Hatching times for chickens

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I keep 4 hens at home (no rooster) and 20 out in the country (w/3 roosters). 1 of the "home" hens decided she would set, so I got her 12 eggs from her country cousins. I marked each with an X in pencil. Problem was, the other hens kept getting in her nest and contributing unfertilized eggs. I checked daily, and removed the extras. 1 chick hatched at 21 days, and today (3 days later) I removed the rest of the eggs and tossed them. I understood that all the eggs would hatch within 24 hours of each other. Did I move them too much? Should I have waited? I think I will see if I can set up a brooding pen so she can be by herself next time, but what happened this time?? Most of the chicken books I have only dedicate a paragraph to what I consider to be the world's easiest incubator. Cass, by the way, is a very good mama. This is the second batch, and the first time she hatched 10 of 11. She is a Buff Orpington. Thanks for your help.

-- Kelley Lehr (businesscents@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000


Kelley, I would let eggs go longer than 24 hours after the first chick hatches. It is possible that something might have happened to the eggs you brought in from the country-too hot, too cold, or possibly not fertile for some reason. Also taking the new eggs out from under her might have upset her a bit, although Buff Orps are lovely placid chickens. While scrumbling around diggin out the new eggs, you might have rolled or otherwise jarred the fertile eggs causing something to go wrong.

I suppose it is too late, but if you have the stomach for it, crack open some of the eggs you pitched and see what was happening inside.

You can set Mama Cass up in a brooding pen if you want, I never bothered with any of my chickens. Some brooded in the coop, some just showed up with chicks. If you think there was some problem with leaving her where she chose to nest, put her in a pen. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (ima_gerbil@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000.

Another thing to consider was whether or not all the "country" eggs you got were laid at the same time. If the eggs were laid on different days I think they could have been at various stages of developement if they had been under other hens for varying legnth of time before you got them.

-- Elle (hotging@aol.com), May 10, 2000.

Elle: You can keep eggs every day for several weeks before putting them in an incubator or under a broody hen, and they will all hatch within hours of each other. I have a batch of Barred Rocks right now that are proofJd

-- Jd (belanger@midway.com), May 12, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ