Will this work? Broody & Bator @ the same time?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by gritsar, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    127
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    We are trying to figure out the best way to manage our broody hen (sitting on eggs that are no good, for whatever reason) and the incubator at the same time.

    The broody is on day 12. We candled (repeatedly) her eggs and then broke one open last night to be sure that they weren't any good. The eggs show as fertile when I crack them open for eating, so I'm not sure what the problem is. She has three eggs left under her that I was going to replace tonight with six fresh ones.

    Now DH has my incubator up and running and the temp. stablized. At first we were going to place the three eggs that are still under the broody in the bator, but I don't see much point in that. Candled, they look the same as the one we cracked open last night.

    We are trying to decide on how to proceed from here. The plan is to give the broody 4 fresh eggs and at the same time set 4 eggs in the bator. Whatever hatches, either in the bator or under the broody, will go to the broody to raise. I will have a backup brooder in place in case the broody won't graft to the bator chicks. I know to attempt to graft the bator chicks to her at night.

    Does this sound like a reasonable plan? If so, how many eggs total - broody and bator - should we set? She's a SF, first time broody. My concern is that she's still on the small side, so I don't want to overload her with chicks that she can't cover.

    TIA [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,665
    4,193
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    As I've said before, a total of 12 works well. Eight is OK.

    Your plan sounds perfect. Now execute it.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    127
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Any thoughts on what the problem could be with the brahma eggs, Ridge? Thor is a busy boy, I know how to tell a fertile from a non-fertile eggs and these eggs are fertile. The brahma hens are now 2 years, 9 months old and in excellent health. Upon candling, there's nothing except for some light (porous?) spots. The eggs were very fresh, less than 24 hrs. old, when we placed them. [​IMG]

    Just in case, we are going to give both the broody and the bator two eggs from each coop - the best of the pullet eggs and brahma eggs.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    127
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Well we did it. The broody has four new eggs, the bator has four eggs.


    DH is fascintated with the bator turning the eggs. This is all gryeyes fault. [​IMG]
     
  5. pkw

    pkw Chillin' With My Peeps

    618
    1
    129
    May 14, 2010
    North Edwards, CA
    My partridge rock hen had 6 eggs under her that turned out not to be fertile and so I just took 5 eggs out of the incubator that is due to hatch around the same time as those that were under her. I candled the eggs I took out of the incubator before giving them to her. So now if all goes well, she will have 5 little chickies.

    She is 7 months old and tends to take long breaks in the mornings but the rest of the day she stays glued to the nest (at least that is where she is every time I check on her).
     
  6. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I keep a bator going when I have a broody too. Usually because it's full of eggs... If I have valuable eggs, I'll let the broody incubate them, and then swap them before hatch in case she's not a good mom. I have a chick eater broody. I found that out the hard way. She has to be kept away from other broody nests too.

    I've never had trouble sticking extra chicks under a good mom either. I've had 2 broodies hatch at once and by night, one mom as stolen all the babies.

    Have fun! I love a good broody. And hate a bad one!
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Why not all 7? Oh, I see it, too many chicks for one hen if they all hatch. Gotcha.

    Quote:If his fascination gets him thinking the eggs aren't all rolling quite right, change the angle to 15. That tends to work with chicken eggs well, better than the factory setting. But then again, that 'bator may already be set at 15.
    Quote:< preen > Yup. It is.
     
  8. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    3,082
    54
    269
    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    During the spring and summer I will have 20+ broodies on empty nests. I normally start eggs in the bator, especially shipped eggs, at the same time I put a few under a moved and settled hen. As they go along I candle and remove duds. When they hatch the hen gets them. Some of the early ones I will put under her just after the pip the shell and let them finish under the hen. As long as she has a couple hatch under her, most hens will accept new chicks. Just put them up under her and she won't even notice. By the time they poke out a head the hen only sees another of her chicks. I have never given a hen more then 12 chicks at a time. Well one got 14 once, but that was an exceptional, proven, mother.

    Matt
     
  9. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Kat remember one thing - being broody is really hard on a hen, and to have her start over after 12 days.... Well, she may need something to help her through. Canned corn under her nose, treats quite often, especially water based ones like lettuce and melons, and keep your eye on her. Personally, I don't advocate constant broodiness, simply because it is very hard on their bodies.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,665
    4,193
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:No, I do not. If they are fertile I would expect some to develop at least some under a broody. If they are dark brown, it can be hard to tell by candling, especially of they develop just a little before they quit.

    Opening one of four does not say that all have not at least started developing. Practically every egg I check is fertile, but I always have a few that never start to develop. Your sample of one out of four is so small that I do not consider it conclusive.

    I don't know what you have done with the other three. I really don't do searches to find all your posts and I sometimes miss some. As long as they pass the smell test, I'd leave them either in the incubator or under the broody until day 25 or so. If you discontinue them, I'm sure you will open them and check on them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by