Our first time brooding, slightly crazy hatching story...

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Nuzzy, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Nuzzy

    Nuzzy Songster

    Mar 15, 2010
    Allegan, MI
    Had one of our australorps go broody back in May and decided we'd finally let her sit a batch (we had broken her twice last summer). She had gathered her own eggs, but thinking we might as well add more, we grabbed some from the counter and added to her nest that night. Still, we ended up with a staggered start...

    Roughly 21 days later (on the 31st), I went out to the coop after work and was rather surprised to see this:


    4 healthy, fluffy little mutts! The only problem being that this whole operation had moved down to the coop floor, thus leaving a "few" soldiers behind:


    Not sure when the hen jumped off to tend to her chicks, but the rest of the eggs were certainly cooled off. Now this is the part of the story where my admitted inexperience comes to play... Not having an incubator to fall back on, I made the decision to test the waters and see if any of the eggs were still alive. Knowing what I do now since researching this the past couple of days, I should have either stuck the eggs under a heat lamp with a moist towel, or back under the hen. However, here's how it unfolded. I grabbed a pipped egg and began opening it. While definitely cool, it was certainly cheeping at me, so I kept on figuring I had nothing to lose since I wasn't expecting them to make it at that point anyways.


    We ended up doing this with three eggs, two of which were pipped, and one that still was fully intact.


    Having since shuffled all our various levels of development birds around in the coop, I had freed up the brooder so that new momma could have a secluded place for herself and her new chicks. Well, not having a better idea, I stuck the manually hatched chicks in front of momma and figured I'd see what happened.


    As for the rest of the eggs: apparently our other australorp had decided to go broody that same night, so figuring what the hell, I stuck them all under her [​IMG] At that point, I came inside, hopped on to BYC, and preceded to learn that I'd probably not made the best decisions in helping the hatch. Oh well I figured, they were prolly doomed anyways, and at least we got 4 for the first time trying. Imagine my surprise when I went out to the coop the next morning and found all three manually hatched chicks very fluffy, seemingly healthy, and running around with the others! [​IMG]



    Now, remember the staggered hatch and the rest of the eggs that were placed under the second broody? I go out to the coop this morning, and while filling the food and water for our 25 five week old chicks that are currently cordoned off in a dog kennel (inside the coop), two brand new baby chicks pop out of the crowd! Apparently they jumped from the nesting box under momma #2 last night or this morning, and being able to pass right through the dog kennel, decided that's where they should be [​IMG] Well I grabbed them up and stuck 'em in the brooder with the other 7 newbies and momma #1 and so far all seems great!!

    Now I'm curious how many more of the staggered, cooled off, reheated eggs are going to hatch... [​IMG]

    Suffice it to say, this whole experience has been packed with mistakes, lessons learned, and simply too cute for words! I'll tell ya one thing...

    Baby chicks are AMAZINGLY resilient!! [​IMG]
  2. ChickyChickyBaby

    ChickyChickyBaby Barefoot Bantams

    Great story!

  3. damselfish

    damselfish Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    That is totally crazy! Reminds me of the first time I had hatching troubles. I freaked out, ran inside and posted a big thread headed "EMERGENCY abandoned eggs are peeping at me"! And BYC came through.

    Nice to know your little guys made it and are doing great, sometimes I think we worry too much about getting things exactly right when nature will sometimes settle for "good enough".
  4. sherylreno

    sherylreno Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    Quote:Please let us know what happens with the rest of the eggs and this is a GREAT story!
  5. xmissjadie

    xmissjadie Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Eugene, Oregon
    Keep us updated! This is such a cute story! [​IMG]
  6. mshuey1

    mshuey1 Songster

    Apr 23, 2011
    San Antonio
    Love the story, I agree I think most people r not ready for that can go wrong when hatching eggs. It took me a few times to get it right and lost of crying everytime I made a mistake. I've learned alot the pass few months and I coutine to learn with mother nature. Chicks r an amazing part of life. I've hatched alot of baby chicks and each time one hatches I get excited. O what happen to the rest of the eggs?
  7. Nuzzy

    Nuzzy Songster

    Mar 15, 2010
    Allegan, MI
    Quote:So far, 3 have hatched under broody #2. I'm gonna let her keep sitting for a few more days just to see if any more make it, and then I'll pull all the remainders out and give her a fresh batch to sit start to finish. [​IMG]
  8. Dowie

    Dowie Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    Just goes to show how resilient these babies are - which kinda makes sense when you think about the risk nature takes leaving the chicks to mature outside a womb. Still, amazing - and what vigilence! You are a good Chicken Dad!
  9. TeriyakiChicken

    TeriyakiChicken Songster

    Apr 23, 2011
    Western Australia
    aww how cute!

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