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How close should I watch my broody hen??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RoxyOtis, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. RoxyOtis

    RoxyOtis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2008
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    I have a broody hen that is sitting on one egg, and she is on day 21( Well in 30 minutes anyway). I have her in a cage in our house.
    I have 3 questions:

    1. How will I know if it has pipped? She doesn't get off of the nest very much.

    2. Will she lay on her baby after it hatches or will she move?

    3.Should I remove the baby after it has hatched or do I let the mom be with her baby?

    LOL Sorry if these are stupid question! I am new to Broodiness![​IMG]( I will probably think of more question later)

    Thanks in advance for the advice!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  2. RoxyOtis

    RoxyOtis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ??? anybody? sorry just nervous lol:/ [​IMG]
     
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Me, I look under my broodies any time I want. I pull them off their nest and make them "go play" (drink, poop, eat, dustbathe, stretch their wings and legs) while I am cleaning and feeding. I candle eggs, feel their breasbone to make sure if they are not losing weight, and if they are I feed them soaked feed mush as a treat. I remove any poop in or near the nest, rearrange the eggs if any are cooling off from being by the outside too much. I bed the nest deeper if it looks like she is having trouble covering all the eggs, generally make a complete pest of myself. I am not sure if that is what you are suposed to do, but my hens tolerate it very well and have hatched most of their eggs. I take the babies away and raise them myself, but hens have been raising their babies for probably millions of years and still can do it from what I have heard, LOL. It's up to you which way you want to do it. If you leave hatched babies under a broody for more than a day or two she will get off any unhatched eggs, so if you have a staggered hatch, or added eggs on several different days, pull the babies and take care of them when they hatch. After the last egg has hatched you sneak the already hatched babies back under the mama after dark and she is supposed to just wake up the next day and take care of them. I have not tried that yet.
     
  4. RoxyOtis

    RoxyOtis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Modesto, CA
    Thanks, onethespot! I am just a little nervous,lol( more like a nervous WRECK!)
     
  5. RoxyOtis

    RoxyOtis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Modesto, CA
    Should I not lift her to see if there is a pip? I have read on here that you shouldn't open the incubator.......I am soooo excited to see a baby soon!![​IMG]
     
  6. citychickers

    citychickers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Littleton Colorado
    Wow! Let us know how things are going!
     
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    oh, I lift my broodies sometimes ten times in a morning when some are pipped and I need to head home to see if anyone zipped. I try to get the chicks out from under the hen asap, but I am only with my chickens once or twice a day. I don't think broodies are the same as incubators. Either that or I am incredibly lucky. I think the hens can produce humidity from their skin or something, not exactly sweating, but just it feels kind of muggy under the hens.
     
  8. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Quote:I wouldnt life her to often during day 21 !! If they pip/hatch you should be able to hear little peeps coming from under her !! I know very hard not to peek every 15 min !! As far as when the chicks hatch.... mama will do it all, she will teach them to eat,drink and will also protect them from others in the flock !! There is no need to remove the babies when they hatch, it's much easier to let her do her job !! Just make sure you put fresh water and chick starter in with her and the babies, it's fine if she eats the chick starter also. Good luck and keep us posted !!
     
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    i remove the babies because I do staggered hatches and if you leave the babies with her after they hatch she will abandon the rest of the clutch. If all my eggs hatched the same day it would be great to let her handle things, but if I let her hatch a few and abandon the clutch, I'd lose a lot of valuable chicks that way. I'd rather raise a little brooder full of chicks than have a small clutch the easy way. Just depends what you are doing with your chickens and how bad you want more chicks of what you want. I am just starting out with uncommon varieties, and for me it is WAY worth it to hand raise a few and end up with five times as many. If it was a bunch of barnyard mix or common varieties, I would never bother.
     
  10. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you only have one chick i would leave the mama to raise it or the poor little one will get lonely. Generally my hens stay on the chicks for a full day after they hatch then she gets up and shows them how to eat and drink. Altho when you hand raise they become more tame, sometimes its more cost efficient to let mama hen do her job. Right now i have 3 broodies raising chicks and im running out of places to keep them, another 14 chicks due to be here tomorrow so then i take mama's away from the babies and put the chicks in one brooder and mamas back to the coops.
     

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