My young hen went out to lunch while the eggs were hatching!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by shelleyd2008, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I went out to feed my kids this morning. It is probably my fault, cuz I opened her cage door. I had a hen taken by something off the nest about a month ago, after hatching only 1 chick out of 15 eggs, so I keep my broodies locked up good. She wasn't supposed to hatch until at least thursday, but like my bator babies, hers started early too. I looked in her nest and one chick was almost completely out of the shell!! I saw at least 1 more that was pipped. Will her leaving during the hatch hurt the babies? She wasn't off for more than 15-20 minutes. I can't believe she left it!! [​IMG]
     
  2. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    They should be ok (just dont want them to get cold or lose hum), just would try and not let her do it again while they are hatching, maybe keep her locked up (with food and water) intill all the egss hatch and then let mom and babies out. Good luck and hope to see pics !!!!!!
     
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Checked her this morning, and she had 2. Checked her this evening and she had 7, with 7 to go!! Guess they did all right after all! Gonna build a pen for her and her babies once she comes off the nest ( they're in a dog cage atm, babies could get out while mama can't). I'm sure her little one that I rescued when she left will love to join her, as well as the 5 others that hatched from the bator last night lol!!!
     
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,152
    24
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    momma knows best.
    Supposedly momma hen knows what's going on inside the shell and "talks" to her chicks even before they've hatched, so she probably knew what stage they were at. Sometimes they leave the nest so they can poop elsewhere once a day...otherwise they would be pooping in their own nest.
     
  5. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Mama hen knows best. Many times we want to help out to much. All we do is mess things up. Think of all the birds that are hatched each year with NO help from us humans. In the long run, I would say we hurt more chicks than we help over time. I find that the chicks I hatch in the bator have no better chance of making a go of it than the chicks raised by the hens in the yards. Anyone that has ever seen a mama hen with chicks, knows to stay out of her way. She will tackle the meanest roo you have if he gets to close to her chicks. Or any other animal for that matter. She has to eat, drink and poop, which she can't do on the nest. She also needs a little exerise. The few times I have seen a hen leave the nest, another hen will take over as a step mama. There are times when a roo will set the nest until the hen gets back. The chickens know more of what they need than we do. Let chickens be chickens.
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Update!! My hen has left the nest with 6 chicks!! She had 15 eggs, but 6 were bad, and three were 'donors' from another hen before I found out she was sharing. Still hopeful on those!!

    -edit- actually she has 11...she 'adopted' 5 from the bator!
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by