New To Hatching

m2wandc

Songster
Apr 19, 2009
912
15
196
We have a silkie hen (and the roo is too) that is a few months shy of 1 year of age.

She has been laying 1 egg a day for a while.

She recently became very broody with a clutch of 3 eggs.

I think she has been sitting on them for about 10 days now (not entirely sure of that, it's a guess...looked thru the light tonight and it appears to look similar to the 'day 10-12' eggs on the sticky thread at the top of this section)

Feeling badly about taking her babies away & throwing the eggs over the hillside, we decided to 'not decide' just yet, and as the days passed, we realized we better decide something soon.

We have a home for the chicks when/if they hatch, but we are totally clueless and are putting all of our eggs into the basket that says Mrs. Silkie knows what to do (however, it's her first time too)

She has three other chickens (not fully mature yet, about 7-9 weeks old) and one roo in her flock. The other girl chickens (not laying yet) are new...a few weeks ago it was just her and the roo. I'm not 100% sure of the new chicken's personalities yet?


***

NEED TIPS

***

Should we isolate her and the eggs into a large crate so the other chickens & roo don't kill the babies if she's a successful momma?

If so, how do you go about doing that and not disturbing her too much?

Will a 'new location' (ie in the garage) away from the other chickens cause problems? or stress to our momma?

How do I know she's getting up for food and water (seems like she never moves an inch, but when I put food and water literally to her beak she doesn't take me up on the offer)

Is it possible she would kill herself (starve) because she's sitting on eggs?

***

I would love to have nature take it's course & let her hatch out her three babies...so whatever tips you can give that would aide in a successful hatch, that would be appreciated
smile.png
 

Shay1327

Songster
10 Years
Apr 21, 2009
162
0
119
Franklinville, NY
I had a similar issue last summer.

One of my bantam hens went broody over a clutch of 5 eggs. Not sure what to do I moved her into a broody cage. She successfully hatched 4 chicks and soon became antsy to get back outside soon after. As a test, I released her and 1 of her chicks back outside. My rooster went to mate her and she freaked out and flew up into a tree leaving her baby. (I never did find him, not sure if he ran into the pig pen, woods, or creek).
hit.gif


I ended up putting the other 3 chicks into a brooder and they were absolutely fine.

I think if you do seperate her you should be prepared to raise the chicks in a brooder. Or you can let mother nature take its course and see how she does outside. Your other hens aren't laying yet so at least that takes away the problem of them adding eggs to her nest everyday.

I don't know how your rooster will act. My roosters have never paid much mind to chicks and teenagers.

Whatever choice you make, good luck!!!
thumbsup.gif
 

FortWorthChicks

Songster
10 Years
Nov 21, 2009
1,221
4
149
Fort Worth
I would move her and her eggs to a safe place, dog crate or something like that and let her hatch them there.

I have not had a broody though. Just seems safer to let her hatch them in a space by herself.
 

m2wandc

Songster
Apr 19, 2009
912
15
196
I got the brooder out and ready...(food/water/fresh shavings, etc)...and the heat lamp hangs above...sooo I'm 'ready' to move her into the house for the rest of her hatching experience...my thoughts are once she's ready to get outside I'll put her back outside and let the babies stay in the brooder until they go to their new homes.

Anyone have objections to this plan before I do it??? I sure hope it's the right thing to do and I am not putting her or her babies at risk...

...one of my concerns is that she will loose her 'position' in the flock and since she's smaller (currently ON TOP, because she's oldest and was here first) that the new (more fisty) teens will pick on her when she comes back???

ANYONE KNOW HOW THAT MIGHT PLAY OUT???
 

m2wandc

Songster
Apr 19, 2009
912
15
196
Momma Hen is in the house in a brooder...I hope she's good...I hope she doesn't loose rank in the flock by being gone for 10 days...I hope all works out...time will tell and hopefully nature will take it's course and be successful!!!
smile.png
 

chickbird

Songster
May 4, 2009
575
12
194
Quote:
from my experience, unless the nest she is in is mobile(can be moved) this will cause the hen to not stay on the nest and you will have to incubate the eggs. if you can pick up her original nest and move it to the location you want her , then she will probably continue to sit. i leave mine where they are, and when the chicks hatch, i then move mother and chicks into a separate pen/brooder until the chicks are about 3-4 months old. also with my chickens, the hen will usually come off when the first chick is hatched, if the other eggs do not hatch by the next day...i take the eggs and candle and if ok, i incubate them and when they hatch i give them back to the mother, ( i put them back under the mother at night and i take the chick she is attached to and the other chicks and put a little vinegar on each so that they all smell alike and place them back under the mother. you need to not have a light on . on the night you place them back under her and the next morning she wakes up with all her chicks and i have no problem with her accepting them. i have six broody hens now, and three have come off the nest with one chick, i hatched the other eggs out and did as above and all have taken their babies.
 

m2wandc

Songster
Apr 19, 2009
912
15
196
Quote:
from my experience, unless the nest she is in is mobile(can be moved) this will cause the hen to not stay on the nest and you will have to incubate the eggs. if you can pick up her original nest and move it to the location you want her , then she will probably continue to sit. i leave mine where they are, and when the chicks hatch, i then move mother and chicks into a separate pen/brooder until the chicks are about 3-4 months old. also with my chickens, the hen will usually come off when the first chick is hatched, if the other eggs do not hatch by the next day...i take the eggs and candle and if ok, i incubate them and when they hatch i give them back to the mother, ( i put them back under the mother at night and i take the chick she is attached to and the other chicks and put a little vinegar on each so that they all smell alike and place them back under the mother. you need to not have a light on . on the night you place them back under her and the next morning she wakes up with all her chicks and i have no problem with her accepting them. i have six broody hens now, and three have come off the nest with one chick, i hatched the other eggs out and did as above and all have taken their babies.

Hmmmm....I guess it's too late now....we moved her into the brooder last night...she's still sitting on the eggs this morning, but I noticed she's moved them 3 times during the night...I know they move them, but I'm curious if she's moving them because she is supposed to, or if she's looking for the perfect nest???

We moved her into a rubbermaid container with it's own food/water and new shavings...so the OLD nest is still in the coop...but it was just a corner in the shavings...not a nesting box or anything special....she is a silkie and they don't roost and she never used the nesting boxes to lay her eggs....she would lay them sort of all over in the coop....

I see a poop in the brooder, so I know she's getting up and eating/drinking now (in the coop she didn't MOVE, not the eggs, or herself, she was like a statue the whole time she was sitting on the eggs...I wonder if that is because it was COLD outside? And now in the house it's warmer? ???

Oh well...it is what it is...the eggs will either hatch or they won't...we don't have an incubator, so she will have to do what chickens do in the wild...hatch'm or not....??? I guess if ony one hatches we'll probably keep it...but if all three hatch, we'll have to get rid of them...our coop isn't big enough for 8 birds...we designed it for about 5 or so birds...they have a HUGE ranging area, but the coop at night is too small for 8 birds.

Time will tell...all these wonders of my curious mind should be answered in about 10 days I guess....
wink.png
 

loopy12

Songster
10 Years
Apr 11, 2009
494
8
136
I can only speak from my experience, but last summer I moved my broody hen and her 5 eggs into a pet carrier next to the hen house.
She'd been on the nest a week before and I just lifted her out, moved the straw and eggs to the carrier and then shut her in there to adjust for a few hours- no problem with moving her at all. I moved her because the others weren;t pleased about her taking up residence in the nest box.

During the day I left the door open so she could go in and out and eat and I shut her in at night. She only left her eggs once a day to eat and drink, as far as I could tell.

Two of the eggs hatched (2 others appear not to have been fertile and a third died while pipping). She was an amazing mother. She ignored the chicks pretty much for 2 days while she continued to sit on the eggs and then abandoned them to care for her babies.

I was uncomfortable letting her take the chicks out with the other hens so for 2 days I kept her in the tool shed, then she made a break for it and I just watched to see what would happen. The other hens were curious, but when one went too close she gave a loud cry, the chicks shot under the bushes for cover and she turned into a puff ball of feathers and flew at the intruder, flapping. They didn't try again after that. After that they all got along fine in the flock, but I let her continue to use her nest in the pet carrier for a few weeks because the chicks couldn't get up the hen house ladder.

My broody was also 'top chicken' beforehand and I thought she might lose status. She didn't and I think maybe her seniority helped the other chickens respect the distance she required them to keep when the chicks were with her.

If she wants to rejoin the flock with her chicks you could try a dog cage or a chicken wire pen or similar - put her and her chicks in there safe and see how the others react before letting them lose.

Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:

m2wandc

Songster
Apr 19, 2009
912
15
196
thanks
smile.png
that is helpful...

I don't think (unless my emotions take over and I convince my hubby...LOL) the baby chicks are staying here...I think once she's ready to get back out to the flock, she will be making that sad separation from her babies....and her babies will stay in the brooder and she will go back into the main flock...and then when the baby chicks find good homes, they will move on (saying this as if ALL or ANY will hatch???)
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom