take the eggs from the incubator and stick them under the broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cutlass1972, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    I had a hen go broody, so I bought some eggs from a local egg seller (lost my rooster so I needed fertile eggs). Her brood is at day 25 at this point so I dont think they are going to hatch. I have a brood of merans eggs in my brooder (that I paid $50 for). I know they are viable. The eggs in the brooder are at day 19.
    What are the thoughts of the experienced hatchers around here? Should I pull the 25 day old eggs and give her the 14 merans eggs? It sure would be nice to not have to keep them in the brooder for 10 or so weeks.
     
  2. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am surprised no one responded to this one? Now my eggs in my incubator are hatching, could I sneek the chicks under my broody hen after dark tonight?
     
  3. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not speaking from experience... Just from an idea I have. But maybe you could try to sneak 1 or 2 of the new babies under her at night and see how she reacts in the morning. If it works, add a few more. If it doesn't then at least you're still getting your $50 worth.
     
  4. KWAK

    KWAK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2009
    Michigan
    It will be fine if you do:) i have done it a number of times:) just put them under at night [​IMG]
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I think you have several options, though they are more limited now that they are pipping and hatching. Of course you could keep them in the incubator and brood them yourself, but that is not what you are after. I would not be either.

    I would not put the chicks under her in the daytime. She is more likely to accept them if you sneak them under her at night. So I suggest waiting.

    One risk if you open the incubator is that you might shrink wrap the chicks. I've done that in a situation close to what you are facing. I did not shrink wrap all of them, not even all the ones that had pipped, but one was shrink wrapped. I don't consider it a huge risk but it does happen. If you do open the incubator before they all hatch, keep it open as little as possible and maybe put in some warm water, not hot enough to spike the temperature since incubators don't get rid of excess heat very well but a little warmer than incubating temperatures to help the humidity recover faster. Sorry but I can't be much more specific than that. It depends on your incubator type too.

    I think if you try carrying eggs that are pipping to her nest, you take a much larger chance of shrink wrapping them. I personally would not move the eggs to her at this point.

    I don't know when your hatch will be over. I've had them finished in around 18 hours and some take two days. That uncertainty adds to the problem.

    What I would probably do is wait until the hatch is over, then slip the chicks under her after she has well settled in at night but before I went to bed. Use as little light and commotion as you can. Then I'd check the next morning when she first woke up. You'll most likely find a very happy hen, but they are living animals and anything can happen. Some broodies kill the chicks they hatch. Not many, but it does happen. She may take another day before she brings them off the nest. It's a nervous time but will probably work out. Those chicks can easily go three days or even longer without food or water after they hatch so you are not in a huge hurry.

    Last year, I had a Black Austrolorp raise 15 chicks, all incubator hatched, so as long as she is the same size as a Maran, she should be able to handle them even if all hatch.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  6. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hen in question is a 2 year old Australorp hen. She has brooded and hatched some eggs on her own in the past. She is a good sitter, but not real good at caring for her eggs. She tends to break them. I put a dozen fertile eggs under her from my neighbor, she has broken all but 4 of them thus far and the 4 she has have been in there for 26 days now. I know they where alive at the 10 day mark because I candled them.

    I am hoping that all of the eggs will have hatched when I get home, and tonight I can sneak them under her. I will keep everyone posted.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Any update?
     
  8. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes. The eggs in my brooder are hatching REALLY spread out. I got 3 chicks right away, I snuck them under her after dark. She was a little rattled and pecked at one of them a couple of times but eventually accepted them. I got one more chick last night, I brought it out to her and set it next to her wing, she just took her wing and sort of scooped it up under her. I checked this morning all 4 of them are doing ok.
    I have another chick that just pipped this morning. I figured at this point the rest of them where duds, but we will see.

    Is it unusual for the hatching to be spaced out so far? I have only incubated one other batch of chicks and it was a 100% hatch rate and they where all out of their shells within 1 day. My first batch I turned twice a day by hand this batch I bought the egg turner from tractor supply.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I've had them both ways, some being over easily in one day and some dragging out for more than 2 days. I think my problem with the drawn out one was that it was pretty warm when I was storing the eggs for hatching, so some developed a bit before I put them in the incubator. But there are other things that can cause that.

    Sounds like success. Not as great a hatch rate as you would like but the broody took them. Congratulations for that.
     

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