Only one egg hatched so far, does this mean the others won't

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by windandraine, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. windandraine

    windandraine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2013
    I have a silkie sitting on 4 eggs, only one has hatched. Does this mean the other will not? I got her with a clutch of 5 eggs. Momma and clutch have been transported , and moved around a bit before arriving at their new home. How long should I wait for the other eggs? It they do not hatch should I take them away?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    Hens have been hatching chicks for thousands of years, just using their instincts. They are generally pretty good at it. I can’t help them but I can mess them up. I tend to leave them alone when they are hatching.

    I don’t know how long that egg has been hatched or anything else about your set-up and what you’ve done so far. All eggs do not hatch at exactly the same time. They can be spaced out a couple of days, even of you started them at the same time. If you started different eggs at different times, the ones you started later are very likely not to hatch. The hen will leave the nest before their time is due.

    I’ve had eggs hatch as many as two days early under a broody. It’s also possible they could be that much late. It’s not an exact science.

    What should happen if you leave the broody alone is that she will set on the nest until she feels the hatch is over or she needs to take the chick or chicks that have already hatched off to find them food and water. A chick can go a few days without food or water since they absorb the yolk before hatching. She may be off the nest within 18 hours or so. She may stay there for three days.

    Often a chick will start peeping before it hatches and the hen will answer. If the hen has to choose between taking chicks that have already hatched off to get them food and water, she will normally abandon those that are really late, but usually the hen will set on the nest as long as she can if she hears a chick still in the egg.

    I suggest you leave her alone. When she is ready to come off the nest with her chick or chicks, she will. You don’t have to do anything.
     
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  3. windandraine

    windandraine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2013
    Thank you. I haven't done anything and momma is nesting in a dog crate in the den as it has been getting so cold outside at night. This is my first time raising chick or chickens. So it is all new to me. When will be a safe time for momma and babies to go back outside? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m sorry. I have no idea what you mean by cold. Is that below zero Fahrenheit or maybe 50 degrees Fahrenheit? Since you said it’s cold, I’m guessing you’re in the Northern hemisphere where it is winter, not south of the equator where it’s summer. I’m saying this to show how little I really know about your circumstances.

    I never bring a chicken in the house or provide heat in their coop. My coldest temperatures are usually just a little below zero Fahrenheit so that’s not really very cold for adult chickens. Some people do face much colder temperatures and a lot of those don’t provide any heat either.

    My chickens have options. They have a lot of space and can decide it they want to stay in the coop, stay in the run which has some wind protection from certain directions, or go to other places which might be protected. I don’t keep them cooped up in a small coop where they have trouble adjusting to circumstances. They can find shelter in a shed or in some overgrown areas. We’ve all got different circumstances. I don’t know what yours are.

    I have no idea what your set-up is when they go outside for you. My coop has reasonable draft protection at night where a breeze won’t be blowing directly on them when they sleep. I open the pop door every morning and let them decide if they want to go out or stay in, regardless of weather conditions. When it is around zero Fahrenheit and a cold wind is not blowing, mine go outside. If there is snow on the ground they won’t go outside for the first day or two, but if it stays on the ground very many days, they get used to it and go walking and foraging in that. I’ve had adults go check out the compost heap in 9” of snow.

    I have a rooster and several other hens. I let the broody raise them with the flock. The dominant rooster is never a problem. He’s likely to help the broody with the chicks. But non-dominant roosters and the other hens may pose a danger to the chicks. I’ve never lost a chick to any of these, but my broodies have a lot of room to work with and they have such a bad attitude that if another hen threatens their chicks they quickly learn to leave them alone. If your space is really tight, then the chicks would be in more danger from the other hens.

    I never provide heat to chicks if they are with a broody. Her heater never suffers a power outage. I have never had a broody with chicks when it was below freezing, let alone around zero Fahrenheit, but I’ve seen photos on this forum of a broody taking her chicks for a walk in snow.

    In my circumstances, the broody would have hatched outside in the coop regardless of the weather. It’s dry and out of the wind. I would let her decide when to bring them off the nest and where she wants to take them. I’d just make sure they have food and water on the level where the chicks can get to it, then let the broody raise them.

    I understand that bad things can happen when you deal with living animals in any circumstances, but I’ve found that chickens really can handle cold and broodies usually do a real good job with their chicks if they have some options on where to take them and room to work around other chickens.

    I don’t know if you can get anything out of this that will help you. You might try reading through the chick section of this forum and try to find people closer to your circumstances to see what they do. We really do keep them in so many different conditions and circumstances that there is no magic answer that covers us all. They are a lot tougher than you probably think but they are also living animals. About anything can happen.
     

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