New to incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SuperK, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. SuperK

    SuperK Chillin' With My Peeps


    Okay- Newbie to hatching chickens and I have a complicated question.
    Background and current situation:
    We have three "mountain" hens that are broody, 6 RIR and 5 BR hens plus one BR roo for a total of 14 hens one rooster. We coop all these together and the nest boxes are in the coop. All our hens were raised from store bought four or five day old Chicks except the broody Mountain hens, they were purchased as layers prior to the other girls.
    Though young, (26+ weeks) the RIR and BR hens are laying fertilized eggs but I have not gotten any fertile eggs from the Mountain hens. We set 6 eggs under two of the broodies each, that resulted in two eggs making it to the 21 day finish line- the others were pushed out of the nest and when checked, the progress had failed to advance(dead embryos). That left us with one egg each for two broody moms. Count down started and we candled them all at 7 day intervals. as stated earlier, we removed the non viable eggs, and waited.
    Egg 1
    Two days ago the first chick hatched out [Photo 1] was found under the hen snug as a bug and bright eyed. We left the mom to bond and imprint but were concerned when they hadn't made it out of the nest box by the evening. Our boxes are raised off the coop floor so the chick won't be able to get back into the box for more than a couple of weeks or so. We have a second pen (Photo 2, our Chicken 'Condo') next to the main coop just in case we need to raise the chicks away from pecking hens or in case the chicks are abandoned. This shares a section of fence, but is separate so they can be isolated from the others.
    We had a lot of interested hens looking into the nest box and we thought it best to move both mom and chick to the 'Condo' . We set up food and water low enough for the chick to get at it, and even dipped the beak into the dish so it would know its water and where to find it. So we went out early this morning and the chick was dead. Pretty recently since rigor was not present. There was not outward sign of trauma, nor any down or feathers lying around. No evidence of the hen nor a predator attacking it.
    Egg 2
    We gathered and set this egg three days after egg one chick so we are still hoping the hatch is on the way. We checked the egg just now and JoAnn was able to hear a peep and some scratching so we placed it back under the hen.

    Since we have an impending hatch ( it is day 21 for this one) we are looking for advice on how to make the environment as safe and healthy as possible for the little one. If they stay in the nest box, there is no ready access for food or water for the chick, but we are not sure of the reaction of the other hens. Do we move the pair like we did before to let them be alone for a few days or hope that the hen will take the little one out and dhow the way to the food and water?
  2. 5Sons Coop

    5Sons Coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2015
    Cold winters
    I hatch with an incubator and have not brooded, but wonder what your temp in the coop is? Was the water cold? After mine hatch in the incubator I keep them at 90 degrees the first day and drop it 5 degrees everyday.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I think you mean drop it 5 degrees weekly.

    If it was daily, you'd have 1 week old chicks at 60F.
  4. 5Sons Coop

    5Sons Coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2015
    Cold winters

    Yes yes 5 a week hold at 70 until they are off heat.

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