Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long and Informational Thread

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,120
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Gower, Wales
thanks Cindy; it may come to that, but I think I'll try temporary confinement first. I didn't actually witness whatever caused Ruthin's demise, so that hen is just a suspect at present. I think I need more evidence before condemning her. This clutch are on the verge of maturity, and their mom is back on the nest incubating a second clutch (and anyway she drove them off at 9 weeks). Another broody hen has been playing surrogate mum for any of them that wanted it, when they wanted it, and they spend some of their time with her and her littles (5 wks old, including cwtching up with them at night), some of their time with the ex-dom rooster, and some of their time with the main flock, and there have been no integration issues at all till now - like with yours, older girls just tap youngsters stepping out of line, and lots of places to run and hide. Ruthin seems to have got trapped beneath a strut of the bench.
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
7 Years
Aug 1, 2013
9,896
14,423
611
Illinois
Thanks, that's helpful. I've noticed them wandering farther and farther away from her but they always kept a close line of sight. It seemed very abrupt that suddenly they were on opposite ends of the property.
Each broody has her own comfort level. My "Cookie" is very strict and doesn't let her chicks roam far, while my Sebright "Trouble" has more of a free spirit parenting style. Not only does she let them explore, but she even takes them on field trips under the fence to the neighbors'.

One annoying thing all of my broody hens insist on teaching is "scratch lessons." They really go to town flinging shavings all over the brooder. As soon as I put down a fresh dish of food, they immediately knock it over. They sometimes get so excited & obsessive about scratching, that an unfortunate chick beneath them may get flung to the wall. (Yes this has happened & on multiple occasions!)
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,120
18,420
777
Gower, Wales
Broody fully inflated :gig
DSC00495.JPG
 

BigTexChick

Chirping
Nov 12, 2019
20
92
76
I have a mix of fertile eggs from my flock under my broody. Three chicks hatched in the last 4 days. How long do I let her keep the remaining eggs after the first is hatched? They’ve been under her around 21 days, but I don’t know exactly b/c it’s her first time to hatch.
 

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nchls school

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,863
3,529
376
Tennessee
I have a mix of fertile eggs from my flock under my broody. Three chicks hatched in the last 4 days. How long do I let her keep the remaining eggs? They’ve been under her around 21 days, but I don’t know exactly b/c it’s her first time to hatch.
My advice is to candle the eggs to verify they are still viable. If you're unsure in candling possibly you know someone that is good at it. If the eggs were put under the hen at the same time it is likely the hatch is complete, but candling is still a good idea before tossing the eggs. Hatching over 4 days sounds like the eggs were not put under the hen at the same time.
 

BullChick

Enslaved by a Duckling
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 17, 2012
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Coffee shop in zone 5
This is why it’s good to have an incubator.
Let her sit as long as she’s willing. Just make sure the chicks have water and food nearby. When she gets up, take the unhatched eggs CAREFULLY, and check them. If one explodes, breathe through your mouth, and shower with your clothes on. Vicks under the nose will keep you from vomiting from the lingering stench.
 

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