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Letting the hen hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Frozenvegies, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Frozenvegies

    Frozenvegies Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2012
    My silkies just layed their first two eggs yesterday. :)How long does it take for the chicks to hatch? Is it too cold? Do they only hatch in warmer weather without an incubater? How long can they be off the egg...minutes, hours? Should I pick the eggs up and candle them to see if they are fertile? :/
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
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    First of all your hens need to be broody. You'll notice their behaviour changes, they get grumpy, stays on the nest and screeches at you if you come near, walks around clucking and all puffed up. When you give them fertile eggs to hatch they will sit on them and keep them warm, but don't give them too many eggs, just enough that they can cover comfortably. A broody hen's body temperature is slightly higher than normal, so they will keep the eggs warm enough, even during the colder months. they can go broody and hatch eggs any time of the year, though it is better if they do it during the warmer months, as chicks are very susceptible to cold. They will get up now and then to eat, drink and poo, maybe have a quick dust bath. Don't worry if it seems the hen's letting the eggs get too cold. It takes quite awhile for the core temperature of the egg to drop enough to harm the embryo. I've had hens off their eggs for up to 2 hours, only to have the eggs hatch on time and with no problems. It takes average 21 days before the eggs hatch, though sometimes, with really small eggs, they may hatch sooner. I had one hen hatch all her eggs, 37 in total, on days 18-19. If the eggs get too cold and some point during the incubation process it may cause them to hatch late. I've had an egg hatch on day 25 once!
    You can candle the eggs if you want to, but wait until day 7. Before that you won't be able to see much.

    Here's a link with pics showing what to look for to tell if an egg is fertile or not:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  3. Frozenvegies

    Frozenvegies Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Thankyou. I did not notice any broody behavior...I was in a hurry, but will have more time for some chicken tv today. 37 eggs hatched by one hen? Wow! What is the typical amount? My pig made one roll out of the coop area, but I picked the other one up for sec. And it was warm and in the nest.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Sorry, I should've said she did 3 batches. 12, 12 and 13 eggs. Your pig in the coop area?
     
  5. Frozenvegies

    Frozenvegies Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Right now my silkies are in a make shift coop. I am almost done with the real coop. Roof goes on tomorrow. Anyways my pig can not get in the coop, but she scoots it over trying to get to the food and some how she got the egg to roll out . Lucy my pig....she is not your average pig. During the day she runs around like a dog in the yard and she sleeps with my goat Jo Jo. I do not think she would eat a chicken, but she is a pig.
     

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