New Member - Questions about hatching

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bjski, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Bjski

    Bjski In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2018
    I got my first chickens about 9 months ago. I have 3 hens and one rooster plus 3 newly hatched eggs. They are all Plymouth Barred Rock
    I went on vacation and came home to a chicken sitting on eggs, so got into the breeding process rather unexpectedly. I’ve been searching on line forums because I’ve had a rather distressing couple of days with 3 live births another 3 who were apparently eaten before I found them and how one that was abandoned during hatching.
    I have a number of questions about what I am doing wrong, what I am doing right and how I can save the rest of my unmatched eggs.
  2. Bjski

    Bjski In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2018
    Ok, replying to my own post. I know now that you aren’t supposed to have staggered hatch dates, but how can I help the remaining eggs to hatch. I don’t have an incubator. Do I just keep putting mom back on the box? I had 2 hens that were sitting on the eggs, but after losing 3 babies in a row, I removed one of the hens. I tried to give her some of the eggs to sit on, but she wanted nothing to do with them. She only wanted to be with the one hatched chick. Although when I put her back in with the baby, she was very aggressive.
    Joeschooks likes this.
  3. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Crowing

    Feb 2, 2017
    Poplar- Porterville CA.
    So sorry, My rocks never go broody. I don't know:idunno
  4. IvanK

    IvanK Chirping

    Sep 25, 2017

    Well it sucks and I totally empathize but if you don't have an incubator and no broody hen, those eggs are goners...the embryos won't live long or hatch without the proper temp and humidity. IMO you need to move forward with what you have :)
    The hen has her hatchling so she is in momma mode and she should be left to focus on raising that one chick without stress or interference. If you separate her from the chick to put her on eggs, she may then abandon the chick and/or kill it and she won't go back to the eggs anyway. Also, watch the roo with the chick...they can be great but they can be terrible as well. You may want to create some barriers to be safe.
    As for some chicks getting eaten, I have had roos that jump in the nest with the broody. Why? No idea but they've done it and they break eggs which in turn starts a buffet and creates a mess. That being said, it's best to give a broody and her nest privacy with some fencing etc. You don't want to completely isolate her so she is rejected later from the flock but a broody definitely benefits from being left without interference...both to hatch and to raise her chicks until they're not so fragile. I've had success this way.
    Those chicks may have been killed by the roo and/or the other hens when momma wasn't watching. I'd really keep a close eye on that little chick because if it strays too far from momma, things could go bad fast.
    You have a chick and get to witness the beauty of watching a hen raise it. While things never go perfectly, it's worth feeling good about....enjoy :)
  5. Bjski

    Bjski In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2018
    Thanks for your response and encouragement Ivan. I actually have 3 that lived. I know it was one of my broody hens who killed at least of them because I isolated them as soon as the first one hatched. They are in a locked cage inside of the chicken house.
    I have decided if I don’t have any more by morning, that I will just have to take your advice and learn from my mistakes.
    When should I allow the babies in with the adults.
  6. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
  7. N F C

    N F C Poo happens, move on

    Dec 12, 2013

    I've never had a broody that hatched and raised chicks but I wish you all the best with yours. Pork Pie Ken has given you a good place to get some answers to your questions.

    Best wishes!
    007Sean, KikisGirls and Joeschooks like this.
  8. IvanK

    IvanK Chirping

    Sep 25, 2017
    Personally I wait until at least 7-8 weeks of age to introduce young pullets and cockerels to my flocks. By then, they are fully feathered and strong enough to move quickly and withstand any bullying (within reason)...let it be known that I have more space than most people though...the bigger they are the better.
    Make sure you have a few feeders and waterers scattered about because bullying can and will occur here. The adults will also feel less insecure by the new flock members with plenty of resources around. Of course ensure that your space is large enough for the amount of birds that there will be.
    Also, if your roo is anything like a few of mine you can expect him to assert himself at first and this is pretty ugly. You might see him chasing the smaller birds, pecking at them, picking them up etc. The worst usually passes within a few hours and declines further over a few days. Make sure you monitor this closely. If it gets too bad, you'll have to slow things down by intervening and putting up barriers like a fence so they can see each other but not make physical contact.
    Chickens are good at sorting themselves out usually with minimal human interference. Just keep an eye on things and I'm sure everything will turn out fine :thumbsup
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  9. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hello and welcome to BYC!
    There’s so many helpful, knowledgeable folks here and I’m sure you’ll find this site a very useful resource. I’m a hatchaholic but no experience with the natural way... but some helpful responses here already. Best of luck :thumbsup
  10. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie All My Friends Have Hoofs

    Feb 28, 2017
    Florida Peninsula
    My Coop
    When I hatch w/broody hen, I try to control the whole process. Right now I have 2 hardcore broody Gold lace dots. Stubborn ladies. In the evenings I lock out the population and remove the 2 broody's from their boxes. Place them in front of separate food dishes and waters (or they will fight).
    3 night's ago I labeled and placed 9 dated fertile eggs in each of their nests. Clearly marked an "X" & an "O" on opposite sides to monitor the rotations. Each night, I repeat my chuck em out of the boxes procedure. Rotating the eggs if necessary, clean any poo etc. I remove any new additional eggs to prevent a staggered hatch.
    Upon day 20-21, I have had a make shift brooder staged in my home on stand by-ready and prepped. I am now in control of the date of hatch as well as being around to snatch them out of the nest as soon as they crack open and pop out chirping. I have an old school baby monitor that helps me know when another is ready to break out or is out.
    In the past, by letting mother nature and the hen control the process, I was lucky to have a 25 - 40% survival rate. By me being in control, I'm pretty much saving almost every chick that unzips.
    In a perfect world where it is the most beautiful thing to experience- being a proud Hen walking her offspring around, has only happened twice in the years I have been know as the wacky chicken lady. Far greater times I have dug holes around my rose bushes to fertilize the flowers.
    So here in about 18 days, I will be removing all the hatched chicks once again- 1 by 1. The safest way I know to insure a successful hatch.
    I will be selling off the offspring. If I do keep any, I will provide separate quarters for them for about 4 months. I like to wait until the become equally large and strong willed before I throw them into population. And when I do. I'm there to monitor any savage rejections.
    Chickens can be vicious. For being so low on the food chain, you would think they would be much higher if they treated predators the way they treat other chickens.
    That's my 2 cents for the day. I emptied my pockets.
    Good luck with your hatching endeavors.
    Best regards,
    -em connie

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