How to brood a setting of eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Glenda L Heywood, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    How to brood a setting of eggs

    I need to know how to get my hen to be fertile? Do I need to pen her and the rooster away from the other chickens? How long does it take for eggs to hatch?

    GLH Replied

    Well, the hen and rooster need cooped seperate and then the proper mating will occur. and it tkes 21 days to hatch a setting of eggs if they are all set at the same time. and you need to sanction of a space for the setting hen after she goes to brood If Not the rooster will try and kill the chicks when she hatches.

    Eggs must incubate for 21 days. Eggs are rotated for the first 18 days, and lay still for the last 3 days. Perhaps the hen stops turning the eggs when she hears the chicks begin to peep inside the shell. When the eggs are resting during the final 3 days, listen. A little hole or crack in the shell will be the first indicator of hatching. The process may take a day or more. Be patient. You may be tempted to help the chick cast off the shell, but resist the urge. Rule one: Don’t touch the eggs during the hatching process. The chicks have to do it all by themselves!

    Once the chicks have hatched, they need a brooding pen, food, and water. You can use a large cardboard box for a pen. The size of the box depends on how many chicks you are raising. They need plenty of room to grow. Put straw or sawdust in the bottom to absorb droppings.

    Provide a warm area in the pen, especially right after the chicks hatch. Heat a large area of the pen with a lamp, but keep part of the area cool for the chicks to exercise in. Buy an infrared lamp if you are heating a large pen. A 100-watt bulb in a short table lamp works fairly well in a smaller pen. Set up the pen and measure the temperature in several locations to be sure it is ready before the chicks hatch. The first week the chicks need the temperature at 37°C (99°F); you can reduce the temperature by 3°C (5°F) each week until it is down to 21°C (70°F).

    Food and water should be available to the chicks at all times. You may want to purchase a feeding tray designed to keep the chicks out and the feed in. You can also purchase a water bottle with a narrow tray that provides a constant supply of water. Chickens can be very messy, so purchase special feeding equipment if you do not want to be constantly cleaning the food and water containers
    some thing else to note

    If you want the eggs to start hatching on a Monday or Tuesday , you should set them on a Tuesday (3 weeks before you want them to hatch). If the eggs arrive on a day other than Tuesday, keep them in a cool place—7° to 15°C (45° to 60°F)—until you are ready to put them in the incubator.

    If you plan to turn the eggs yourself, use a pencil to mark each egg with an X on one side and an O on the other side to be sure you have turned all the eggs every time. The eggs should be placed on their side with the small end pointed slightly down. As the chick develops inside the egg, its head will be at the large end of the egg. If the large end is down and the developing chick is standing on its head, it will die. The eggs need to be turned three times a day through the 18th day. The last 3 days the eggs should not be turned.

    Another thought

    Events in embryonic development of the chicken egg.

    Before egg laying Fertilization.
    Division and growth of living cells. Segregation of cells into groups of special function (tissues).
    Between laying and incubation No-growth stage of inactive embryonic life. (50,000 to 80,000 cells)
    During incubation
    Day 1
    16 hours First sign of resemblance to a chick embryo
    18 hours Appearance of alimentary tract
    20 hours Appearance of vertebral column
    21 hours Beginning of formation of nervous system
    22 hours Beginning of formation of head
    24 hours Beginning of formation of the eye
    Day 2
    25 hours Beginning of formation of heart
    35 hours Beginning of formation of ear
    42 hours Heart begins to beat
    Day 3
    60 hours Beginning of formation of nose
    62 hours Beginning of formation of legs
    64 hours Beginning of formation of wings
    Day 4 Beginning of formation of tongue
    Day 5 Beginning of formation of permanent organs and differentiation of sex; Aortic structure begins forming and thickening
    Day 6 Beginning of formation of beak
    Day 8 Beginning of formation of feathers
    Day 10 Beginning of hardening of beak
    Day 13 Appearance of scales and claws
    Day 14 Embryo gets into position to break the shell
    Day 16 Scales, claws, and beak become firm
    Day 17 Beak turns toward air cell
    Day 19 Yolk begins to enter body cavity
    Day 20 Yolk sac completely drawn into body cavity.
    Embryo occupies practically all the space within the egg except the air cell
    Day 21 Hatching of chick

    Another thought
    An egg must be fertile to hatch. Most market eggs found in grocery stores are not fertile. A fertile rooster is essential for the production of fertile eggs. Studies indicate that the egg a hen lays as soon as one day after breeding can be fertile. The fertility and hatchability of eggs produced by a flock and the vigor of the chicks depend on both genetic potential and the environment. The parents' age, nutrition, health, physiological condition and environment will affect the setting egg and hatching chick.

    In a small flock, good fertility may be expected within four days following introduction of vigorous males into a flock of females. If the males are removed from the flock, the eggs will show a decline in fertility within four or five days yet may remain at a satisfactory level for up to one week. The semen storage ability of the female fowl may allow fertile eggs to be laid for more than three weeks after removal of the males. The female domestic turkey can store semen for even longer periods and lay fertile eggs as long as 200 days after mating. Hatchability and fertility of eggs tend to decline yearly as a flock ages. The pullet year is the most fertile for the fowl.

    Broody Hen method
    You can let the hens incubate the eggs and rear the chicks, or you can collect the eggs and incubate them artificially. The natural brood hen method will be less expensive but will produce fewer chicks. If you allow several hens to brood a clutch at the same time, you may need additional nests to accommodate the hens of the flock that are still laying.

    A hen must be broody (a physiological state in which the hen desires to sit on eggs) before she is used for incubating eggs. Some strains of birds such as the Leghorns seldom become broody. Broody hens may be identified by their tendency to sit on the nest even when not laying an egg; they also cease laying, develop a "clucking" voice and become protective and possessive of the eggs.

    Glenda L Heywood
  2. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    Glenda, this really is great information for those learning about incubation! And, as a reminder for the others.

    I've heard about you through Jaynie (Jimnjay), it is a wonderful surprise to see you as a member of BYC!!

    Thank you for joining....I am looking forward to watching for your posts.

  3. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    thank you for the kind words
    only want to help others as Ican't have chickens here at my daughters
    we do have friends who have free range chickens we buy the eggs from
    so glad to see so many NICE KIND people here
    witha tear in my ey I love chickens and chicken people
    thanks for your kindness
    I miss the South so much and tell all of them hello
    If I can I want to get back to South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and see every one at the shows
    you'll have agood day
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  4. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    VERY good explanation! [​IMG]

    One thing though, is that I have heard of some hens "co-parenting" which two of my silkies are doing right now.

    They decided to go broody at the EXACT same time and have been incubating together for the whole period. The eggs should hatch sometime this weekend or Tuesday at the latest.

    Thanks Glenda L Heywood! [​IMG]
  5. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    How many of your chiicks hatched
    and what breeds are they
    hopefully all hatched

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