late hatch from broody hen--question how long to wait for last egg?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChicksOnBikes, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. ChicksOnBikes

    ChicksOnBikes Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    Started eggs under my broody hen on June 3. I'm a newbie at this, but had been trying to encourage a hen to sit by leaving eggs out. Well, it worked, and I had a hen take to 6 eggs. I allowed a few more to accumulate, then after a few more days, realized that the other hens were sneaking in and laying more in there! I candled eggs, removed the extra, newer ones, and allowed the hen to sit on 11 eggs. Most hatched right on time, but I realized it would be staggered because of the extra eggs that got laid in there. Eggs were due to hatch on the 24th, and most hatched that day or in the next few days. Lost one that hatched with it's yolk not fully absorbed. Down to one egg. I have candled it again, looks like it is developing alright but very slowly. I'm itching to let my broody get off the nest, as surely she is pretty tired of this and looking a little tired or 'off'.
    I just did the recommended "float test" today and the egg was viable, a "high floater" with only a bit of the blunt end floating upright above the surface of the water. There was no movement of the egg.

    I have the baby chicks in a brooder now with their food/water/light. I'd like to keep them with mom, and I have a pen set up for that, but I don't think I can because she is still on that one egg. HELP! Advice on what to do? I'd hate to kill a viable chick, but I'd like to get the other 9 back with mama. Will mama sit on the last egg AND keep track of or warm the chicks? What would you do?

  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I've got this same scenerio right now, except I've not seperated Mom and chicks - Mom has 1 chick, other two eggs haven't yet hatched (one is not likely going to, but I'm leaving it there for now).

    Because it's so incredibly hot here (100+temps daytime) and Mom IS sitting tight on it all night (coldest part of the day), I'm letting nature take it's course. Will it develop 'correctly', I'm not sure. Yes, mine too seems to be developing nicely. Yes, my broody and her chick roam all day and return to nest about 2hrs before dusk - and yes, she does make sure she's "on top of it" - even when I 'borrowed' it to check the viability - she was very pleased to see the egg, as if to say, "hey, is THAT where I left it?!". She tucked it right back under her, displacing the chick who wasn't very pleased, and had a smug little smile on her face.

    This saga will continue for a bit. Hopefully this last chick develops properly and is healthy. I'm not purchasing an incubator for 1 egg! And I'm not interested in more chicks (as cute as they are).
  3. lizzyb

    lizzyb New Egg

    Jan 21, 2012
    mid Missouri
    I put fertile eggs from a nearby farmer under a broody Aracauna hen on June 13 and the first chick was hatched and still wet when I got home from work on Tues evening. This is my first experience so, I thought they would all be hatched this morning [​IMG]. The box she is in is so deep that the babies can't get out, so this morning I fixed up a new box with low sides to transfer her and her chicks into. When I lifted her up, there was still just the one chick and one more under her that had gotten the top off the egg, but was still in the other half...and six eggs still unhatched. I gently put her back down and left her until this evening. It is also a scorching 100+ degrees here so I am very concerned about her and the chicks. This evening there were 5 chicks when I checked. Since the hen has not gotten off the nest at the time of day she usually does...when the sun coming through the window starts shining directly on the nextbox... I took her some grapes and she ate them from my hand. All my chickens are crazy about grapes and usually get the ones that get too soft, so I figured this would give her some much needed liquid. I also picked out the older chicks and dipped their beaks into water before returning them to the box with her. I am hoping that tomorrow morning the majority of the remaining eggs are hatched...I intend to put her and the chicks and the remaining eggs in the low sided box and move the water and feed within a short distance. I will be at work tomorrow, so that is the best I can think to do.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, please advise. This has been quite the learning experience. I don't have a rooster so am hoping to get one out of this hatch. I would like an Aracauna rooster and one of the chicks that has hatched resembles the Aracauna chicks that I got last April, so that's promising.
  4. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    I've learned to let broody hens do their thing. She will decide when to come down off the nest and call the chicks to follow her. The hen can hear unhatched chicks peeping and will stay until all viable chicks are hatched. Chicks can go for 3 days living off the yolk sack before they need to eat.
  5. ChicksOnBikes

    ChicksOnBikes Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    yes, but my concern is that my coop is not set up well for the babies, and they need access to food/water and all that. I'm thinking of moving the whole clan into the new pen and hope mama will still sit on her one remaining egg and keep an eye on the babies.
    Question: best to move the nest after mama is asleep? That might be the easiest, but I would think it would work out to have the babies be able to explore the pen before settling in. ah, it's all an experiment I suppose.

    Good luck to all in the same boat as me!!
  6. Backwoodsnanny

    Backwoodsnanny Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2012
    Backwoods of Maine
    I agree mama will take care of both the egg under her and the chicks she will scold them and call them to her if she is worried about them.
  7. Akwasi

    Akwasi Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 31, 2014

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