Moving eggs from 'bator to broody hen, anybody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dancingbear, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    26
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I posted this subject in egg laying and behavior, then realized I should have put it here, instead. (My apologies to the Mods) Maybe I'll get more response here!

    I have 4 broody hens right now. They're playing musical nests, so I haven't let them have any eggs to keep. I don't want another round of taking out the new eggs every day, putting hens back on the eggs every day (several times a day) etc. (I've done that several times this year already) I was hoping they'd run their course and give it up, but they show no sign of stopping, it's been over 5 weeks.

    I put a bunch of eggs in the 'bator. I want to incubate them until time to stop turning them, then whoever's still broody, I'll give them a few eggs, (candle to make sure they're good at that point, and before that also, of course) and hope for the best. I'll leave some in the 'bator to finish.

    Have any of you done this before? If so, how'd it work out?

    How about placing eggs under a broody hen when the eggs start to peep? I'd really rather let the hens raise them!

    I've raised them myself from hatching, and have let the hens do the whole thing, but never combined the two.

    My thanks to everybody.
     
  2. edster951

    edster951 Chillin' With My Peeps

    i had too many to fit under a chook, so i incubated some. after the first candling i took the "dud" ones out from under the chok, and replaced them with good one from the incubator.

    Seemed to work.

    haven't done it at day 18 though.
     
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,912
    17
    201
    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I have moved eggs from the incubator to a hen before. I don't remember if it was exactly on day 18 or not but it worked fine. If I have a choice I usually let the hens hatch the eggs. If ones are in the incubator and I have a girl go broody, I will give her the started eggs. The only time it did not work was with a first time mommy and I put the eggs under her after she had only been sitting for a couple of days the eggs had only 5 days to go. She did not like the activity and I found one that has two days left to hatch broken open and the baby was dead. I took the other back and finished them in the incubator. She knew that she had not been on eggs long enough for a baby, I guess, and it upset her to have them peeping and moving around under her. In your case they have been sitting long enough and will most likely love to have some results for all their efforts.
     
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    26
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Thanks, I'll give it a go, then. I'm hoping that if I wait until 2 or 3 days before hatch, the chicks will make some noise, and that will trigger the hens to stay put, and stop moving nest-to-nest! I'd hate to give them viable eggs and lose them because they moved to the wrong nest.
     
  5. CindyS

    CindyS Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    3
    151
    Apr 14, 2008
    Geneseo, Illinois
    If they are like my hens, be prepared for some mad clucking hens fighting over the nests when they hear peeping:D
     
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    26
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Yeah, they'll probably do that. [​IMG] Silly birds.

    Since I started this thread, another one has decided it's time for babies. I have 20 eggs in the 'bator, and 5 hens broody. I hope I have a high success rate, or they may all get 1 or 2 eggs each. Don't they know it's August already?

    I tell you, if you want dedicated broody hens, try light Brahma, purebred dark Cornish, and black Australorp.

    This particular 'lorp, though, is a problem mom. She never lets go of a chick. Her last ones are more than half grown, and STILL sleeping in the nest with her, and she won't run them off, though she's broody again. I'm going to have to remove them, and lock them up elsewhere before I give her new eggs. (Or move her.) Last year, I thought she'd take care of it, and her older chicks broke most of her eggs, squashed a couple of new chicks, and injured the last one so badly that she didn't survive.

    The light Brahmas are so maternal, they tend to adopt each others chicks. They've all already hatched clutches earlier this year. I had three clutches playing musical moms, between 2 Brahmas and a Cornish. Finally, one Brahma wound up taking care of the whole lot, plus babies from another hen, who decided she was done. Lately, she's been playing foster mom or chicken Auntie or something, with some young guineas one of the Cornish hatched. Until she decided to start brooding yet again, anyway.

    Sometimes, you CAN get too much of a good thing.

    I wish I had spaces to isolate each one with her eggs and new chicks, for the first few days, anyway.
     
  7. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    You could always hatch them in the bator and give the hens the day old chicks.... That way you know the eggs would have a good chance of hatching and not getting shuffled around !!!!
     
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    26
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I've thought about that, too. I worry that they may reject them if they don't have the hormonal triggers of hearing peeps, etc., as the eggs hatch.

    Am I being paranoid? I've always either hatched in the 'bator and raised them myself, or let the hens go at it start to finish.

    I'm new to pulling a switcheroo.[​IMG]
     
  9. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    What to do is hatch the eggs in the bator, chickens will usally accept up to 3 day old chicks.... after they are dry and up walking around go outside at night (when its dark) and place them under the hen... the hens should/will think ohhhh my eggs hatched once they hear the peeping and they should start to raise them (since its dark they cant see what you are doing so they will just keep sitting on them and in the morning be like ohh), I would check on them a few times before going to bed or leaving them all night, just to make sure the hens accept them, it should work fine, they have been broody long enough !!!! I wish I had a broody right now, have 2 little chicks that would love to have a mom, but then again I shouldn't be keeping anymore chicks !!!! Good luck and please keep me updated !!!!

    at lease if you do it that way you wont be worried about the eggs !!!


    ETA: The chicks will peep tons so the hens will know they are there.... The only part the hens doesnt get to is hatch them ( i dont think they really "watch them" hatch anyways ) but dont be worried about the chicks not peeping enough. All a broody hen cares about is sitting and raising babies !!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  10. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    Ohio
    I have 4 light brahma hens and 1 buff brahma bantam hen. I hope they are as broody and make good mama's like yours!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by