Hen Hatching Eggs Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by citychickinthecountry, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. citychickinthecountry

    citychickinthecountry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2009
    Gainesville, Florida
    I have had chickens for almost 3 years, but I have never had a hen hatch eggs (or hatched them myself)

    I have a few questions:

    1) My hen has two eggs in the nest that are about 8 days apart. Will she get off of the nest when the first egg hatches? Or will she sit on both of them until they both hatch?

    2) Will it hurt my hen to also eat Chicken Starter? I figured it was easier to only put that food in the coop with her and the chick(s).

    3) Do I need to keep a heat lamp in the coop with Mama and the chick(s)? Or will Mama's body heat be enough to keep the chick(s) warm?

    4) Anything I need to keep an eye out for that a newbie hatcher might not know about?

    Thanks all! [​IMG]
  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    1) If they're 8 days apart hatching times are going to be different (depending on the size of your chicken, usually in JG's it takes over 21 days) So if a chick hatches one day, the mama is going to be tempted to get some food and water, she'll wait about 3 more days on her nest for the others to hatch. (Chicks have the yolk still in their tummies so it lasts about 3 days)

    2) Yes it's fine if your hen eats chick starter, before the chicks hatched in my bath i'd slowly add chick starter into my hens feed so it was a quick change.

    3) Mama's broody heat will be fine for the chicks. [​IMG]

    4) Things to watch about are chicks escaping cages, or stick their heads through chicken wire. Hope this helped.
  3. citychickinthecountry

    citychickinthecountry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2009
    Gainesville, Florida
    Some really helpful answers...thanks.

    1) So it is sounding like I need to keep a close eye on Mama and make sure she sits back on the nest to hatch the second egg. Or I might need to step in and incubate it until it hatches. =(
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    May I add a question to this thread?

    Our broody's eggs should be hatching on Monday if all goes well. How will I know that they hatched? Is there a "what to expect when your broody is expecting" thread somewhere? LOL

    Do I need to watch to make sure she's taking care of them ok? Or is that rare that they don't once they hatch them?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by