Newbie here - on day 6 of hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by busylizzie, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. busylizzie

    busylizzie Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Hello everyone [​IMG]

    I have been reading through this forum and I am sure you are all going to be a great source of advice! [​IMG]

    I am new to chicken keeping.....I got 4 x approx 16 week old chickens in May (White Sussex, Black Sussex, Amber and Welsommer) who started laying about 6 weeks ago....

    The Welsommer decided about 2 weeks ago that she wanted to be broody....I didn't realised this would happen so young.....anyway I gave her 10 of my sister's fertilised eggs (her chickens obviously ;-) and we are on day 6 of her setting.

    She has already broken and eaten (yuck) one egg and I have no idea about whether I should just leave her to it for the full 21-23 days or if i need to candle the eggs (a bit frightened about doing it!) kids are so excited about the baby chicks.....i have bought a mini incubator as a back-up.

    So, my questions are:

    1) is it normal/ok for such a young hen to be broody/setting? and are there any specific problems that i should be watching out for with her?

    2) If I candle the eggs - do i do it on day 7 and 14? Would it be possible to move a few of the good eggs to the incubator and leave hen with the rest to increase likihood of at least 1-2 hatching?

    3) Anything else I should be doing?

    Blimey, I defo feel like an anxious new mum! [​IMG]
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Yes, it can be normal for them to go broody whenever they feel like it. One thing with young, inexperienced hens is they will make mistakes (i.e. break eggs). Just let her do her thing and hope for the best. This is sometimes the only way they figure it out. Some never make good moms, so be prepared to raise chicks in case it ends up that way.

    I would candle at day 7, 10 or 14. You should be able to see if something's growing and toss the eggs that are no good. One candling should be sufficient and the rest is up to mom to keep them warm and turn them to ensure they continue growing well.

    Good luck!
  3. busylizzie

    busylizzie Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    many thanks for the reply hinkjc

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: