Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Settin Hen

(1/2) > >>

sschoolc:
We have a few chickens and one of the hens has gotten broody and wants to set on one of the nests.  My kids want to let her try to hatch some chicks but I'm afraid its too cold right now.  Its 9 degrees today but supposed to start warming up this weekend.    How long does it take for chicks to hatch? (We always get ours from Mcmurry)  She has about 15 eggs on her nest now and gets really upset if we try to get any of them. 

Anyway if anyone has any tips I would appreciate them .  8)

BigDanInTX:
Looked it up for you.  ;-]
http://chickscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/resources/egg_to_chick/procedures.html

LENGTH OF INCUBATION

Chicken eggs require 21 days to hatch, but the incubation period for the eggs of other species of poultry varies. The approximate periods of incub a tion required for various species of poultry and game birds are:


   Days
Chicken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    21
Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    28
Duck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    28
Muscovy duck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    33-35
Goose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    29-31
Guinea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    26-28
Pigeon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    16-18
Ring-neck pheasant . . . . . . . . . .    23-24
Mongolian pheasant . . . . . . . . . .    24-25
Bobwhite quail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    23
Japanese quail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    17-18
Chukar partridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    22-23
Peafowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    28

splinter99:
If you don't mind missing out on the eggs for a while, let her go.  She will take care of them.  Mom's are very careful with thier babies.   Ours are free range so the set in some funny places.  Make sure after they hatch that she has them on ground level , and that she has food and water nearby.  She won't get up much.

Rosesandtea:
Personally I wouldn't let my hens try to hatch anything now, but that is only my opinion.  If you have a hybrid who lays all year round her cycle is a bit messed up anyways and she doesn't know it's not a good time of year.  If you are just having an unusual cold snap though and live in the deep south and it's going to be mild soon maybe it's different.  Our hybrids layed all year round with just a short break but our purebreeds quit for the winter.

Our hens, or at least a couple of them, are forever going broody in the summer.  We let one of our bantams sit on some eggs in the summer of 07.  It was a very cool and wet summer, and this affected the incubation time - they went much longer.  I was sure they were all duds or had died in shell.  Banties take even less time than regular hens but she went 25 days!!!  I just knew we were going to have stinky exploding eggs very soon!  But after coming home from church on the very day I was going to dispose of the eggs, we saw new baby chicks!   So I was wrong to give up on them even though they went a week over what they should have done which is a long time when you are dealing with dead eggs which might explode.   And the babies were gorgeous Partridge Pekin (Cochin) bantams.

As a previous poster said, you'll want to have the chicks in a flat zone - so they don't have to step up into the house to be with mom.   We used a rabbit hutch and my husband cut a floor mat and tacked it onto the front of the hutch so it made a ramp all the way across for the chickies to walk up on.  It was only a rise of 1" or 1 1/2" but that is still too high for them to step up to.

It was a very fun experience, great for learning.  I learned that mother hens have different calls depending on the circumstances.  Like, "lookie here, this is good to eat, come get some!"  or "Danger! Come to me!" and "Danger! Don't come to me, but stay hidden!"  Amazing.

We were advised to keep mama and babies away from the other hens for a while - to where they can see each other but the other hens can't attack the babies.  Mother hen can't protect all the chicks at once if there are many chicks and many other hens in a close environment.  (someone with a bigger property may not have that problem)  When we let them out of their run at first, for a few minutes at a time, we stayed right there, and built up the time they were out with their mother outside of their run.  Eventually when the babies were big enough the mother began going back to the main chicken house to sleep, leaving the chicks (now really pullets) on their own.  She began chasing them off if they came too near her. 

And another thing - since mama and babies will be on the ground, besides keeping them safe from the other hens you will want to make sure it is predator-proof as possible.  I was advised to move the mother before we got the real eggs to hatch, to her new place and see if it put her off setting.  Some hens, when they are moved to the broody coop, lose their broodiness and it is better to find out this while you are using dummy eggs instead of real eggs.

I hope if you do it that everything goes well.

sschoolc:
Well I just feel like crying.   We had an egg hatch early this week and yesterday the chicky disapeered.   That was bad, but this morning my son called me at work and all of the eggs are gone out of the nest.  There were at least 20 eggs yesterday.   I assume a rat or possum got in somehow.  So its war!!   Im setting my live trap tonight if that doesnt work then I'll break out the steal traps.   We were so happy that we had one hatch and now we are all heartbroken.    :'(


Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version