Leaving fertalized eggs with the hens?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Raekins, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Raekins

    Raekins Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    I have two silkie hens in one coop together and 8 other chickens (2 are roosters) in another coop and i let them all free range together and today I collected 4 eggs out from the silkies butts (they sleep in the same nest together) I hadn't collected the eggs in awhile, so I started to throw them in the sink and the first one that cracked open had a baby chick in it that looked about 10-12 days old, it had its toes and little wings and beak forming [​IMG] Ive never had fertilized eggs before and so I quickly ran the other 3 eggs back to the silkies and shoved them under their butts and they got right back on them. Im wondering, will the eggs be okay with the hens or do they absolutely have to be in an incubator? and also, what kind of lighting do you use to check a fertilized egg?? (they're small brown eggs) ANY advice will help!
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Broody mamas will do at least as good and often a much better job than an incubator. Leave them there.

    To check the eggs to see if a chick is growing? I use a very sad looking homemade contraption of a plastic planter over a lightbulb, but you might want to google egg candler to get some better ideas. I don't know of a way to see if an egg is fertile before it's started to incubate.
     
  3. Raekins

    Raekins Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    Thank you! I will check into making some kinda of egg candler thingy right away. I don't wanna throw anymore baby chicks in my sink [​IMG] I felt absolutely horrible! Im going to check those last three eggs and hope she has another baby in one of them!

    If there is a baby, and if it hatches, do I take it from her and get it in a warmer area with a warmer heat lamp?? Ive had baby chicks before but not right from the egg!
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Happy to help.

    Hatching chicks with broody mamas is one thing i have a little experience with.

    And the nice thing about broody hens is that they do the work for you. I think you said that your broodies are already in a separate pen or something? If so, that's good. Just leave the chicks with them and provide some feed that's good for chicks. The mamas will eat it too, and that's fine. You just don't want to be feeding layer pellets to your babies. The mamas will keep the babies warm, teach them how to eat and drink, and everything. If you can provide a way for the mamas to take the chicks outside but where they'll be semi-separate from the rest of the flock for the first little while, that's good. That way the mamas will also teach them to forage for food. The mamas will protect their chicks, but it's good to not make that job too hard for them. Just watch them and see how good of mothers they are and gauge it from there.

    Congratulations!
     
  5. Raekins

    Raekins Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    I made myself a candler and checked the other three eggs and they're all babies!! Im so excited! I saw one of them moving around! Im gonna go get some chick starter, cant seem to find my old stuff, and gonna try to clean up their coop a lil bit so they have a cleaner hatching spot. Is it weird that both my hens are sitting on the eggs together in the same nest?? Hopefully everything turns out great! They're gonna be great lil mammas!
     
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations! That's very exciting! [​IMG]

    I've heard of silkies doing quite a bit of that share-the-nest business. They'll probably share the mothering duties too, and it'll be easier 'cause they'll be a team. I think it's super sweet when they work together like that.

    You'll have to post pics when they hatch.

    Have fun!
     
  7. AZKat

    AZKat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think its that unusual for two hens to share a nest, I had two broodys do the same thing, and several other people have posted about it happening to them. Once the chicks hatched, the broodys shared the job of raising the chicks. Letting the broodys raise the chicks is so much easier than doing it yourself. The broodys take the chicks around, show them how to be chickens and do the work of integrating them into the flock.
     

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