Is it too late to put fertile eggs under a chook?

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Re: Is it too late to put fertile eggs under a chook?

Postby tootalk » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:30 pm

Thanks Marina. Yes 90 minutes she was off today and then got muddled and went back in the old chook run. I've said to my husband we need to chook wire a lid on the enclosure to stop her flying over the top to visit her friends. She then got in the regular nesting box, not back in the brooder box - hence me needing to completely roof her pen. She's a bit silly.

There's no space in the nest box for the wee araucana to get in with the GLW, the GLW takes up the whole space pretty much. She's snuggly in there. If she's off it and the araucana is off it, who knows what will happen.

The poor araucana is desperate to be an egg and I have araucana eggs. She was so disappointed when I removed the Light Sussex egg from her today and she'd really buried it in her feathers so I couldn't find it (up inside her 'wing pit' feathers in the end, she's crafty).

What happens to the babies if they are all in the same enclosed area with their mums? The mums don't go for the babies that aren't theirs do they?

The lady who sold us the eggs said to put them under tomorrow morning to give them time to rest. They arrived here at 1pm. I was hoping to do it around 9pm tonight to give them resting time. I'm a bit conflicted as I wanted to do it while the hens were sleepy.
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Re: Is it too late to put fertile eggs under a chook?

Postby Marina » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:32 pm

Yeah, they say to let eggs rest for 24 hours. It's up to you but I'd put them under tomorrow night.

If your GLW did go back to her old nest you have to make absolutely certain that this does not happen again. It would be good to do one trial run before giving her the eggs. Make the pen secure, if she doesn't leave the nest herself take her off. Check whether she goes back onto the nest she should be on. If she doesn't she is not suitable. Some hens don't like being moved. That's the reason why I'd wait until tomorrow night with giving her eggs - or not.

There are a few happy stories around about co-brooding hens but more often than not it turns to custard.

When the chicks hatch, both hens will hear them and bond with them, no matter whether they are next door or under her. All chicks will hear the noises both broodies make.

If the outcome is good both hens will raise the chicks together.

If the outcome is not so good the hens will fight for the eggs - or the better nest - and in the process the eggs get cold and the hatch is poor. The chicks may all be gathered up by one hen, leaving the other childless.

In my earlier days I let hens co-brood. More often than not one single solitary chick hatched and the two hens raised it. They would sit side by side with the chick between them. Not very economical but cute to watch. Now I've got single broody coops where the broody hen has nowhere else to go but back to her nest.

Considering the 90 minutes off the nest I'd seriously consider the Araucana - if she lets you move her.
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