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setting chicken--I'm new to this!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by claraserena, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. claraserena

    claraserena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi!
    I'm new to this forum, but from reading your posts, I think I'm in the right place!
    I have a 9 month old Buff Orphington who is sitting on 12 eggs. When I saw that she was broody I brought her and the eggs inside (it's very cold in Wisc.[​IMG]!) and set up a nice spot for her in my computer room. She's been on the eggs for 12 days now. I have zero experience with this. It sounds like I should candle the eggs. What if I don't? I think most of our eggs are fertile (We have two roosters).
    Next question dumb--will she know what to do? I've read your postings about chicks struggling to get out and helping them--is that what the mom will do for them (I hope!). Since all the eggs won't hatch the same day, will she keep setting and also care for the chicks that are hatched? I will put a heat llamp on the mom and chicks once they start hatching.
    And maybe I'm just count chickens before they you-know-what. I'm trying to prepare myself for no or bad results. It is just awesome to watch what she is going through.
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    claraserena, having a broody hen is priceless. She will take care of all the problems you read about when we try to dublicate with a incubator, what she can do with ease and without any problems. No need for a heat lamp, no need to candle, no need to worry about proper humidity, Just let mom show you how it's done.

    She needs water and feed close to the nest so she can eat and drink when she wants.
    Some people report hens getting off the nest daily to eat and drink, however mine usually don't and if she doesn't don't worry.

    Broody hens are the most wonderful thing nature has to offer, so enjoy and let mom do her thing with the least amount of interference as possible. Good Lucky you!

    bigzio
     
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh Ya, welcome to BYC.
     
  4. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Welcome claraserena ! [​IMG]
    Sounds like you're on 9 days and counting down to peeps! Keep us posted and have that camera ready!
    Is your Buff Orpington your only hen? What's her name?
     
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Ooooo You have a broody! Those are like gold to most of us!
    Keep us updated on how she does. You sound like you're on the right track.
     
  6. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had hens hatch eggs for over 9 years without a problem, except when ants got into some hatching eggs! I never candled the eggs they were hatching either, the only reason I would do that is to keep from having an unfertile egg break and cause a big stinky mess. If you do use a heat lamp, don't put it over the hen, because she might get too hot and leave the nest. Good luck, and have fun!
     
  7. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome and congrats on your broody hen, Everyone is correct, the hen will know what to do and when. I think around day 14 I would candle if she will let you take the eggs just to see if there are any possible exploders. That is a very nasty mess to clean up especially in the house.

    I would not even consider using a heat lamp for the chicks unless you remove the hen. She will care for them all by herself. I have two mamas outside with their chicks and it has been getting down to the mid 20's at night and only in the 40's with terrible winds during the day. She takes them in and out of the coop and cares for them beautifully. They run around and then go find their mama to warm them then back to run around again.
     
  8. Foghorn

    Foghorn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silly question, but will an egg that is not fertile explode UNDER the hen?
     
  9. claraserena

    claraserena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you thank you thank you all of you!
    I have tried to read up on what to do but some advice is for brooder with mom and some for brooder with no mom. We have raised 2 batches of mail order chicks so I was going by that. She will be in the house (our house) until they all can go out. I think she'd take care of them but I don't trust one of the older hens. We have 5 almost two year old hens (layer hybrids) and 9 heritage breed pullets. Plus 1 rooster, two cockerels and three bantams of unknown age.
    Once a day I take her out and put her on the floor. I try to encourage her to eat--she will sometimes just sit on the floor but last night, did a lot of stretching and preening then made a racket till I put her back in. She also takes this occasion to poop so I try to keep her on some paper. At least it keeps her living area clean. But I could candle the eggs while she's out
    The momma-to-be's name is Laydy Madonna.
     
  10. Carole AM

    Carole AM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Clara! I suppose you already found out about broody poop! Its the smelliest stuff on the earth! Good luck and keep us posted!

    Foghorn- YES! an egg will explode under a hen too. I had that happen last year, and the poor hen got all stinky & gooey. I had to wash her off so she could finish incubating her eggs.
     

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