Natural Hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CricketR4, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    255
    2
    93
    Feb 11, 2013
    Mebane, NC
    I have a little bantam girl sitting on a clutch of 14 eggs (she hid the nest from me, and by the time I found it, she'd already had 12 eggs...), and I lost track of when she started sitting. I want to say it was the last week or so in January. I'm guessing it's been around 21-27 days. How long should I let her sit before giving up hope? Also, could I have the hatch date/s wrong? Oh, she won't let me get close to the nest to do a candling on the eggs.

    BTW: this is my first hatching ever, so I'm a bit clueless, and nervous too!
     
  2. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

    5,710
    614
    331
    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I would not candle the eggs, I would let her do her thing, but put a mark on all her eggs and don't let her lay more, banties should only have maybe 9 tops to get a good cover. let her do her thing she knows what she is up to.
     
  3. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    255
    2
    93
    Feb 11, 2013
    Mebane, NC
    She hasn't laid anymore since at least the first of Feb. I did manage a peak in at the eggs today, and some are different shades, so I think maybe she's got someone elses eggs in there too. I'll just leave her then, and hope all will be ok.
     
  4. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    255
    2
    93
    Feb 11, 2013
    Mebane, NC
    It snowed yesterday, and sometime yesterday I noticed that the broody hen was no longer on the nest. She eventually went back to it, but when my hubby checked this am, the eggs were very cold, and mama was off with the rest of the chickens. We brought the eggs in, candled some of them (hard to tell if they're still alive, it was very dense and dark in the eggs), and put them in an incubator. Any chance they're still alive and will hatch? Hatch date should be this weekend or early this coming week. I lost track of how long she's been sitting.

    We also have some duck eggs that we want to incubate, should we put them in now? Or wait?
     
  5. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

    5,710
    614
    331
    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    i hope you have a way of keeping the babies warm
     
  6. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    255
    2
    93
    Feb 11, 2013
    Mebane, NC
    We don't currently have a brooder, as we weren't planning on hatching out any eggs. We were going to let the mama hatch them. Since we now have to hatch them, we'll keep them in the house with us, and my hubby (awesome GC who loves working with wood) can build one if it looks like they'll hatch.
     
  7. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

    5,710
    614
    331
    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    my husband is handy enough to build, but if I asked him to he'd want to over think it talk about how it should be made, reject any suggestions I give him, and it still would not get done, I just do it myself or find and old cabinet.
     
  8. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    255
    2
    93
    Feb 11, 2013
    Mebane, NC
    Haha! Thankfully my hubby isn't quite like that. Especially if I tell him we need it asap. He would bang that sucker out, and then after the chicks are done using it, he'd improve it.
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    CricketR4, don't put the duck eggs in until the chicken eggs are done. Two reasons: One, if the chicken eggs are dead, then they are full of bacteria that could infect your duck eggs. Two, hatching is messy. If they hatch successfully they will do so in an incubator full of early-stage duck embryos, spreading goo, moisture, ick, and bacteria all over them and knocking them all to heck in the process.

    With a little practice, you can easily tell whether they are still viable. Try waiting until after dark, and using a super bright (LED is great) flashlight to candle them. You want to see a bright area about 1/3 the size of the egg (or a little less), and the rest mostly dark. If you watch long enough, you should see independent movement around the edge between bright and dark (i.e., not just sloshing). If you see that the whole thing is bright, then you've got eggs that never developed. If there is no movement, you may or may not have viable eggs--they might just be sleeping. Try again later. If everything sorta sloshes around, then you've got dead embryos or babies. If it's all dark with only a tiny bit of bright, you've got either a dead baby or one that won't hatch successfully because there's not enough space in the air cell. Compare your candling to the many pics online of late-stage candling.

    Or, you can just wait a week and see what happens. :)

    Odds are, with that many under her and the weather like it is, they're unlikely to have developed far. On the other hand, cold eggs does not mean dead eggs--my broody hatched a batch of three (out of three) eggs this past January. At one point she was up getting exercise and I reached in and found her eggs cold. Scared me. But she went back to them, and they were fine. Still, if she can't cover them all adequately, then none of them end up developing usually.

    Good luck! Let us know how it progresses.
     
  10. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    255
    2
    93
    Feb 11, 2013
    Mebane, NC
    Candled all the eggs, none of them were still alive. :( We're going to incubate the duck eggs though, so hopefully we'll still get babies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by