1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hens sitting on eggs-help needed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mommom4, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. mommom4

    mommom4 Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Mar 22, 2011
    Have 4 hens and 1 Rooster. Two are now sitting on eggs (I put the date) and we'd like to have the grandkids experience hatching. Do they sit for 21 days w/o eating and drinking? Can we combine the eggs so only 1 hen sits? Can you take the hens out to stretch and eat?? What happens once they are hatched. Do they care for them?? Do we need to separate the chicks from the Mom or the others?? Thanks!!!!
     
  2. Chihuahuamom444

    Chihuahuamom444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    443
    3
    111
    Jan 27, 2011
    I have never done Anything and in 21 days we have babies, the mama knows exactly what to do, just let em sit and do their thing. My girls get up for a quick bite to eat and potty break and goes right back to her nest. And I let mine raise their own babies with no probs. Oh and I never separate mine after the babies hatch, they look out for each other and mingle with the rest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  3. little brown hen

    little brown hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    121
    Mar 29, 2009
    Camp Point, Ill
    Hi and welcome Yes they do sit for 21 days and more. I have had a broody hen sit for 42 days and they do get off the nest and eat and drink for 1/2 hr or so. I wouldn't combine the egg's if each hen is sitting on seperate nest leave them alone. After they hatch momma hen will take the chick's out and teach them everthing they need to know. Hope this help's.
     
  4. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    5
    118
    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    They get off the eggs about once a day to eat and drink, and then return to the nest.

    I have a much larger flock, and the problem that I experience is that when the hen gets up to eat, another hen takes the nest temporarily to lay an egg, while original hen doesn't go back to the right box.

    This means that the eggs get cold, and extra eggs get laid from a different day, and eventually the whole thing fails.

    With just four hens, it may be manageable though.

    I'd let both hens continue sitting if both are broody. Sometimes a hen will give up--and then if it does, you will want to immediately transfer the eggs to the hen that is still sitting.

    What breed are the other chickens and the rooster? I have always left the chicks in with the general flock and have not had problems. I stay with chickens that tend to be more gentle.

    Once the chicks hatch you'll want to make sure they have 24/7 access to chick feed and small waterers that they can reach. I use plastic fencing intended for human babies or dogs (the superyard play yard) to make separate areas in the coop for the young chicks. The problem is less about aggression and more that the adults eat all the chick food instead of their own food and then the chicks have none!!! Also, the chicks (and the mother hen!) tend to dump over the feeders quite often, so I ended up screwing plastic chick feeders onto a piece of plywood so that they couldn't tip it over. Mommy hen is wonderful, but she's so interested in teaching the chicks how to scratch that she dumps EVERYTHING over!

    For water, I prefer a wall-mounted waterer that I mount about half a foot or more too high for the chicks to reach. Then I arrange bricks and cinder blocks for the chicks to climb to get to the water. Keeps the water clean and un-dumped (see previous paragraph) and makes a fun obstacle course, too.
     
  5. mommom4

    mommom4 Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Mar 22, 2011
    Thanks so much to everyone!!! I just registered and can't believe the great response. If they don't seem to be getting up at all to eat or drink do I interfere their brooding process?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    444
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  7. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    5
    118
    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Quote:They ARE getting up to eat and drink--do not interfere with them. Just make sure that food and water are available 24/7, and you have done your part. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by