unplanned chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chicorayner, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. chicorayner

    chicorayner Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2011
    We went away on holidays and the neighbour was to remove eggs. She didn't so when we returned I decided just to let the broody hen continue (and a broody turkey). So, I have two nests going. I remove the new eggs daily. I have no idea what the hatch dates are so I just keep an eye on them both. The first day I returned from holidays I removed the eggs, brought them inside and then changed my mind and put them back in the nest. The hen and turkey returned right away and sat on them, BUT could I have damaged the eggs when I removed them. I wasn't necessarily rough but I wasn't thinking "chicks" either.

    The coop I have has the entrance/exit on a second level...the birds hop up and then walk down the ramp to leave the coop. Obviously this isn't going to work for chicks. Would it be easy enough to let them out for a few hours at a time by opening the main door and escorting them out or do they need to have access to their own lower door (that I would have to make)? If I instal a long ramp (so the incline is low) to the second level will they be able to manage this eventually? I don't even know if I will get chicks yet.

    Finally, What is the "cut-off" day for knowing if they are not hatching...I know 21 days is technically hatch day but should I give it an extra 2 weeks since I don't know the real dates? If they don't hatch do I just remove the eggs and will the hen/turkey go back to normal or will they remain broody for a long time?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is highly unlikely you did any damage to the eggs. Highly unlikely.

    When they hatch the broody will want to take the chicks outside, whether chicken or turkey. They could learn to use ramps, many do, but I don’t know how complicated your ramps are. A pop door near ground level could alleviate those potential problems but many people use ramps. It’s hard to say over the internet.

    Not knowing the start day does make it rough, at least on your nerves. It’s also possible some eggs started later than others. I’d look at the latest possible start date and count 23 days from that for the chickens, 30 for the turkeys, before I did anything rash.

    Some hens might break from being broody if you take the eggs but most probably won’t. A very successful “broody buster” is an elevated wire cage where fresh air can come in on their bottoms. Three days in that will normally break a hen. Give her food and water but nothing that looks like a nest.
     
  3. chicorayner

    chicorayner Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2011
    THANK YOU! Great tips and exactly what I was looking for! I am going to attempt to move an older coop over as it is smaller and has easier access (just heavy). Failing that I will put a lower level door in that can be sealed up during winter. :0) Thank you! I love this site!!
     

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