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Posted by chicken_ingenue 7 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 19, 08 at 14:38

I am now waiting on my chicks to hatch. This will be my first experience with this and I have a few questions. My hen went broody yesterday. I marked the eggs that were under her. Now I need to know how long it will take her to hatch them and how many should I keep under her. Will I need to keep the babies when they come away from the other grown hens. I was guessing about six weeks before they are about ready.

any advice is appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ready

It takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch. I'm not sure if there is an ideal number of eggs for one hen to set, a farm woman I know found a broody sitting on a boat load of eggs.... she only noticed them when they started hatching. After all was finished 16 chicks hatched under one broody chicken.

I would put maybe 5 or 6 under her and see how she does.

You should watch her closely, I am a little weary of her going broody in one day, usually it takes a few days to confirm that a hen is truly broody.

When the chicks hatch you should provide mom and chicks w/a safe area w/food and water.


RE: Ready

sounds great. Thats pretty much what I thought too. I have 5 to 6 eggs under her. They were some of the largest ones I don't know if that makes a difference or not. They are no all hers. the Two that are hers are smaller. She lays green eggs. My roo is an aracuna and I wanted some crossbreed chicks so I can get more colored eggs. I do have a safe place for them to feed away from the other hens but its small. She has a lot of wild hen in her and she goes broody fast I have had her about three years and have seen her do this before but I have never had a roo and wasn't ready for babies. I am really excited now though. thanks for the info on the incubating period.


RE: Ready

Congrats on the upcoming chicks! :) Sheila is right in everything she said.

I'd make mama and babies their own coop/run, and keep them in it for at least the first three or four weeks. That'll give the babies a chance to get some size on them, and learn a bit about avoiding angry pecks. And it shouldn't matter at all to mama if the eggs aren't 'hers'--she'll mother those chicks regardless of their breed, size, color, etc.

The eggs in my incubator are due to hatch a week from today--Saturday the 26th. When are yours due?

By the way, if she isn't in seclusion already, I'd put her in there at the latest a day before the chicks are due to hatch, that way she can concentrate on the babies, and you (and she) won't have to worry about other hens coming in and trying to take over the chicks--which in the case of one of my hens, proved fatal for the two chicks she had. :( And she was a tough little banty mama, too!

Also, make sure you have baby chick food ready--chick starter is ideal, but grow mash is OK if that is what you can get.

Enjoy the chicks! :)

Velvet ~:>

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