My RI Red hen hatching eggs story

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NHchicks, May 13, 2010.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is our RI Red's first time being broody, and our first experience with hatching eggs. We have 2 NH Reds, 2 RI Reds, and she was the only one who got broody! She ended up with 16 eggs (from them all), after pushing a couple out of the nest. From the day she sat full time till hatch day was exactly 21 days. Out of the 16 eggs, we have 9 live chicks. 5 eggs did not hatch (maybe they were too old/cold by the time she got broody - we did have some freezing nights). One chick looks weak and I don't know if it will survive. 7 chicks are energetic and aggressive. (Today is day #23)

    Two things surprised me. One was that when I moved her nest today, because I moved her & chicks to their own apartment in the dog crate to keep the chicks safe from the other hens/rooster, I found 2 dead chicks in her nest. I'm thinking she must have smothered them, but maybe they were just too weak to survive? Do mother hens often end up smothering their chicks?

    The other surprise was a chick that was stuck in its shell. Its legs were out just find and moving around, but its upper torso appeared stuck like glue to the inside of the egg. My 9 yr. old, who is braver than I, peeled the shell off the chick, and then I patted it with a moistened paper towel to get the really stuck parts. UGH. I thought for sure it would not survive, but so far it has fluffed up some and peeps up a storm. Tonight the chicks will have to sleep under mom in order not to freeze because it's in the 40s out there, and the late bloomer will have to be able to keep under the hen and not be pushed out by the others. I hope it survives the night. It seems like a fighter. But anyway, I thought that was weird - that a chick would get stuck to its own shell and not be able to hatch completely.

    One other thing is that when we put them to bed tonight in their new dog crate home (with hay and wood shavings, and tarped completely for the night, with duct tape for breeziness or even critters), it seemed she was having a hard time finding room for 9 chicks under her, plus one unhatched egg that she's still thinking might hatch (I threw the rest out today). The chicks were giving her a run for her money. Poking out every which way, complaining loudly if they were out in the cold, diving back under her only to have one pushed out the other side, complaining. I feel sorry for her trying to get any sleep tonight!

    Our RI Red is inexperienced, and so are we. But she took the 7 strong ones for a walk today and showed them how to scratch, peck, and showed them a short dust bath. She seemed really happy to teach them all this, they even ate some bugs, and some of them were watching her intently!

    Any thoughts on hens smothering newly hatched chicks, or chicks stuck half-way in shells?
     
  2. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Some get smooshed and smothered, sometimes they stray and chill, lots of things can happen. Sounds like for a first time momma she is doing well. As for the getting stuck chick that happens at times for a variety of reasons usually humidity levels so although quiet normal the chick probably would n ot have survived with out help, good job [​IMG]

    Are all the chicks with her now? as long as the crate is on the floor where they wont fall the chicks should be fine staying with Momma full time, they do move around alot and I find they prefer being under the wings of the hens [​IMG]

    enjoy I just love watching Momma hens [​IMG]
     
  3. nicolets

    nicolets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi im a new member, nicolets, and this is my first post. [​IMG] i dont have chickens yet but im interested in them and i'd like to get some [​IMG]

    i've browsed around online, read books, talked to friends who have chickens, and so i've learned a lot in the past few weeks. [​IMG] i also learned what broody means. thanks to mypetchicken.com, i know RIRs aren't supposed to broody. how come yours is? are RIRs only broody when the eggs are fertile or something?
     
  4. esthermgr

    esthermgr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nicolets, some breeds go broody more often than others, but all hens have the potential to go broody. It's just that some breeds have been bred for very high egg production, and broodiness interferes with that, so they have been bred with an eye toward selecting hens that brood less often. Some breeds are known for going broody quite often, and others do so less frequently.
     
  5. nicolets

    nicolets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:ah. [​IMG] that makes sense. thanks! [​IMG]
     
  6. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My young RIR hen went broody last year and hatched 3 chicks:

    [​IMG]

    This year my young Buff Orp went broody and hatched 3 live chicks but I found 2 smooshed chicks under her, flatter than a pancake, when I was checking to see if all of the eggs had hatched. Other than that mishap, she has been a very good mother to her chicks who are now 4 weeks old.
    ETA: Now that I look at both of these pictures I have to laugh [​IMG] at the hairy eyeball that both of these hens are giving me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  7. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies - I'm glad smooshed chicks are not abnormal, and that sometimes stuck chicks happen too. I have to say our stuck chick isn't looking too strong, and probably won't survive. I know I'm more queasy than most, but the sight of smooshed chicks is almost unbearable - just so sad. As far as the Rhode Island going broody, I was really surprised. I had read on the internet that they rarely go broody, and that New Hampshires are more likely to go broody. My New Hampshires are party girls, they love to lay the eggs and hog the nests, but when they want to have fun they just abandon and don't look back. [​IMG]

    My 9 yr. old and I are nutty about our hens, and it's fun watching the rooster - he is a real gentleman, finds food for the girls, keeps them from spatting, even finds nests for them to put their eggs, always watches out for them. Not without a fee, of course, tho. But he is handsome.

    I'll try to post photos of our 9 new chicks, which may turn out to be 8 shortly.
     
  8. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to try to upload 2 photos of my mama Rhode Island Red (Brownie) and her 8 new hatchlings.

    Unfortunately, the one we pried out of the shell didn't last today. [​IMG]

    Okay, here goes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  9. nicolets

    nicolets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cute chicks [​IMG] good luck to you and them [​IMG]
     
  10. Panhanle RIR

    Panhanle RIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i hatched out 8 mutts of my own flock under my broody SLW yesterday
     

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