My little natural hatching experiment *now with pics on post 9!*

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AngieChick, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I am definitely an overly involved fussy chicken owner. I have hatched out several batches, kept them inside until they are good and ready (feeding them homemade yogurt throughout) and have generally babied my chickens. So, when 3 of my 4 silkie girls went broody at once and I decided to allow them to hatch out babies, my first instinct was to somehow separate them out and make sure that each one has egg batches in exactly the same stages. However, I have forced myself to not intervene this time. I have let a broody standard hen hatch out babies, and did separate her because the other girls stepped on an egg early on. I will separate her out if she goes broody again. But, the silkies are very gentle and light, so they have not so much as cracked an egg. I don't know who has what underneath them, I am just letting them be. When one hatches, I'm not sure that there won't be problems. These birds have never been aggressive with each other, but they are chickens so anything can happen. If one baby hatches, the other broodies may sit on the eggs that haven't hatched yet if mommy chicken gets off the nest to care for the baby. Or, they may all bail entirely. My hope is for a peaceful, successful hatch with minimal intervention from me. There are 4 eggs in different stages (all between 16-19 days development) and all are growing.

    The first baby is hatching right now, 2 days early. I heard it peeping underneath mommy when I was cleaning out the coop, trying to prep it for chicks. I'm nervous about how the moms will react, they are all first time moms. But, so far so good! If anyone has experience hatching this way, I'd love to hear about it.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  2. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    That picture is so cute! How sweet all of em workin together to keep em warm. Who knows maybe they will end up babysitting for one another!
  3. slickchik

    slickchik Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2008
    Southern California
    My frizzle bantams went broody so I got some fertile eggs from the neighbor and put them under the girls. They had one nest together and they shared motherly duties. No fighting and no problems. It was great to watch. One did choose to be the primary mother and worked harder but the other hen didn't mind.
  4. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Just look at those 2 mommies! I love it. [​IMG] Hoping for the best hatch possible for them, and you! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    In July I let my 3 Silkie hens all raise a clutch together [​IMG] There was only one major squable and that was with Holly (the newest mom, on the left in pic) and Priscilla (middle), resulting in the plucking of Holly's crest. After that, things cooled down and there were no major injuries to mamas or babies.
  6. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Thanks so much for the feedback, and the lovely picture Year of the Rooster. That has to be one of the most darling mama & chicks pictures I've seen on BYC.

    I am firing up my incubator right now just in case the broodies bail on the other eggs, as there is 3 days difference in stages of development. I doubt I'll need it, but it's probably best to have it ready.
  7. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I once intervened when 3 of my Polish hens all sat on a communal pile of about 30 eggs. It was cute and I wish i had a picture of it. At the tiem I had no roos. Also, they couldn't all manage to keep track of and cover the eggs very well. lol
  8. Frenchy chick

    Frenchy chick Out Of The Brooder

    May 26, 2009
    Oh that's so cute!!! keep the pictures coming....[​IMG]
  9. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Well, the baby that is hatched is absolutely adorable! He was being a stinker and not wanting to stay under mom(s). So, we'll see if they are able to stick around on the other eggs until they hatch. I have my incubator set up in the 1/2 bath ready to go, just in case.

    They are being so sweet with him, absolutely doting. I'll try to get a picture of them tomorrow. And if I wasn't convinced before, this experience would cement for me that silkies are among the sweetest little things in the chicken world [​IMG]

    1:30 pm update:

    So, the little goofs all jumped into the other nestbox, leaving behind a poor little egg. They did take the baby with them. The only thing I can think of is that there is an egg hatching in the other nestbox, which is much more exciting than the little egg left stranded.

    The egg was cool, although the longest it could have been left is an hour. That is more than enough time to kill it, I suspect. I put the poor thing in my incubator (no longer trusting my dingbat broodies). There are still veins visible, though I didn't see movement. Although, there isn't much room for wiggling in there. The girls may have bailed on it because there is an underlying issue, as well. Now I will just wait and see.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  10. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist


    The egg that I moved into the incubator had some movement in it when I checked on it, so it seems to be fine. It looks to be within a couple of days of hatch. If it hatches I'll give the chick back to the girls at night. They'll be very impressed with themselves [​IMG]

    Here are the promised pictures, no question who the dad is, Gus my beautiful partridge roo:




    It's a tiny perfect little thing. As these are crosses, either splash x partridge or white x partridge they won't be able to be shown or used in anyone's breeding program. But, there is an absolute joy to seeing the progeny of my own chickens. These are chickenzoo's grandbabies.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010

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