Naturally Hatching Chicken - First Time Problems

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JavelinaFarms, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. JavelinaFarms

    JavelinaFarms Just Hatched

    Jun 29, 2016
    Ok, so this was our first time naturally hatching chicks and we are having some problems.
    We were not really intending on hatching out chicks, but our hen kept going broody and we eventually had problems taking her eggs away, she got VERY aggressive. So, we thought "why not" and let her keep them. Well now we are having several issues.

    First, the other hens kept laying on the broody hen, we weren't really aware of this as almost all of our chickens are young, this is their first season. So the eggs are a variety of ages. We keep trying to keep the others from laying in there with the broody, but they aren't having it. We have 3 chicks so far, how long do we keep trying to let the others hatch out? I know you aren't supposed to move them too much, so I have only candled a couple and they seem to be developed/developing. How do I tell when they are duds?
    Second, the chicks are a couple days old now, the first 2 are 3 days, the last chick is 2 days. they are wandering around and exploring so Mama keeps running after them. We have another hen that has gone broody and now she is sitting on Mama's clutch. Is this a problem? Should I take the eggs away? Mama wont stay on them, so they wont finish incubating under her, but I am worried that if they don't hatch that the other hen will just keep sitting. Help! This has turned into quite the disaster.
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Never serial hatch eggs. A good mama hen left to herself can often hatch 15 out of 15 eggs if everything goes right. Don't worry about the mama hen being able to nurse this many chicks, she'll do fine. [​IMG] Never let a hen sit where she is bedeviled by the other hens. A 3 foot by 3 foot maternity coop two feet tall is plenty of space. Never try to transfer a hen from one nest to another because she wont like it and often will quit the nest completely. Have stand alone nest boxes, preferably with a solid top, and move the whole nest box, hen and all to the maternity coop, It's better to do this after dark. Hens or rather eggs hatch better if the nest is sitting on Earth because there is better humidity and a more stable temperature and this helps keep the peeps from becoming shrink wrapped. Hens like sitting in bowl shaped depressions and this also helps keep the big end (air cell end) of an egg higher than the pointy end of the egg, like mama nature intended. Keep food and water where the hen can eat and drink when she needs to. She knows more about what is going on with her than we do. One more thing, never serial hatch!! and.....

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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

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