Pretty Excited

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Robbo, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    So I have read and read and researched like crazy for this day!

    My Silkie has gone broody, we currently do not have a rooster that is mature (we have 1, who is still very young). So no fertile eggs. When I realized she wasn't going to break easily I looked all over town for hatching eggs. Finally found a couple - though I had to pay for - the price was right though. A couple more Silkie eggs. I will be putting them under her on Tuesday. If she happens to be done by then or gives up early I do have my incubator (never before used) all set up and working properly.

    I figured I will add a couple in there though and a couple under her. I hope my months and months prepping for this day works out!

    Any advice, stories, or comments?
     
  2. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2014
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    If your hen has been broody for at least 2 nights, I think she will be broody for the whole period she needs to be. I personally have not had any broody hen that after 2 nights of sleeping in the nest, have willingly stopped being broody. Personally that is my mark, I don't give them eggs before the second night is over. That said, your are embarking in a most wonderful trip. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a mother hen with her little ones, there is something just so tender about them. It is a wonderful experience. If you add eggs now, that means she will have babies in 20-21 days, which is still winter. Depending on how cold it gets where you live, you may have to take extra steps to make sure all of it goes right. By the way I have a broody hen for which I will be giving her eggs this coming weeks ( I ordered them ). So I will be in the same boat you are. My plan is to bring here inside the house and put her in a Dog Crate with here little ones, until the little ones are fully feather (4-5 weeks), then I will take a look to the outside temperature and go from there. No way my hen is going out there if the temperature is less than 50's. So for a while she will go outside during the day and then come back inside at night. Until it is safe to keep them all out there with her. I am just telling you what I am doing, you judge for yourself what seems right for you and I am sure you will get more advice from other BYC members. You must be very excited and I wish you happy hatchings!
     
  3. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Thanks PirocaKeeper, do you plan on letting her hatch them outside and then bringing her in? I certainly agree at night time it is too cold for chicks outside. But I don't want to move her inside and have that kick her out of her broodiness. She has been on the nest for 4 full days now. I don't even see her get up her once or twice a day. But I put water and food near her in the coop and got the other girls into using their older coop for now. She was one of the hens that totally decided to use the most popular nest box, and my other birds are full size big girls and they get nasty when she lays in their nest box so I closed her off so no one could harm her because she isn't budging off her nest for nothing.
     
  4. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan on letting her be outside throughout the whole period of incubation, until she hatches the little ones, I will be keeping count of days in a calendar, plus check on her. Once she is done hatching the little ones, usually they stay an extra day in the nest, before they head outdoors. I am not giving her that extra day. As soon as she is done hatching they are all coming inside (Mom and the little ones). I understand about the nests, it is amazing. I have 2 coops, one has 6 nests and the other one has 8 nests. But I might as well have 3, because the other ones are not being used much. I get the same, but my broody is a pretty good size and she always faces to the inside of the nest, probably not to get bothered by the others. If you supply her with food and water near her, she should be all set. She still may want to get out of the nest to stretch and sometimes they even dust bathe. Hens will lay on top of each other all in the same nest. So keeping her separated from the other ones, will give her a better chance not to be stressed or break the eggs in their power struggle.
     
  5. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Man, the storm has delayed my eggs :(
     
  6. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I had to make a change in plans. Had a disaster of a week. One of my newer laying pullets got killed by a Falcon. 2 days later a 1 year old hen got killed by what I thought was a hawk. On Thursday, I came home to find my broody pullet killed and see who killed her too. There they were sitting very low, a pair of redtail hawks, gigantic. Needless is to say I am devastated, but I know God has a plan and some times I cannot see it just yet. I instead will be hatching my eggs in my incubator, unless another young girl goes broody between now and when they hatch.

    Hope you received your eggs by now. Good luck with your broody.

    and yes made major modifications to my run and covered pretty much the whole thing with tarps, so that the flying predators have no view of my chickens, maybe then they will go away, once they keep coming and finding nothing to eat. I know it is nature, but really do they have to eat my chickens..... :-(
     
  7. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    I am so sorry to be hearing that! We have seen a few hawks fly over but usually don't like getting close and down into the neighborhoods as we have so many trees and animals here. Hoping it stays that way. We lost a girl to a dog this year though. Totally fenced in yard too. Sucked. Looking at getting a new fence put in section by section as I can afford it.

    So... I have eggs under my broody, Echo (2yr old silkie) She has 2 silkie eggs that came in the mail and then a friend dropped off a dozen (I had no idea!!) fertile EE mixed eggs from her flock. I put all I could into my small brooder and the rest with Echo. She has a total of 4 eggs. She has been doing great.

    I had a question though - since it is still so cold I was going to do the once they hatch bring her in and the chicks into a local (large huge box in the house) with straw, food and water. If I get any that hatch from my incubator I wont have room in it to have them stay long in there. No movement room at all really, so when they fluff I will need to get them out, could I place them straight with her / under her? Or is there a huge risk in that? Should I hand brood any from the incubator?
     
  8. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Few things in here. A box will only serve you for very little time if you bring Echo inside the house with her chicks. Reason being is because after the first 2-3 days, she probably will scratch around teaching the little ones and accidentally spill or tip over your water container (which by the way has to be shallow, just in case the little ones get in, they don't drown. I used in the past a big dog kennel and it was much more manageable because is plastic and also they may have more space, but even if you have a big wide bucket, it may work.

    Advantages of having the broody hen inside: She will take care of the warming the little ones to the right temperature. She will teach them to eat, drink and all other birdie things they need to learn + you get to enjoy one of the most beautiful scenes there is to see.

    Disadvantages of having the broody hen inside: Space mostly. The broody needs to have space to stretch and move around, not huge amounts of space, but enough that she can walk, stretch and flap her wings.

    That said:

    So there are two things you can do.
    1. If all the eggs are due to hatch at the same time. You can take all the little ones and place them together with Echo (under her) as soon as they hatch and are dry, the sooner the better (place them under her from behind the tail and preferably at night. You do not want her to realize you are inserting baby chicks. Some hens don't care (I heard sikies, are great at taking anything you give them, but I personally don't have any silkie, so could not attest to the truth of it), but some hens will reject them within hours of adding them. I had one of those. The problem is that if you get a great hatch you will end up with more chicks than she can cover. I suppose if she is inside and you place a towel on partial part of the box, to keep the heat, it may work.

    2. You can take all the little ones without Echo and bring them inside and place them under a heating lamp.

    In either scenario, you cannot bring the chicks outside until they are fully feathered (around 6-8 weeks) and it has to be controlled. Their little bodies cannot produce enough heat to sustain them against the outside temperature and the wind and their feathers cannot hold enough heat at that age. So you will end up with chicks inside the house for a much longer period that you may want to. Other people do it differently, but I personally have never brought a baby chick outside without a period of acclimation. At first I wait for a sunny day (not windy) with temperature around 65-70 and let them out on a cover section of wires for a couple of hours (watching them quite often). Then slowly as the weather stays warmer you can leave them in a protected area run (no rain, no snow, as little wind as possible) for a day and then another day and bring them inside at night. Eventually they will have gotten adjusted to the weather and can stay outside at night inside a coop with not too much drafts of air. For example the ones I will be hatching now, will not see the outdoors until probably April depending on how the weather cooperates. Never put the little ones and the mother with the rest of the flock, it will be disaster. Also keep in mind any predators you may have lurking around. Little chicks are easy prey, a lot easier than the adults. Hope my sharing of what has worked for me helps you make good decisions of your own.
     

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