Using a Broody for incubation ONLY

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Bloomie, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chirping

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    I've been searching BYC for an answer to my question and havent found what I'm in need of....at least not yet. [​IMG] Theres sooooooo many threads, I may have simply not found it.
    So please forgive this thread if the answer is some where else...maybe ya'd be kind enough to direct me to it. [​IMG]

    First timer with chickens and broody hens..... I know I havent done things quite right.....I'm exposing my lack of expertise here [​IMG]

    We had 3 hens go broody last month and decided to go ahead and try to hatch a few eggs, but they all wanted to set on the same batch.
    After secluding one hen and failing to get a live hatch from a couple eggs, we placed another hen in the "delivery room".
    She has been setting on 5 eggs very nicely since June 5th.
    However, I made the mistake of not collecting a clutch to place under her at the same time and added eggs as I found them over a course of a week
    I used pencil to date the eggs but apparently that got rubbed off by the hen .... that created a problem when candling and I've been checking BYC to compare what I'm seeing to try and date the development stage.
    I think that 4 of the eggs are a the 14-17 days, while the 5th egg made chirping sounds and today it has pipped.
    That means the other eggs have approximately 4-7 days till hatch time.

    I hadnt planned on having the hen raise the chicks, I was going to use the brooder tank to raise a closed flock to replace the older ones that we bought from a lady in town ( [​IMG] and had NO clue what we were getting health wise [​IMG] )
    Is my thinking right or wrong about removing egg #5 to the brooder tank ( IF we get a live healthy hatch) and with each hatching egg there after, HOPEFULLY encouraging the hen to continue to set on the remaining 4 eggs?

    Yer input is appreciated.
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka 8 Years

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    If you leave the chick with her, in the next few days she'll get up and leave whatever eggs are left. If you remove the chick, she will most likely continue to set. I have had broodies sitting on eggs in places where other hens kept adding eggs to their clutches. I'd hear peeping, lift the hen, remove whatever chicks or pipped eggs I could find, and the good ol' girl would go right on incubating - sometimes for months! Staggered hatches can work, if you have a place to remove the "early birds" to.
     
  3. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chirping

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:Cant tell ya how glad it made me to read your response!

    I'm not sure I understand what you meant by "remove whatever chicks or PIPPED EGGS I could find"......... I'm still learning to wrap my head around all the new terminology.
    Pipped meaning an egg that has completely hatched?

    I'm considering whether or not to have an incubator on stand by.

    Would that idea work for the eggs that are at the 14-17 days stage? I reckon that would be about the "lockdown" time too wouldnt it?
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka 8 Years

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    Nov 27, 2009
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    I have kids that like to watch the chicks hatch, so I pull the eggs that are in the process of hatching (the pipped eggs) as well as the chicks. I haven't lost any chicks doing that, but our humidity is so high at this time of year, there's plenty of moisture to make sure the babies get out OK (the reason for lockdown). I put the hatching eggs into my incubator (where we can watch them hatch) but the chicks that are already fluffed and dry go into my fishtank-turned-brooder (which we call the Chickavision). My luck hatching eggs in the incubator from start to finish has been spotty; the hens are much better at it than I am, so I let them do the work when I can.

    A chick's instinct is for company, so an only chick is a lonely chick. If this one has to wait for siblings, give it a small mirror and something fuzzy to cuddle with to keep it happy. A chick that is cold, hungry, thirsty or lonely can be surprisingly loud! He may pick a little at the younger chicks when they arrive, but as long as it doesn't get really brutal, they should be fine.

    One more thing - the rule of thumb says that chicken eggs hatch in 21 days. For me, it takes that long; but I swear my hens can do it in 19 (so those other eggs may hatch sooner than you think [​IMG])
     
  5. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chirping

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:We went to town and bought the only incubator available..... Little Giant Model10200 Circulated Air Incubator/ with fan.

    Its all set up and we're trying to regulate the temperature to 99 1/2 degrees for 8 hours as the instruction have told us.
    Dont have any water in it as yet....that was step 4....I take it ya add the water AFTER the temps regulated and ya place the eggs inside.
    Once I get the incubator set, then can I add the pipped egg or should I allow the hen to hatch it?
    Can I put the 4 that the hatch dates are any where from 4 days to 7 days in the incubator at this point, and do I need to turn them?


    Is there a thread here somewhere dealing with all the fears and questions I'm having???

    I'm feeling extremely incompetent with the incubator despite the simple instructions.
     
  6. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

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    Quote:A few years ago I had a serious predator attack (dogs) and wiped out all but 7 hens and a Roo. I wanted to save my "Mutt" genetics and had only one hen go broody. I was only getting 2 to3 eggs a day, so I started slipping them all each day under the broody. As the chicks hatched I removed the chick to my stock tank brooder in the house basement. That broody hen hatched 25 chicks over a three week period once they started hatching; I kept collecting the chicks and slipping eggs under her. Poor thing finally gave up, but I had saved my Mutt flock with the 25 chicks. Next year I was able to incubate a decent clutch all at once and got back up to my usual flock strength.
     
  7. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    I would let the hen finish the job. Take the hatched chicks out but leave the eggs (pipped or otherwise) under her until she gets up and won't go back. The hen is pretty good at adjusting temp and humidity and they even turn the eggs! It is great that you have the backup incubator just in case but they can be tempermental. Unless something goes wrong let them hatch under mom.
     
  8. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chirping

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:Ya'll have helped reinforce my decision to let Ms Broody do her thang til it appears she aint in the mood no-mo.

    Now if I can get the durnblasted incubator regulated the ER will be ready.

    THANKS HEAPS EVERYONE..... IOU [​IMG]
     
  9. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chirping

    121
    1
    99
    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:A few years ago I had a serious predator attack (dogs) and wiped out all but 7 hens and a Roo. I wanted to save my "Mutt" genetics and had only one hen go broody. I was only getting 2 to3 eggs a day, so I started slipping them all each day under the broody. As the chicks hatched I removed the chick to my stock tank brooder in the house basement. That broody hen hatched 25 chicks over a three week period once they started hatching; I kept collecting the chicks and slipping eggs under her. Poor thing finally gave up, but I had saved my Mutt flock with the 25 chicks. Next year I was able to incubate a decent clutch all at once and got back up to my usual flock strength.

    One egg, that I call #5, has pretty much hatched..........by morning we should have a dry fluffy chick waiting to be gaga'd over.
    That will leave the 4 that I aint too sure what the hatch day should be.
    I'm going try an leave them under the hen for as long as she'll set but have the incubator ready to go.

    Thank you so much for yer input....Its Appreciated !!!
     
  10. Mandalina

    Mandalina Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Savannah,MO
    what I have been doing with my broody is as soon as an egg hatched I grab out the chick and the shell.She doesnt mind, she pushes them out of the nest anyways. Mine has been sitting since May, she took over the last 5 days of my last group of chicks when my other broody up and left on day 19, then I gave her some more eggs which has had 2 of the 4 hatch. After these two hatch she is going back out to the coop,I think she is getting over being broody since she is spending more time off the eggs and wanting to get out of the cage and run around my house LOL
     

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