Survival Rates for Hen-Hatched Chicks vs Incubator Hatched Chicks?

MickWithChicks

Songster
Jul 18, 2017
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East Coast of Australia
I had two hens go broody within about a week of each other. I normally just break their broodiness, but this time I set some fertile eggs underneath them.

The first hen to hatch chicks hatched 11 out of 14 eggs. It was a 7 day split between the first and last egg to hatch. Unfortunately one of the late hatchers (second-last to hatch) had to be euthanised due to naval issues (about 2 inches of intestine was on the outside of her body). There are now 10 very happy chickees being looked after by one happy mumma. She still won't let me remove the last 2 eggs in her clutch, but will leave the nest to scratch around with her chicks.

The second hen to hatch chicks hatched 8 out of 9 eggs (I set 12, but she was clumsy and broke 3 throughout the brooding process). She left the nest 2 days after the first 5 had hatched. 2 more hatched on day 3 and have been accepted. The last one (chick no. 8) hatched late yesterday while I was out, but was reject by mumma-hen overnight. The chick was outside the hutch on the coop floor, upside-down and very, very weak this morning. I thought she was dead until she cheeped when I dropped her into a hole I'd dug to bury her in in the garden. I euthanised her immediately and buried her. The remaining 7 chicks seem to be thriving, and I haven't candled the remaining egg.

So, what are your survival rates of hatchlings in a "natural" setting and raised by mumma-hen? So far I'm at 17 chicks alive from 19 hatched.

What are your survival rates of hatchlings hatched in an incubator and raised through human intervention in a brooder? The only time I ever used a brooder, 16/16 hatched and survived.
 

Rose Quartz

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Mar 18, 2018
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Hmm, well I don't have hens myself, my sister set some eggs under broodies multiple times. of all the eggs she set she only ever had one chick hatch and that baby is still alive and well. She has set about 7 each time and I think she has set eggs at least 4 times.

I've been hatching chicks for her for a few years in incubator.

my numbers of what I remember:

home made incubator
3/3
3/8 (1 died under 24 hours after hatch)
8/8
28/36 (there were a few clears in this group 1 died with in 24 hours of hatch)
18/22 (a few clears malpos and one died with in 24 hours of hatch)

store bought incubator with auto turner
(6/12)
(8/12)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
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Jul 16, 2015
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You need to make sure to set all eggs on the same day and to clearly mark them so you can remove extras if other hens add them. All eggs should hatch within 24-48 hours of each other.

I generally have 100 % survival in both hatched by broody and chicks I brood. If all arrive in the box alive they stay alive. Very seldom do I lose any.
 

MickWithChicks

Songster
Jul 18, 2017
257
608
202
East Coast of Australia
You need to make sure to set all eggs on the same day and to clearly mark them so you can remove extras if other hens add them. All eggs should hatch within 24-48 hours of each other.

The broodies have been kept in a separate aviary from laying hens so that no additional eggs were added to the nest after setting commenced. This also stopped any interference from other hens during the sitting process.

The two sets of eggs were purchased through two separate reputable breeders with high fertility rates: one breeder and clutch per broody.

The first chick to die (with the naval issues) I suspect was "helped" to hatch by either a clumsy mother hen stepping on and cracking the egg, or the other chicks picking at the shell from the outside. From what I've read, this is a common symptom where eggs are interfered with during the hatching process.

The second to die was rejected by the mother hen and out of the nest through the cold of night and was limp in the morning.

I euthanised both as survival was very unlikely.

Both deaths seem to be due to the outcomes of their staggered hatching rate. I suspect the cause of which could be the wettest and coldest October weather we've had here in a very long time. Humidity and temperatures have fluctuated greatly on a day-by-day and even an hour-by-hour basis. Even an incubator would have had a hard time regulating both.

3/8 (1 died under 24 hours after hatch)
8/8
28/36 (there were a few clears in this group 1 died with in 24 hours of hatch)
18/22 (a few clears malpos and one died with in 24 hours of hatch)

store bought incubator with auto turner
(6/12)
(8/12)

Interesting that the homemade incubator saw 1 death per hatch in 3/4 of your hatches, and all within 24 hours. Similar to my hatch -> survival ratio I've seen from my broodies in this weird weather.
 

Rose Quartz

Enabler
Mar 18, 2018
2,439
62,129
1,197
East Hants N.S. Canada
The broodies have been kept in a separate aviary from laying hens so that no additional eggs were added to the nest after setting commenced. This also stopped any interference from other hens during the sitting process.

The two sets of eggs were purchased through two separate reputable breeders with high fertility rates: one breeder and clutch per broody.

The first chick to die (with the naval issues) I suspect was "helped" to hatch by either a clumsy mother hen stepping on and cracking the egg, or the other chicks picking at the shell from the outside. From what I've read, this is a common symptom where eggs are interfered with during the hatching process.

The second to die was rejected by the mother hen and out of the nest through the cold of night and was limp in the morning.

I euthanised both as survival was very unlikely.

Both deaths seem to be due to the outcomes of their staggered hatching rate. I suspect the cause of which could be the wettest and coldest October weather we've had here in a very long time. Humidity and temperatures have fluctuated greatly on a day-by-day and even an hour-by-hour basis. Even an incubator would have had a hard time regulating both.



Interesting that the homemade incubator saw 1 death per hatch in 3/4 of your hatches, and all within 24 hours. Similar to my hatch -> survival ratio I've seen from my broodies in this weird weather.
those chicks were from assisted hatches. they had issues to start with.
 

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