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. folly foot

    folly foot Out Of The Brooder

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    So one of my americaunas girls has gone broody, she will literally sit on anything at this moment. What are the pros and cons of having a hen sit on her eggs? We have a controlled environment we will be setting her up in so she can safely sit on them with no danger. Any advice? Is this even a good idea?
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey folly foot

    I remember my first hatch and after caving into my broody Pekin [bantam Cochin] and buying her some fertile eggs [no rooster] my first thought was “Oh my, what have I done” lol.

    Luckily for me, even though it was her first hatch also, she knew exactly what she was doing except for one thing .. she did not get the memo that broody hens are supposed to leave the nest once or twice a day to have something to eat and drink and deposit one very nasty broody poop [​IMG] So, I had to take her off the nest once a day for a leg stretch etc.

    Other than that, I left her to it and she hatched 5 beautiful little bubs which she very proudly raised.

    It really depends on how involved you want to be. Me, I go with the que sera sera method, give her the eggs, leave her to it. Or, you could go down the candling path, checking the eggs at intervals to see if they are developing etc.

    Because of my flock dynamics, I always give my broody hens their own little area where they can raise the chicks without the fear of them being pecked but others leave their broodies in with the flock with no issue. Fights over nest boxes also put the eggs at risk of being broken.

    Note: Having her separate from the flock does mean that you will need to go down the integration path for her and any of the little ones you are keeping when the time comes to go back to the flock.

    If you do give her eggs and she is in with the flock, you will need to mark the eggs you have given her because she may steal from others or others might push her out of the nest for a while and lay. Not knowing which eggs are which could result in a staggered hatch.

    One of my biggest cons with giving a broody hen eggs and the reason I do not do it often is ‘what are you plans for the successfully hatched chicks?’ If you are going to keep them all .. great, but if not, you need to have some thoughts on to what you are going to do with them.

    We often have horrid rooster to pullet ratios and sometimes the majority of the hatch can be boys so, if you are not able to keep any or all of them, you will need a plan on what you are going to do with them. There is a glut of roosters and finding homes for them may be tough. If you have no problems raising them and then eating them, not so bad.

    One thing to remember, if you do decide to let her have a hatch, you are not alone and there are many people on BYC who will help you along the way and answer any questions you may have. Joining one of the Hatch-A-Longs would be a good place to start: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/16184/hatch-a-longs

    I hope that helped and please let us know what you decide to do .. Best wishes!
     
  3. folly foot

    folly foot Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks this gives me a lot more confidence in doing this, I have honestly never hatched eggs myself so I didn't exactly know what to do. I trust my americauna girl will be a great mother, she has a very gentle nature and will let me take anything out from underneath her without a fuss other people however she will attack with no mercy [​IMG] I'm proud of my girls! Let's do this!
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Cool!

    Personally, I never tire of watching a mother hen raise her babies, it is the most beautiful thing to watch [​IMG]
     
  5. folly foot

    folly foot Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't wait to try... I have two roosters though ... should I stick her and the other americaunas in with the Polish rooster for a week? I have so many hens that idk what eggs are fertilized and what aren't. ... how could I guarantee that they have been fertilized?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hhhm, kinda heading out of my knowledge territory here in that we do not have any roosters and I have always purchased fertile eggs.

    However, in response to “should I stick her and the other americaunas in with the Polish rooster for a week?” if she is broody, she will not be laying eggs and would most likely not let a rooster mount her.

    The only way I know to tell if an egg is fertile is by cracking it open and looking for the blastoderm but that is not going to help if you are wanting to hatch them
    [​IMG]

    You could give her some eggs and then, as mentioned on my previous post, candle the eggs after 7 to 8 days to see if they are developing.
     
  7. folly foot

    folly foot Out Of The Brooder

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    OK Sounds Like A Good Idea And Ya I've Noticed She Hasn't Laid For The Past Few Days. .. at first I thought she was egg bound but I stuck my hand underneath her and found she had some eggs underneath and once removed she imeadiatly got up and walked away [​IMG] it hhas been the exact same the past 3 days
     
  8. folly foot

    folly foot Out Of The Brooder

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    Officially let her brood all day. Let's hope for the best lol
     
  9. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody didn't give me any options. She hid her nest in the wild roses. One day she came out and presented me with 10 chicks. It was absolutely fascinating to watch her raise those babies. She knew how to handle the other hens, the geese, and the ducks. She knew when it was time to take the chicks into the big coop to roost for the night. It was just amazing. Even though I really didn't want those babies it was all worth it just to watch her inborn abilities.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    [​IMG] Yep, I am sending good hatching vibes your way.

    Just another tip .. a warm, stationary broody is a welcome mat for lice and mites so be sure to keep an eye out and check often.
     

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