Hens sitting on eggs - now what do I do? Day 21 is in 2 days

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by GrandmaCluck, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. GrandmaCluck

    GrandmaCluck Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Jun 23, 2009
    I have 3 broody hens. Cinnamon sits in the nesting box - started out on 5 eggs. The other hens kept trying to push her out and sit in the same box. Cinnamon does not get along well with all the other hens and the roo is always out to get her. Sometimes I see 3 of them sitting on top of each other in the same nesting box. I have 30 hens and 1 roo. Cinnamon is down to 3 eggs. When the other 2 got broke in the beginning because of the other hens, I blocked her off in the nesting box so the other hens could not get at her. Gracie sat on 5 eggs in the corner of the coop. One egg broke in the beginning. This is also a favorite laying area. For the past 2 weeks, Lucy and Gracie sit together in the corner - sometimes Lucy has the eggs, sometimes Gracie does. They are not sectioned off from the other hens. Sometimes, the other hens will push Gracie out so they can lay their eggs there. I have the incubating eggs marked so everyday I just remove the new eggs. On Friday, I saw one of the eggs was broken (smashed) and there was a dead chick. I removed it. On Sunday, I noticed another egg was cracked. I left it and the next morning it was smashed and there was a dead chick. (they step on the eggs!)So I have Gracie and Lucy sitting on 2 eggs in the corner of the coop and Cinnamon sitting on 3 eggs blocked off in a nesting box. Day 21 is on Friday. I do not know what I am doing. I unblock Cinnamon twice a day and I have to pick her up and put her outside - once in the morning and once around 5pm. She stays out for about 5-10 min. then comes back in, goes to her box and I block her back in. When she is out she dusts herself alot. I have a petrie dish of water and put some sunflower seeds in the corner of the nesting box as I do not see her drinking or eating outside. I also pick up Gracie and Lucy twice a day. They will eat and drink out in the chicken run and then come back to sit on the eggs after about 5-10 min. Should I continue to force them off the eggs or since it is so close should I just leave them? Do I need to keep them away from the other hens now when the eggs hatch? Should I make a separate area for Gracie and Cinnamon on the floor of the coop that the other hens and roo cannot get to and then have a separate area for them outside? Or as soon as the chicks hatch should I take them away from the hens and put them in a brooder? Will the hens kill the chicks when they are hatching? Please help! Thanks!!
     
  2. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Yon need to do nothing. Mother Nature will do the rest.
     
  3. GrandmaCluck

    GrandmaCluck Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Jun 23, 2009
    Do I continue to force the hens off the eggs a couple times a day? Cinnamon in the nesting box (12" x 12" - about 3 feet off the floor) - blocked in - do I keep her blocked in?
    Will the roo hurt the baby chicks?
     
  4. joza2210

    joza2210 Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    1
    111
    May 5, 2010
    About the roo hurting the chicks ...
    I have a trio of japanese - 2 hens and a roo
    and when one of the hens hatched the chicks the roo kept the hen and the chicks safe and this has happened to my bantam cochins too ...
    Hope This Helps
    Josh [​IMG]
     
  5. Vanessabuffsnsilkies

    Vanessabuffsnsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    738
    4
    143
    May 26, 2009
    NE Ohio
    So the hens w/chicks can stay amongst the flock? I have some as well and wasn't sure if I need to move them out of the run and coop.
     
  6. GrandmaCluck

    GrandmaCluck Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Jun 23, 2009
    That is my concern as well. I'm really hoping for some more help here.
     
  7. vnploveschickens

    vnploveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    My BO hen sat on eggs for the first time in April. 2 of 3 (the 3rd one never developed) eggs hatched on May 4th. I moved Luna & chicks from the nestbox to a drawer box in the corner of the coop after they hatched. That way I could put water & food for both in the drawer.

    [​IMG]


    The area was not blocked off, but no one bothered them. It was amazing to watch Luna raise these 2 chicks. How she taught them how to peck, feed, scratch outside (she had them outside when they were 6 days old!!)

    Keep an eye on the Mom & chicks to make sure no one bothers them too much. Luna would chase off any of the other chickens if they got to close.

    They are now 6 weeks old, integrated with the flock, free-ranging around, even roosting next to the rooster and several other hens.
    It was an experience to be a part of.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps! Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  8. bugdoodle06

    bugdoodle06 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    May 26, 2008
    I am sorry but you havent gotten the answers you needed. I was hoping you did because I am in the same boat.
    I have 2 hens, Gracie and Ruthie. Ruthie started sitting about 2.5 weeks ago. They are both Cochins.

    I too marked the eggs because other RIR hens were getting in and laying their eggs, then Gracie started to lay eggs!
    Well now they are both in the same nest box sharing 7 eggs between them.

    I know they are at least getting food and water now but at first I took them off and carried them to the water / food area. They will wander around for 20 minutes or so then go right back to sitting.

    I know they should be hatching soon but I am worried that they have been handled to much (I found a marked egg on the floor twice and put it back under them).

    I am now trying Gracie in another nest box with of 2 eggs.

    I am just hoping for a couple to hatch at least!

    But what do you do after they hatch?? I am afraid they will fall out of the nest box ( about 2 ft. high). Will they know to drink or do I need to show them the water?

    The only advice I have gotten is to not feed the hens in their nest box because it will encourage them to poop in there.

    I hope someone will answer our questions!!
    Thanks
     
  9. bugdoodle06

    bugdoodle06 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    May 26, 2008
    vnploveschickens !! Thanks for the info! That gives me an idea on what to do next![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. GrandmaCluck

    GrandmaCluck Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Jun 23, 2009
    Yes, thanks for the response. I have one more question - ok - so the hen is sitting on the eggs. When the chicks start pecking out what does she do? Does she move so she doesn't suffocate the chick? Yes I am really green at this.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by