I think I prefer incubators to broodiy hens

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Akane, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I finally got some broody hens to actually sit on the nests long enough to hatch eggs and now I'm wishing I hadn't let them. Every day I have to deal with another issue that has caused or nearly caused a chick death. The one hen was horrible at sitting on eggs and kept leaving them but with 3 broody someone would take over the nest in her absence until she decided to return to it in a day or 2. I'd ruled her out as being useful but she happened to take over the nest right as chicks were hatching and she's done a good job with the chicks. There was one incident yesterday with a chick that may have gotten dehydrated but I dipped it's beak, warmed it up, and put it back with her to find it still alive today. However today I walked in to the coop to find the hen who had been sitting tight for weeks off her nest. 1 chick had hatched and the entire back of it's head and neck were torn open. One egg was squished and leaking blood and the rest of the eggs were cold. I'm not sure that chick will live but I gave it to the hen who already has chicks and she guided it in to the corner away from the rest of the flock in that coop which mostly consists of 6week old chicks and 3 week old guinea keets. The other hen returned then and after checking her nest for any movement sat back down on it. I think I'll keep checking today and removing chicks as they hatch to give to the hen with chicks already and then candle tonight to see what's left. I may be moving them to the incubator.
  2. mothersin2ition

    mothersin2ition Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Othello, WA
    oh no! Thats too bad. But thank goodness you intervened when you did, Im sure you saved at least one chicks life. Sometimes hens are not so great at being mothers right away. It takes them a couple of hatches to get things figured out. At least that's been my experience.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by