How long to let hen sit on unhatched eggs with chicks? Pls help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Happy Flock, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Happy Flock

    Happy Flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Victoria, Australia
    I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I just wanted to hear some more opinions. My partner and I are quite new to this and we want to give the babies the best chance they can. Here's the story:

    I've got 2 hens sitting on different set of eggs (each hen in its own broody box). The eggs were set at the same time, on the 31st October. 1st chick hatched on the 20th November in the afternoon. Then 3 other chicks followed on the 21st in the morning. Today is 22 November (I'm in Australia).

    So each hen has 2 chicks and a few more eggs unhatched (total of 4 chicks so far).

    How long should I leave the hens sitting on the unhatched eggs? Is 48 hours be the norm? Is it counted from the first chick to hatch or the last?

    The chicks are getting active and mum hens have been eating from a small dish I placed near her box (see photo). Both hens have pooped inside the nest box, towards the end. So I covered the poo with some hay. I would like to put the mums outside in a box in the yard, so they can poop, stretch and eat/drink with chicks, but I also would like to give the unhatched eggs a chance.

    I don't have an incubator or other hens broody at the moment.

    Any advice appreciated!!!

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  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Most hens know when to leave unhatched eggs. They will likely get up on their own within a day or two.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Happy Flock

    Happy Flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Victoria, Australia
    It always seems so much simpler when you read it... here we are panicking about the unhatched eggs.
    Thanks for the advice. I will leave mums alone with babies and eggs. I will see how they go tomorrow.
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 26, 2011
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    Nature is not always perfect, but she usually does a better job than we do.
     
  5. Happy Flock

    Happy Flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Victoria, Australia
    Thanks for your comment. [​IMG]

    Another chick hatched yesterday, so that's 5 now. Mums are sitting on eggs and looking after babies.
     
  6. Happy Flock

    Happy Flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2013
    Victoria, Australia
    5 chicks was the total. Thanks for everyone's advice.
    Mums and babies are well. The two hens seem to be sharing motherhood, so far no problems.
    I removed the other eggs which started smelling rotten. I haven't done an eggtopsy to see what the cause was.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Poulet des Bois

    Poulet des Bois Out Of The Brooder

    Hi, I have a Silkie on eggs, 1 hatched afternoon of st.Pats day, (mon.) it's now wed. Afternoon. No peeping or pipping from 2 remaining eggs (yet) but 1 feels lighter than the other. Advice?
     
  8. pogmobum

    pogmobum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2013
    Ireland
    I would leave them until the hen gets up, just like 1muttsfan said above she knows best just leave some food and water near for her and the chick.
     

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