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Just put fertilised eggs under a broody

(39 Posts)
EssexMummy123 Wed 21-May-14 20:47:09

First time hatching chicks, but i have a very broody hen and ebay tempted me with 6 cream crested legbar eggs. Fingers crossed for more girls than boys :-)

EssexMummy123 Fri 23-May-14 21:56:20

It's just occurred to me... the broody is in her own house right now so the other hens don't damage the eggs, also she was actually the youngest and at the bottom of the pecking order - the house is a traditional wooden one with a slim ramp up from the ground into the hen house. So if she hatches chicks, isn't that going to be a bit dangerous - it's quite high from the floor to the hen house - do i need to block off the door to the ramp down when the chicks are little?

EssexMummy123 Mon 02-Jun-14 22:03:30

So far so good, broody is very grumpy (lol - reminds me of being pregnant) and will properly attack anyone going near her. We failed at the candling - the eggs are a dark blue and we couldn't see anything through the shell - probably not using a good enough light so have left all 6 with her and hopefully we'll have a surprise in a week from now.

I think the cream legbar are auto-sexing and we should know at a day old if they are girls or boys - but I could be wrong about that. I really hope they aren't all going to be boys - one or two would be ok, but six? Eek!

Fav Mon 02-Jun-14 22:09:15

Hi, you should be able to sex them straight away, the girls have more definite markings, with a dark brown stripe down their backs, the boys aren't as clear.

With the ramp, could you fix a wider plank over it, so it's very wide for them to get up and down? I think getting down would be fine, but it'll be the getting back up that'll be the challenge!

I've never had any success at candling CL eggs, we've always left them and hoped for the best. Duck eggs are amazing to candle - you can see a clear heartbeat through the shell (when candling) from a few days into incubation.

Fingers crossed for next week - hope they're all girls grin

EssexMummy123 Mon 02-Jun-14 22:35:40

Hi Fav,

Thanks so much for posting it's our first time with chicks! we could make the ramp wider, but we've realised that the house/run also has gaps along the bottom, a hen couldn't get out but a chick could. So we're trying to decide, do we close the gaps and widen the ramp - or alternatively we have a put-together run made out of chicken wire and wooden batons, more like a rabbit run really - there's no house but we could stick the cat-carrier inside as a temp house and that way the chicks wouldn't be high up - which one do you think sounds most suitable?

We hatch chicks regularly ... can't promise more girls than boys ... Re the ramp; it won't be dangerous in that they might hurt themselves if they fall off - chicks are very light and very tough and seem to fall with impunity when young. The problem might be that they might not find their way back up and get chilled and die. Therefore the idea of a wider ramp is good. Cat carrier in rabbit hutch will also work, as long as there are no little gaps behind it or beside it where they could get stuck, get chilled and die. Chicks have quite a death wish. I have had no success with ebay eggs through the post, hatched with local eggs in the same clutch so I can tell it is the eggs not the broody or incubator, but hope that you prove me wrong!

Or rather not hatched, obviously.

Fav Tue 03-Jun-14 12:09:14

We've had quite a bit of success with eBay eggs. Not the same hatch rate as local eggs, but done pretty well.
The latest are three toulouse goslings - 1 dead in shell at 24 days, so incubator issue rather than fertility I suspect.

We hatched over thirty chicks last year, and have 2 girls to show for it hmm
We go into it expecting only boys, then we can only be pleasantly surprised grin

30 chicks and 2 girls .... cant believe it ... worst we ever did was 5:2. Last year we had 5:1 girls:boys.....

BadRoly Tue 03-Jun-14 20:51:57

I am jealous as! Our broody hen hasn't gone broody yet this year sad

Last year she sat on a questionable batch of eggs that didn't hatch, so we stuck 5 cream legbar day old chicks under her. 4 girls and 1 boy.

The boy is now living the dream on a small holding up in the Cornish wilds. 1 of the girls was taken by a fox but the other 3 are laying the prettiest duck egg blue eggs grin

Fav Tue 03-Jun-14 20:56:44

I know LaBelle! We were gutted. We lost our best broody in a dog attack, and we were trying to replace her (silkie x Wyandotte bantam), and some pure bred friends of hers.
We blamed it on incubating rather than using a broody, even though we know it's nothing to do with that.
Anecdotally, we heard that many people last year had higher m:f ratios than normal confused

EssexMummy123 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:11:04

Well with LaBelle having no luck at all with ebay eggs and Fav only getting 2/30 girls i'm starting to think that maybe I'll buy a small bag of chick crumb :-)

EssexMummy123 Sun 08-Jun-14 15:17:28

Going to move the broody now into the cat carrier / rabbit run and get chick crumb / water with pebbles ready as well, Tuesday is 21 days.

EssexMummy123 Sun 08-Jun-14 21:44:34

Broody moved - she was a bit shaken up and not so bright as to be able to jump back on the eggs - but we all figured it out and hopefully on Wednesday we will have at least a couple of chicks!

Bramblesinforrin Sun 08-Jun-14 22:22:46

Will we have a live hatch thread?

I had a dozen eggs from eBay, all fertile on candling, six lived after the hatch. Two of the still stomping round the garden (blimmin pekins, hatched under my Sussex girl).

BadRoly Mon 09-Jun-14 22:05:40

Are the eggs starting to cheep yet?! I am very excited on your behalf grin

Our broody still isn't sad

hellymelly Mon 09-Jun-14 22:19:25

I would love chicks. I am quite jealous. I have a cockerel, but my hens never go broody. Also as I have a cockerel already I would have to give any away and they don't tend to be very popular. Little fluffy chicks though! So sweet! My hens did have eggs hatch via surrogate mothers last year, the chicks were unusual...Mother is silver spangled Hamburg -bantam- and father is probably a bearded crested bantam, he is orange. The chicks were all cream, some have crests, some do not. Not a spangle among them. I think there were 8 or nine hatched altogether, by three different friends.

EssexMummy123 Tue 10-Jun-14 10:17:25

No cheeps but realised (beginners mistake on my part) when we moved her that I'd placed the eggs are on their sides and not pointy end down so wondering if we're going to get any now - i will check this evening.

EssexMummy123 Tue 10-Jun-14 20:54:46

No cheeping at all and its day 21 :-(

Ruhrpott Wed 11-Jun-14 21:26:03

I thought the hen moves the eggs around anyway so doesn't matter how you put them in there. There was a you tube video on putting the eggs in water to see if they move but I don't think you are supposed to move them again after day 18.

Hopefully you will get something. We are on day 7 of our hatch (3 white silkie eggs bought off ebay). I shone a torch through them yesterday and 2 seem to be developing and one not.

Ruhrpott Wed 11-Jun-14 21:27:59

Egg 1, 2 and 3.

Ruhrpott Wed 11-Jun-14 21:31:12

And two hens are sitting on mine together. Not sure how if/when/how I should move one of them with the eggs. I have left them in the eglu. We have three hens in total and two are sitting on them squashed together in nesting area. Any advice?

Ruhrpott Wed 11-Jun-14 21:38:32

Did anything hatch today?

EssexMummy123 Thu 12-Jun-14 21:28:35

Nope, no sign of any cheeping yesterday or today, i'm going to give it to day 25 which is saturday and then give up, try and integrate her back in with the others and then if she shows signs again, maybe try and get some hatching eggs locally so i can collect.

Ruhpott - if you do decide to move them then make sure you wearing very tough gloves!

Ruhrpott Fri 13-Jun-14 12:33:31

Here's a photo of the two of them sat together on the nest. The other one is in with them too but spends her time out in the run. They are still relatively friendly and allow me to push them off the nest in the morning and late afternoon for some food and drink. They have a race back to the nest to claim the eggs when I let them back on.

No idea if I should try and move one of them and eggs to the cat basket and into the shed. After your experience I might just leave them where they are and only buy chick crumb if I hear chirping.

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