I'm Really New To This

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NixNoodleNumbat, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    My mum said that I can hatch eggs! Yay!
    Anyway, I really have no idea what I'm doing. My plan is to use a hen instead of an incubator and brooder. I have bantams who are always broody, so I'll let one be a mum. Since I don't have a rooster, I'll be buying fertilised eggs from a friend of mine and using them.
    This is a vague question, but can someone please explain what to do? The internet doesn't have much about using a broody.
    I hope this isn't too vague. If it is, let me know.
     
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Once your hen goes broody, put some eggs under her and she'll do the rest.

    I would separate her from the flock so other hens won't lay their eggs in her nest.

    A large dog crate is good for this if you don't have an area for her.

    What kinds of bantams do you have?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    Will she be okay with being seperated? Do they stay broody when you've moved them?
    I have light sussex bantams. I have a friend who does a lot of chicken breeding, and she decided to try making bantam breeds. They're not full bantam sussexes, but they're close to it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  4. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    Some hens will quit being broody if you move them but some are reliable and stay broody when they are moved. Try moving some of your broody hens and see if they stay broody. Good luck![​IMG]
     
  5. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    Thanks.
    Should I candle the eggs, or just leave her to do her job? Should I do anything at all?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  6. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    Candle them at 6 days, 12 days and 18 days. You should see a little black dot on the 6th day, a large black splodge on the 12th day and the whole egg will be black on the 18th day. Don't take her off the nest after the 18th day as this is the most important time, humidity must stay the same and the temperature.
    Keep us posted on how it goes.[​IMG]
     
  7. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    Okay. Candling seems like fun!
    I'll keep you posted, but it'll be a while before I start. It's snake season at the moment, so I'll wait a couple more months to be safe. There are a lot of pythons around here and I don't want to lose any chickens to them, especially not on my first hatch.

    What should the broody's seperate area be like?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  8. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

    287
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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    Just like a coop on a smaller scale and minus the roosts, make sure its predator proof cause broodies are kind of easey targets.... Fresh hay, feed, and water for the broodies (The hay might need to be changed more often because broodies poops are HUGE and smelly). Make sure their nest is clean at all times.
    Good on you for waiting till the snake season is over, good thinking![​IMG]
     
  9. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    More questions!
    How likely is it that the hen will become disinterested?
    How many eggs would fit under a bantam?
    If the broody does become disinterested, is it okay to put another broody hen in there?
    How long should I wait before I let the chicks free range(I have 3/4 of an acre)?
    How old do the chicks need to be before they start sleeping with the rest of my flock(6 hens, not including their 'mum'; 2 Sussex-bantams and 4 red stars)?
     
  10. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Australia.
    Question 1. It' a completely personal choice of the hen if she wants to stay broody in a knew place. I had two identical Silkie hens same age, color ect. and one absolutely refused to stay on the nest if I moved her, where as the other one would sit and sit oblivious to her surroundings. Sometimes it depends on the breed of chicken as well. Some breeds are more likely to stay then others, but I think Sussex are reliable.

    Question 2. I'd put no more then 5 eggs under a bantam because then you are gaurenteed a good hatch because she can easily cover them. Any more then 5 can be done but you will lower your hatch rate.

    Question 3. Ahhh, here lies the big problem with broodies. I had a hen sit the nest up until day 15 ounce but then she became dissinterested and wouldn't get back on the nest. Luckily I had a spare broody that was willing to take over. All the eggs that I expected to hatch hatched so I guess there is no problem with putting another hen on them if one slacks off. Just never try to force a hen to stay on her nest, over wise she will harm the chicks when they are hatching in her rush to escape ( trust me I have learnt from experience).

    Question 4. Wait until they are fully feathered before you let them free range with their mum, and make sure you know where they are at all times and don't leave them out in the rain. It's best to let them out in the middle of the day(with water avaliable of coarse) so they don't get chilled on wet grass ect.

    Question 5. Wait until they are at lest half the size of the hens in your coop before you let them in. The broody hen will start to lack interest in them after 6 weeks, give or take a few weeks depending on breed and individual hen. If they are still a whole lot smaller then the hens in your coop at this time give them a seperate coop to live in untill they are big enough.

    What breed are you thinking of getting? I'd love to know.

    p.s. It might be a good idea to do up a chart like this one:
    Day Tick day other info. To Do.
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6 Candle
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12 Candle
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    18 Candle
    19 Stop turning
    20 ...............
    21 ...............​
    Print it out and tick the days as you go along and write any other info like how many eggs are still fertile in the other info column.

    p.p.s. It is also a good idea to gently write in led pencil an X and an O on both sides of each of the eggs. This way you can tell if the hen is turning the eggs, if she doesn't (which is highly unlikely) you could end up with chicks that are stuck to the egg shell when they hatch or they don't hatch at all. Do not take the hen off the nest to see if she has turned them from the 18th day onwards because she wont turn them at this time. This is because the not turning is a sign to the chicks that its time to hatch.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

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