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
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

I have a question or 2 on my hen hatching eggs for the 1st

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by L*A*G*, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. L*A*G*

    L*A*G* Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    planet chicken
    Hey, I'm a chick raising Beginner as in I've never let a hen
    go broody B4 [​IMG]. My first question is how or is there a way
    to know if a hen is setting on fertile eggs? If I let a normal
    size hen set how many chicks do i need to xspect? And if
    I had 2 hens to go broody at a time will they share the
    chick pen? It would b best if u could tell me the whole story
    about raising chicks with my hen cause without this forum
    I would not have a clue what i was doing with chickens
    and chicks.[​IMG]
    [​IMG] Please let me know, Larra [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2008
  2. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    If you have a rooster in with the 15 hens or less, you canbet 95% or better are fertile. About a year and a half ago, I had 300 + hens go broody at the same time. This had never happened me before and it was winter time. There was no way to keep the hens seperated. I did sell the chicks in a matter of days, but there was no problems with the hens. Mama hen will fight a rooster if he gets to close to her chicks,
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I'll try to help.

    To check the fertility of your eggs, look for a bulls-eye on the yolk when you crack them open. If you consistantly see the bullseye, you can be reasonably sure your rooster is doing his job. If your hen is already setting on eggs, check for development by candling. If an egg candles "clear" than it was probably infertile.

    How many eggs can a broody handle at one time? The general rule is a broody can handle about 12 eggs the same size she usually lays. I would give a standard-sized broody 12 standard sized eggs. I give my banty broodies about 6 standard size eggs or 12 banty eggs. I usually err on giving less eggs if it's a first-time broody, so there's a better chance of her covering all the eggs all the time.

    I have had multiple broodies before, will they share space peacefully? Depends on the broody. I gave 2 different broodies eggs on the same day, so I knew they would hatch within a day of each other. I put their nest boxes in a brooder side-by-side and they each sat in their own box the whole time. As soon as Broody #1 hatched her babies - she moved into broody #2's box babies and all! Broody #2 wasn't done hatching, yet, but she didn't seem upset at the company. Between them they hatched 8 chicks and the chicks don't differentiate between the mothers, so they happily co-parented this batch.

    Some broodies can be very territorial, so I wouldn't assume that two broodies will get along. If the broodies are raising chicks of different ages - I think it would have an even lower chance of working.

    I always let my broodies raise their own babies. They worked hard to brood them and I don't want to deprive them of the reward. My baby chicks have been hatched and raised outside in an unheated barn with nothing but their mamas to keep them warm even when the temp goes below freezing. They are doing beautifully - very vigorous and healthy.

    Hope that helps!
  4. L*A*G*

    L*A*G* Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    planet chicken
    Thanks a lot!!! I can't wate till spring! oh, can u over candle a egg?
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I'm not a candling expert, but I don't think the candling process itself hurts the egg. I think the danger is when the egg gets cool from being out too long or if you accidently drop it and break it. I know some people have documented day-by-day photos of an eggs development and that would involve daily candling.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: