Will my broody accept a "quick set"? Update - Hatching day!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sjisty, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    My black copper Marans went broody yesterday. I have two dozen black copper Marans eggs in the incubator, half of which are due to hatch this weekend. Will she know that something is wrong if I give her some of the eggs that are only about three days from hatching? Will she kill them?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  2. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think your hen is likely to be perfectly happy with' her' chicks hatching early. I have switched from incubator to broody on a number of occasions, though never with less than a week to go. Make absolutely sure she is going to continue sitting, though, before moving the eggs.

    Maybe someone else has switched with just a few days left.

    Good Luck,

    Sandie
     
  3. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    I don't think she'll buy it. It seems way too soon.
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Happily for us, chickens can't count.

    However, i would, as pgpoultry mentioned, be sure she's serious before you trust her with your developed eggs. You might consider waiting a bit to make sure she's serious and then giving her some of the eggs that aren't quite so far along.
     
  5. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Or just continue hatching in the 'bator - then swap them out with what she's sitting on in the middle of the night?
     
  6. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    Could the OP give her the 'just hatched' chicks or are eggs that are pipped or almost better?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Each chicken is an individual. I don't think any of us can predict what that specific one will do, just go by what we have done and maybe you'll get similar results. I have never tried to give chicks to a hen that has set for a short time period. I don't think they can count since some will stay broody on a nest for a lot longer than 3 weeks. I have taken freshly hatched chicks, stuck them in the nest with the hen at 4:30 in the morning, and she accepted them. She had been setting on plastic eggs for about 3 weeks.

    I think what I would do in your situation is put a few (three or four) eggs that you expect to hatch under her now, realizing they are at some risk. Only expose a few, not all of them. Let her go through the whole hatching thing, chicks peeping in the shell, pipping and zipping, and all that. I did not do that and it worked fine, but maybe this will help reset her hormones and expectations. Observe. If she accepts the first to hatch, you are OK. If she hurts it, it did not work. You'll have to decide for yourself if you put the other eggs back in the incubator and risk shrink-wrapping them and the others or just writing them off. I'd put them back in the incubator myself.

    If she accepts the hatched chicks, I'd feel comfortable putting the others that hatch in the incubator under her at night. I don't know how she would be able to tell the difference between the ones she hatched and the new ones if they spend a few hours under her and they are there in the morning. Another advantage of chickens not being able to count.

    If she had been broody longer, I'd agree with just putting some under her at night, but I don't have the experience with broodies that have just gone broody accepting chicks. Another possibility is to just put one or two hatched chicks under her at night and see if she accepts them, so you are risking only that one or two. If she accepts them, then try giving her the rest. Anything you do is going to have some risks. I think most of these have a pretty good chance of working, but I give no guarantees.

    The way I did it was to put 4 chicks under her at 4:30 in the morning, risking only the 4. I left her alone until she brought those 4 off the nest, then put her in a tractor and her 4 in a box. I added the other 10 from the incubator to those in the box and dumped all of them into the tractor. She accepted all 14. When I took the initial 4 out of the incubator, I shrink-wrapped one hatching chick. It was still alive when I took the other 10 out of the incubator so I soaked it in a cup of warm water and picked the shell and membrane off. The down was still gunky. I stuck it back in the incubator until it had dried off, then just set it on the ground in front of the hen. She accepted it no problem. It took about a week for the gunk to wear off, but it thrived and is doing as well as any of the others. A big influence in why I did it this way was that I had a snake that ate the real hatching eggs out from under the broody and did not want to expose a lot of chicks to the snake. If the snake had not been around, I would have done it differently. Another example of different situations.

    Your hen is different from mine. Your set-up is different from mine. I can't tell you what will work in your situation. Hopefully you can pick something from my experience that will help you. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  8. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    Great reading and advice.[​IMG]
     
  9. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    It seems to be working. Bucky faithfully sat on her foster eggs. This morning I had four chicks in the incubator, so I went out and checked on her. She's doing the proud maternal cluck, cluck, cluck! I lifted up a wing and she has pips and a chick. I'll check on her again when they have all had time to hatch. She probably figures she has super-chicks - she was only on them for six days!
     
  10. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations, she will also be in better condition than a hen which has sat for 3 weeks,

    Sandie
     

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