Sunday, 20 May 2007

Chicks with their hatching hen


Photo by Laura Panduru


12 comments:

Kelly said...

Great photo! Question: If you let a hen hatch her own, will she let you touch them (socialize them)?

Gina said...

It is usually best to leave them to get on with it - especially in the first few weeks. In most cases the broody hen would not be happy about others handling her chicks - occasionally it may even make her reject them.

Anonymous said...

if you let a hen hatch the eggs what do they do with the shells? I heard they are full of bacteria and the chickens should not eat them. So what does the hen do with them? Dawn

Gina said...

If a hen is hatching her eggs naturally, then it is generally best to let nature take its course. Egg shells are a good source of calcium and some keepers will crush up their used egg shells from boiled eggs etc. and feed them back to their chickens for a calcium boosting treat.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for an incubator, for home use and 2 dozen chicken eggs. Sounds like auto turner, fan and temp control is necessary but the prices run the gammet and I don't want to be sorry. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Marla

Anonymous said...

A list of hatching eggs prices can be seen under the 'setting hen' poem. You will probably be able to get an incubator from the same place.
Setting
Hen

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina---
I think I have a problem. We just picked up 4 hens and a rooster and one of the hens has flown over a neighbors fence. They just got here moments ago. We put the other hens and the rooster in the coop and closed them up.
Will the other hen return? will she hear the other hens and fly back over the fence and try to be with her group?

Gina said...

She may do, but if you know where she is, it may be easier to just go and pick her up (scratch may help there!). Once they are settled in to their new home for a few weeks they will know where to go back to, but at the moment (if I have understood you correctly) everything is new - and probably scary.

Linda said...

This is the first time I've had a hen actually hatch chicks. My question is should I build them a box at floor level to move into? She hatched them in the laying boxes which are 2' off the ground. Not sure how that works with a mother hen involved. The incubated ones live in the laundry room sink for a bit until they get their feathers in, but I'm not really wanting to do this - she seems to be a good mother so far.

Gina said...

Often a broody coop or box/area of the main coop for the new family can be helpful. Sometimes other members of the flock can take exception to new chicks - the mother hen is often very capable of defending them, but it is worth keeping an eye on things and having a 'plan b' just in case. Ground level can be safer for them initially if there may be a chance they can damage their legs dropping from the laying boxes.

Susan Fite said...

my buff orphington has been sitting on 19 eggs. today is the hatch date and sure enough we can hear babies chirping. however, the hen is still sitting on them and we cannot see how many have hatched. can we move her to check or just wait??? and she her nest is 3-4 ft off the ground, she we move her down right away?

Gina said...

It would be safer for the chicks that have hatched to have the nest on the ground once they start moving around as they may fall out and either hurt themselves or get cold.