Staggered hatch, hen won't leave nest a week later.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nikchick, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. nikchick

    nikchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Our broody started hatching out chicks last sunday. Between Sunday and Wednesday, 4 hatched out, but even now, on Friday, she won't leave the other eggs that have not hatched out. I have put out a waterer and chick feed for the chick's and broody still comes off the nest once a day. My question is, do I need to remove the other eggs?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Are all the eggs past 21 days? Many hens don't move far off the nest for the first week. If the eggs are done I would remove them, otherwise I might see if she will still hatch them. The chicks only need her for the warmth, they can eat and drink on their own, just keep them close and put a wire enclosure around them so the chicks don't wander off.
     
  3. nikchick

    nikchick Out Of The Brooder

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    No, all the eggs aren't that old yet. The rest of the unhatched bunch would be due to hatch next week. Because it took me about a week to realize her sisters were laying eggs on top of her. I've candled them and they are right where they should be based on the air cell. I'm torn between removing them and knowing that they will die in the Shell vs leaving her to try to hatch them and them being so far behind maturity wise that they are abused by the older chicks.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    An option is to pull the chicks so she keeps hatching, and raise them yourself, that's what I would do, I'd rather not have the rest die.
     
  5. nikchick

    nikchick Out Of The Brooder

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    I just candled them again and figured out why she hasn't come off of them. I caught a few late death eggs that I had to discard, which took her down to only 4 viable eggs, but one of those eggs has a chick very obviously pipping into its air cell right this moment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Curious.... how are the already hatched chicks behaving?
    Are they leaving the nest and eating and drinking, and going back to mama to warm up?
    If so, how is mama reacting to that?
     
  7. nikchick

    nikchick Out Of The Brooder

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    They buzz around mom like bugs on water. They don't go to far from her, but they do come out of the nest and they seem to enjoy her daily trip of the nest the most. Mom on the other hand makes her get back her cluck when the go outside the nest. This is her first time going broody and she went almost immediately after she came of age to lay. They clutch she was/is on is a collective of her eggs along with her sisters.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It may just work out for you that she hatches and cares for everything, she sounds like the most perfect broody.
     
  9. nikchick

    nikchick Out Of The Brooder

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    So far she's been a very good mother. We now have a brand new chick under her, born 6 days after the first to hatch!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wow, amazing! So glad you are sharing the story.
    How long had she been laying before she went broody?
    Were all the eggs under her from new layers?

    Many will warn off hatching out pullet eggs, but I've seen it work just fine...and under a broody too.
    Chicks were tiny, and kind of had a hard time keeping up with the pack, but they caught up in size eventually just fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016

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