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Do the chickens ever hatch chicks on their own?

So you know a chicken lays an egg several times each week.  If she lays an egg in the same spot each day (and it's not gathered) or if other hens add to a nest, a hen might get the notion to 'go broody.'  This means that she wants to sit on the eggs for 21 days until they hatch.  She will sit and sit and sit, getting up just once a day to go to the bathroom and get a quick drink before settling back in on her nest of eggs.


The eggs need to be kept at certain temperatures to allow for development and a mother hen can do this perfectly.  It's much easier to maintain temperature in the spring and summer and a few of our hens will go broody each year in these seasons.  Certain hens like to go broody each year and others do some every few years while most of the chickens do not ever go broody.  Some breeds are known to have more broodiness.  Many hens will sit on eggs during the day, especially when they have just laid their egg, but it's when a hen does not roost at night and instead stays on her nest that you will know she has gone broody.  


One year, we thought one of our hens disappeared.  A few weeks later, we discovered she had laid about a dozen eggs (so it probably took a little more than two weeks to collect that many) and was sitting on them constantly.  Sure enough, a bit later she came meandering out with a whole slew of babies!


Not all eggs that are brooded will hatch.  Some might not be fertile, some do not develop properly, one might have got broken.  When the eggs do hatch, the mama hen will talk to the chick and teach them how to forage and keep them safe.  Mama hatched babies are some of our favorites as we love to watch the process from egg to proud mama!

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Synergistic Acres - 21733 Iliff Rd, Parker, KS 66072 - 913-735-4769
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