It's hatch day! A few questions:

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Carli, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Carli

    Carli Out Of The Brooder

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    I believe it's hatch day though we haven't seen any pips yet. I'm thinking it may be tomorrow actually. My question is, will my hen move off of the eggs as the chicks begin to hatch? Or is it normal for her to just continue sitting on them until it's over? I'm a little nervous that we won't see a hatch after our fiasco the other day (hen decided to leave the nest for several hours). After she left though, another hen sat there and laid an egg and we incubated them for a while until we realized she was back and broody again. We're prepared to move them to the brooder when it's time. Should I move her and the eggs before the hatch, during the hatch, or wait until it's all over?

    Any thoughts on all this?
     
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    sit back, wait and let her do her job. She's the best incubator you will ever have. Make sure she is away from the other hens and that the nest is low enough that its not a danger for the chicks if they get out of it.
     
  3. da_fatman_2000

    da_fatman_2000 New Egg

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    i agree carli just think along this line a broody goes and lays a egg for 7-12 days till she decides to sit them then they all hatch about the same time so u figure out i know it is above me just another miracle of creation
     
  4. Carli

    Carli Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, maybe I wasn't clear. I am planning to let her do her job but at present she is with the flock in her regular nesting box. I need to move her to the brooder so she has her own space to raise the babies. So the question was, does she move off of them as they hatch (for our curious watching eyes!) and should I move her to the brooder before they hatch, during, or after it's finished?
     
  5. bantyhen'sfriend

    bantyhen'sfriend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would wait until after all the eggs hatch, then move her. Reason being, you do not want her off the eggs when chicks are still hatching (or to abandon the eggs altogether). And as long as the chicks are not in danger of falling out of a nestbox, you should have no problem with waiting.
     
  6. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carli, your hen is not going to come off the eggs as they hatch. The eggs will be kept warm and safe under her, so you won't get to see anything. However, you'll hear little peeps and that's when you know they're on their way out. I suggest you leave the hen to do all the hatching and then wait till 24 hours after you hear peeping, or better yet, wait 48 hours to ensure ALL her eggs have hatched, then move them all into the brooder. Just be sure her nest box isn't too high off the ground now, or the earlier hatched chicks might wander and fall off. They will have no way of getting back to mum.

    The hens normally don't even want to come off during the last 3 days of hatching. They seem to instinctively know the chicks are coming and would normally refuse to get off. I respect them during this time, and would not expect her to come off if she insists on staying with her eggs. Mother hen knows best.

    But for the first 18 days, I would normally insist she comes off and goes to eat, drink, poop, stretch her wings, get a dustbath, and just relax for a few minutes. My Cochin hen will run to me, jump up into my arms and cluck to me, saying she's ready to go back to her eggs. She likes to be pampered that way.
     
  7. Carli

    Carli Out Of The Brooder

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    I want to leave her but the problem is: a) she's with the rest of the flock in her usual nesting box which is: b) about 18", possibly as much as 24" above the coop floor. The other hens go into her box daily to lay their eggs. I'm afraid they'll hurt the chicks and/or the chicks will fall out of the box. Still say no moving her?
     
  8. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I were you, I'd move her, only because the other hens might peck at her chicks, or move them, or cause them to fall.

    If you have a way to find a separate nest box on the floor level to keep her where she won't be disturbed by the other hens, that would be much better. Maybe use a dog crate or an old milk carton, or something, where she can be alone and safe.

    Since it is hatch day, I suggest you do it as soon as possible, without having to do too much moving. Keep the moving to a minimum, for eg, ask hubby to help carry eggs, to quickly move your hen at the same time. So the actual move is minimal. However, if the hatching has already begun, and u hear peeps, I'd maybe think twice on that one, in case a chick is wet, and needs mum to keep her warm.
     
  9. Carli

    Carli Out Of The Brooder

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    sheilawagner, thanks for your kind replies. Okay...I'm heading out there now to move her. We've had the brooder ready for two days just waiting.
     
  10. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] whatya'd get? How many didya get? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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