Staggered hatch, I'm confused and need advice about lots of things!

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
2,597
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Feather Falls, CA
A friend asked me to hatch 5 chicks for her in my incubator. The eggs are from my own flock. I put 5 eggs in on May 9th. On May 11th, I thought "what the heck, lets fill it up" and I added more eggs to the incubator to total 15. In the incubation period I found 4 or 5 (memory is only for important things!) were not fertile and threw them out. So, here we are on hatch day. I have 5 babies already hatched, that is all I expected, but I notice two more are piping! How can that be? I'm confused as to how they can be mature enough to hatch. Also, does one HAVE to wait for night time to introduce chicks to a broody hen? What happens if you do it in the daytime? Sorry, I photos are not good. Lots of glare from my window that I didn't realize. Thanks for your advice!

piping chick 2.jpg piping chick.jpg This second one has "goo" from a chick that hatched near it.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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USA
Also, does one HAVE to wait for night time to introduce chicks to a broody hen?

I have read of people doing it in the daytime (easier for the person to watch, and intervene if there's a problem) or at night (the hen will hopefully not attack chicks if she cannot see them, so she has the night to get used to having wiggly, peeping things under her.)

There are probably some hens that will accept chicks at any time, some that will accept them at night but not in the day, and some that wouldn't accept them no matter what you do--so day gives a better chance of rescuing the chicks in those cases.

About the eggs hatching at the same time, even though they started incubating at different times: I see it's only 2 days' difference. Chicks sometimes do hatch a day or two early. It seems they don't always grow/mature at the same rate, just like not all pullets start laying at the same age and not all cockerels crow at the same age.
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
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Feather Falls, CA
I have read of people doing it in the daytime (easier for the person to watch, and intervene if there's a problem) or at night (the hen will hopefully not attack chicks if she cannot see them, so she has the night to get used to having wiggly, peeping things under her.)

There are probably some hens that will accept chicks at any time, some that will accept them at night but not in the day, and some that wouldn't accept them no matter what you do--so day gives a better chance of rescuing the chicks in those cases.

About the eggs hatching at the same time, even though they started incubating at different times: I see it's only 2 days' difference. Chicks sometimes do hatch a day or two early. It seems they don't always grow/mature at the same rate, just like not all pullets start laying at the same age and not all cockerels crow at the same age.
Thanks, I'll probably try to give them to her late this afternoon. :hugs
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
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And by the same token, who is to say that some of your first five are not hatching late? The two groups could be overlapping each other in both directions.
No, the original 5 eggs were numbered, 1,2,3,4,5, two days later I just penciled the date on the shell of the others 05/11. So I know that the 5 that already hatched are the first 5 from May 9th! this is quite interesting! Thanks!
 

Finnie

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 27, 2014
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Be watchful if she already has chicks, because she will know who the intruders are! I had a failed attempt one time when I added a chick of a different color, so I tried again with a same color chick and it worked.
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
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Feather Falls, CA
I introduced my chicks during all sorts of times of day in my foster chick thread. But she already had chicks that were only a day or two older so that may have helped.
I'm a little concerned because my broody is a first time broody! She is my speckled Sussex named Sadie. She is a great pal, follows me around like a dog and has not been nasty to me while in the nest. (she is sitting on fake eggs right now) I have an easter egger that will kill her chicks so you never know the reaction. I also have a Buff Orpington that is a GREAT mother! Good luck to me! (and the chicks) :)
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
2,597
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Feather Falls, CA
Be watchful if she already has chicks, because she will know who the intruders are! I had a failed attempt one time when I added a chick of a different color, so I tried again with a same color chick and it worked.
No, my Sadie is a "first time Mom" and is currently sitting on fake eggs. I'm hoping she will be a good mommy! She has been nice to me while sitting on her eggs, doesn't hiss or get nasty. She lets me pet her and I'm hoping that's a good sign. What that has to do with loving chicks. . . nothin! :lol:
 

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