wanting baby chickens....what to do without an incubator,when,and how.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Myst4, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Myst4

    Myst4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2008
    N.S., Canada
    Hi, I am really new with having chickens.I have 20 hens and a roo( a real stud too haha). I have several different breeds of hens and my roo is Wyandotte. I alos have a Wyandotte hen,a white leghorn, 2 Barred Rock hens, 2 hens that leg green eggs, several black hens(red breasted),a light gray hen,a huge black hen with gray around her neck, and several red/brown hens. As you can see, I'm not familiar with all the breeds.
    Anyway, my white leghorn has turned broody I think. Every time she lays an egg she continues,throughout the day to go back to it and sit on it. So, 7 days ago I decided to let her have her eggs. She continues to sit on them throughout the day off and on....and would probably sit on them more if it weren't for the other hens kicking her out of the nest to lay their eggs. I don't have an incubator ..yet. I would like to get one soon. But, until then, what should I do? I went today to collect eggs(I take all of the others and just leave the white ones from the leghorn(called "Icecube",kids named her haha). To continue, I went to collect the other eggs and one of my Barred Rock hens was on Icecube's eggs and when I tried to get her off so that Icecube could sit on her eggs...there was a major fight....well, the Barred Rock hen would not let me near the nest. She was making growling sounds and pecking at me etc. Could she be going broody too? How can I get Icecube's eggs from her? Should I just stop collecting my hens eggs for a month and let them have their babies? I don't know what to do....help!

    Thanks, Carrie:
     
  2. happyhens

    happyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    It is very unusual for a white leghorn to go broody. White Leghorn have been bred for the best possible egg production. Since broody hens don't lay eggs (while they are broody), the White Leghorns have had that instinct bred out of them.
    There are other signs of broody hens. They puff up their feathers and sqawk loudly at you and any other chicken that gets too close. They may have bald spots on the underside of their breast where they have been setting on the nest. But if they are sincerely broody, they will sit tight on the nest and only get off once or twice a day to eat, drink, poo, and stretch a little, before returning to the nest before their eggs get cold. They won't be on and off, and on and off, and on and off the nest all day long if they are seriously broody. If I were you, I would continue gathering the eggs, and wait until the hens show all these signs of being broody.
    P.S. The best way to determine if you have a serious broody hen, is to go to their coop at night, and if that particular hen is still on the nest instead of roosting with the other chickens, chances are very good that she is broody.
     
  3. happyhens

    happyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    Oh, and one more thing- if you do get a broody, it is always best to seperate them from the other chickens. The other hens will pester her, push her out of the nest and lay their own eggs in her nest, and she may get off the nest for a little while and return to the wrong nest (while her own eggs get too cold and die).
     
  4. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Tulsa
    You need at least 2 roosters for 20 hens if you want to have high fertility rates, and not wear him out.

    With 20 hens to *look after*, 2 roosters will have little time to squabble.
     
  5. Myst4

    Myst4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice, I have read that about white leghorns,that they are "non-sitters"....but I just thought of something. What if Icecube is a mix breed,leghorn and something else. Maybe she is part of a breed that is broody.They people we bought our hens from didn't tell us if they were purebred or mixed. Also, with our black hens that are red breasted, all lay brown eggs except one, she lays green eggs....so I am thinking that they are mixed breeds and none are pure bred. Icecube (the leghorn) seems very determined to sit on her eggs, she doesn't get upset when I go near the nest though. You're right about the other hens picking on her and kicking her out of the nest so that they can lay their eggs in that nest. But she stays nearby,waiting until they are done so that she can go back to sitting on her eggs.
    I also read that to see if a chick is developing in an egg,to hold it up to a bright light and look for veins forming and also that a hen will lay her clutch but not sit on them continuously until she is done laying her clutch. I also read that the unformed chick will stay dorment until all the clutch has been layed and until the hen starts to sit continously on them, and then they will start to develope.
    I am anxious to get an incubator, but unable to find one in my area that's for sale. I would like to make a homemade one, but not sure how.
    About having 2 roosters. We did have 2,a smaller one, and the bigger one pushed him out of the group and attacked him every chance he got...it eventualy killed him. We would have seperated the smaller one from the group if we had known it was going to go that far. It didn't seem like it would have.

    Take care, Carrie
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    1 husband,4 kids(18,13,10,16months) 1 grand daughter(9months),1 rooster,20 hens, 1 mini dachshund(Bella),1 chiweenie(Tweezer),1 golden retriever mix(Horatio), 2 cats(Ashes,Wobbles), 2 finches(Keeta,Milo,breeding pair)1 rabbit(Bugs) and a pot bellied pig(Oliver) and may be getting a couple of baby lambs !!!!
     
  6. Myst4

    Myst4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2008
    N.S., Canada
    Today, I noticed that Icecube didn't bother with her eggs anymore....so I got rid of them,considering I didn't know which were the older ones and if they were rotten or not. Tomorrow I will be starting to collect her eggs again.

    Take care, Carrie
     
  7. MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    PA
    You can easily find information on making a homemade incubator by -searching- here on BYC for Homemade Incubator (or even just Incubator for wider results). MissPrissy is the Queen of incubator making....she has instructions here with photos for making both a cooler incubator & a wooden breadbox or wooden potato box incubator. There is also instructions for making a mini frig incubator from someone... (forgot the poster's name tho). Hope this helps. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Looking into making a homemade incubator myself [​IMG]
     

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