Newbie here... Q's on candling, broodies, and chicks due anytime now

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by volchick, May 20, 2010.

  1. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    Hi, first post here! I have a young hen that went broody almost three weeks ago... she had a couple of fresh eggs under her along with some old ones that I hadn't cleared out... So being new and stupid about all this I started substituting the old eggs for fresh ones from the other hens over the next 2 or 3 days. Whoops! Now she's going to have a staggered hatch. Anyway since she is young and (in my estimation) still pretty small I only put a total of six eggs under her. She's a good broody. Makes such a fuss whenever I raise the door to her box and only coming off the nest for about ten minutes in the morning to eat b'fast.

    Two or three days ago she didn't come off the nest at all (or so I thought), so the next day she came out for b'fast. I went through my usual routine checking all the boxes and saw that there were seven eggs in her nest... Uh-oh... I hadn't marked her eggs and when I put my hand on top of them they all seemed to feel about the same temp, so I decided to just leave it. Well this morning when I went out to feed them there were eight eggs on the nest!

    I decided to get a flashlight and (try to) candle them while mama was still eating. The flashlight shone right through the first egg I picked up so I set it aside and picked up a brown one... no light at all. Picked up a light colored egg and as I turned on the flashlight underneath I could here the little peeps!! I flashed all the eggs and the light showed through just two of them so I set those in another box. I marked all the others just as mama was coming back to the box.

    Was this right??

    I should be getting chick by this weekend, right? Should I move mama and little ones to our dog crate? Should I let mama raise them or take them when they hatch and set up a brooder? Our hens and our rooster are not easy to handle... I have never been able to even touch two of our hens, so I'd like to be able to have the chicks be more tame. I'm finding lots more info on raising chicks away from mama than I find about raising chicks with mama.

    Thanks in advance for any info!!
     
  2. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    Congrats on the broody. They are nice to have, fun to watch, but sometimes hard to manage. [​IMG]

    You did right by candling and removing the clear ones. Perhaps another hen made a deposit there. I've also made the mistake of a staggered hatch, but because I left the hen in the nest box and didn't catch eggs that other hens left there after the real brooding began.

    I would try to move the hen and clutch to a crate to confine and protect the chicks as they hatch.

    If the hatch is truly staggered, you'll need to watch that the first hatchlings make it to food and water as the hen will stay on the nest. In my case where I had 2 broodies in one nest in the coop, I removed the chicks to a brooder. I got 3 chicks and then ended up removing at least 6 eggs that were clear, quitters, and/or cracked. Kicked those hens into a pen with no nest for 24 hours, and they seem to have broken their brood for now.
     
  3. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    Okay, so I got out the crate and hosed it down. Just took it out to the coop but it's too large to fit it inside. Should I put mama and clutch in the garage maybe or maybe my bathroom? Also, went to gather the eggs that were laid today and mama hen has taken those two that I candled this morning and gotten them back into her nest! Ay, at least they are all marked now!
     
  4. volchick

    volchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    bump
     

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