I had a hen go broody on golf balls so that night I put eggs in the incubator. When should I put them under her? I know to do it at night but do I let them hatch under her? They are on day 18 tonight. Or do I wait until they hatch out and fluff up?
Do I understand rightly that your broody has been sitting on golf balls for 18 days and that you chose to incubate eggs in the 'bator rather than under the broody hen? And now you want to place the eggs under the hen for hatching?
If she's been broody for the correct amount of time, I see no reason not to let her hatch them out. (I would have probably let her incubate them too, as far as that goes
That is a great idea, especially if your hen is sensitive to being moved after trying to set, like so many of mine are. This way you could remove any newly laid eggs in her nest daily and still get babies without all the babysitting. Last hen I tried to move "with eggs" lost all her broodiness, but no matter what I do to prevent her setting doesn't work and there goes a dozen or more lost eggs. I'd let her hatch a couple, at least to bond well, if possible.
Well, lotzahenz, it may indeed be a good idea, but I guess I'm not sure what circumstances requiring a hen to be moved would still allow her to remain where she is except on golf balls
But maybe I'm misunderstanding. Also, I usually mark any eggs under a broody with a pencil so that if anyone should lay a fresh egg in her nest, it is readily identifiable and can be removed.
I suppose the hen could be camped out somewhere dangerous for the chicks, but then I'd assume that the OP would not be placing the eggs under the hen in her current location for hatching. So, I'm unsure exactly what sort of logistics we're talking about here. Perhaps the OP will explain.
When she first starting sitting she was in one of the nesting boxes. She was sitting on 2 eggs and 2 golf balls. She did great for the first week and then she started getting confused on what box "her" eggs were in and she would sit on new eggs. So when I got home and checked on her the eggs had been cold for too long and the babies were already dead. So that is why I am waiting to put her on the fertile eggs. But she has been sitting for 2 days longer then the incubator eggs. I have one that has just started peeping and the rest should be out by tomorrow night.
So do I wait till they are dried and fluffed or put them under her tonight?
I'd go ahead and let her hatch them. The process may help her to bond to them. But, if you want to hatch them in the bator, I'd wait until they're all fluffed and dry and it's dark outside, and then I'd slip them under the hen.
Well everything worked out great. I let the chicks hatch out in the bator, dry and fluff out and then over a 24 hour period put 2 chicks under her at a time. It's been a week now and they are all very happy and healthy looking.
Im glad chickens cant count. 9 chicks from 2 golf balls would be something to squalk about.
I think some of them just don't care! I have a hen that hatched 4 chicks, then left the nest. I brought her remaining eggs in and put them in the bator. A day or two later, I added those chicks, plus some others that I had hatched from the incubator as well. She now has 18, and she seems like she is loving every minute!
This is only the 2nd time I have had a broody hen. (It's been the same one both times) With her first hatch she brought the chicks out within 4 or 5 days after they had a chase to fluff out. It's been a week now and she is still keeping them inside. Is it because it is colder this time? How long do they normally keep them inside?