PHOTO BY TROY GRIEPENTROG
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a broody hen and my concerns about the eggs hatching, Hatching Eggs: Broody Chickens and Duck Eggs on the Way. It’s very unusual for chicken eggs to hatch so late, but on the 23rd day of incubation, three eggs hatched. One chick was a runt and died a few days later, but the other two chicks are doing well.
The hen has been doing a great job taking care of the baby chicks: showing them what to eat, protecting them and keeping them warm. I love the clucking sound she makes to call them to food. I guess that’s the reason people sometimes call broodies “clucks.”
Lots of things can go wrong when hatching eggs in an incubator. (Power outages spring to mind.) But it’s important to know that natural incubation methods aren’t foolproof either. Only two or three of the dozen eggs she was sitting on were not fertile, so the rest didn’t hatch for other reasons: wrong temperature, wrong humidity, nutrition of parents or something else.