New to hatching - backyard style!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RabonCrew, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. RabonCrew

    RabonCrew Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2016
    Hello all! I love this site and have had much success diagnosing issues with my hens here, so THANKS!!

    I have a mixed flock of 6: 1 Americauna rooster and 2 hens, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 RIR, & 1 Ostralorpe. We have suffered some loss over the past year and so we were looking to up our numbers this spring. I bought some Well Summer chickies and we are all excited to integrate them into the flock when they are big enough. Of course, just as soon as I bought baby chicks, our Ostralorpe went broody! We have never experienced this before, so we thought we'd let her sit on a couple of eggs and see what happens! Then, I got to thinking that I'd like to hatch more of the blue eggs than the brown ones, since the well summers will lay lovely brown speckled eggs. So, now she's sitting on 4 blue and 4 brown. She's been sitting for about a week and a half. I have not separated her yet - should I?? She seems quite content where she is, but the nesting boxes are up high and I know we'll eventually have to move her. How do I go about housing her separately from the other chickens while keeping them warm enough? Or will she for sure protect them and all of the chickens can coexist??

    She got off the nest for a bit today and I quick ran out to the house to grab eggs and try some candling. I couldn't see anything through those thick blue shells, but the brown ones were interesting. One of them definitely showed veins. The others though - they had a defined dark line. Most of the egg was dark. Does this mean that they are not going to develop? Or maybe this is an early stage since we added eggs under her as they were laid?? Maybe these are just 'newer' than the one with veins?? My instinct says they are bad, but I wasn't sure so I put them back in the nest. I wish I could see through those blue shells!!!!!! Any advice on that? Those would be my only full breed chicks - the browns will be mixed. Interesting. If any survive, I wonder what the mixed breed eggs would look like? [​IMG]
     
  2. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello there, you can try moving her, but it usually recommended before you have her set on eggs. I would try to move her at night, and keep it as dark as you can. Be sure to do it on a night and day when you can observe her.

    As far as candling goes, those colored eggs do make it tricky. I would leave them under her and wait an other week. Once they are more developed, you should be able to have a better idea. Hope that helps.
     
  3. RabonCrew

    RabonCrew Out Of The Brooder

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    It does help Anne, thanks! I candled again today and was able to see much more. All of the brown eggs have a distinct black eye and veins and you can even see all the anatomy like the air sack. It was simply amazing. We even got to see the fetus move in each egg! I'll post some pictures after a bit.

    I have another question. How does it work if eggs under the hen were not all added at once? If they hatch on different days - possibly a week apart - will that stress out the hen? How would she sit on eggs and care for the chicks? I would imagine that she'd be sitting on all of them, but just curious if being able to keep them safe as they grow while having littler ones would be an issue??
     
  4. RabonCrew

    RabonCrew Out Of The Brooder

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    1 person likes this.
  5. RabonCrew

    RabonCrew Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. AnneInTheBurbs

    AnneInTheBurbs Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Bucks County, Pa

    The eggs all should hatch within 2 days of each other. If you (or the other chickens) added eggs more than a day or so after the initial ones, they probably will not hatch unless you have an incubator as a backup. The hen will stay on the nest once hatching begins for 2-3 days. Any eggs that have not hatched by then will be abandoned, because she has to take her chicks off the nest to find food and water.

    With my most recent broody, she got up on hatch day, and when I looked at the nest, one of the eggs had pipped! I thought she wa being naughty and the chick wouldn't survive, but she only took a 10 minute break and was back on the nest. She stayed there for three days too, while the eggs hatched.

    If your hen has hatched out some chicks, but others are still developing because they were added the the nest days later, you will have to intervene and put them in a n incubator to finish the process. If they hatch within another day or two, you may be able to "fuse" them onto the broody, but you have to make sure she accepts them.

    So how many eggs is she sitting on, and when were they added?
     

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