Staggered hatches under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by metalman488, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. metalman488

    metalman488 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2014
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    I have 5 hens and 2 roosters. I have the 2 roosters pinned up in the coop, separately. One day I came back to find out that one of my hens had somehow managed to get inside one of the rooster pins. Since I already had a hen that has been broody for a while i decided to let the other hen stay with the rooster for a while and give the eggs to the broody hen to take care of. The problem is that I didn't start worrying about how the broody might react if they all hatch on a different day. There are a total of 9 eggs now and they were all laid one day after another so they all have different hatch dates. In fact, one of them hatched this morning. So far the broody is doing what I had hoped she would do and she is taking care of the chick and still laying on the eggs. I don't have an incubator, so if she stops sitting on the eggs, I am going to have a big problem.
    My question is: should I just leave her alone and hope that she can take care of the chicks AND hatch the rest of the eggs or should I remove the chicks as they hatch and put them in a brooder?
    In this post (https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/482422/staggered-hatch-under-a-broody-hen-what-works-best) the person took them out as they hatched and it sounded like that worked fine for them, but I would really rather leave them all with the broody if I can. What do you all think is best?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you leave the chicks with her, she will eventually leave the nest - probably around 3 days after the first chick hatched. You can remove the chicks as they hatch and return all after the last has hatched.
     
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  3. metalman488

    metalman488 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2014
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    If I waited and she left the nest for the chicks, then I took the chicks away... would she decide to lay on the eggs again? I'm sorry if I sound a little stupid, but I am very paranoid about these things :)
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    She might, but more likely she would no longer set on the eggs.
     

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