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brooding hen help

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have a hen who I thought had been killed but she turned up a few days ago to eat then disappeared again. Well I found her with a nest and 5 or 6 eggs,the problem is she's in a very unsafe area, and I don't know for sure how old the eggs are. Should I just leave her and try to make the area safe or can I move her to a safe spot? How can I figure out how old the eggs are and if they are fertile?

any tips or ideas on this broody mama would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 3

It is highly likely that if you move the nest, the hen will abandon the eggs. I would suggest leaving things as they are for the moment, but keep twice daily check going for signs of the chicks hatching. As soon as they have hatched, then you can move them to a more secure place. If you wish to make the nesting area safer, then ensure that you do not frighten the hen, as this could also trigger her to abandon the eggs. 


You can candle the eggs - threads here and Utube to see if they are fertile. Assuming you have a cockerel then in theory they should be fertile. The candling may give an idea as to how old the chicks are. Personally, i don't bother with candling at all i just let the mother do her thing. If some hatch and a day or so later others remain unhatched, you can be pretty sure that they are not viable and should dispose of them. 


If you can recall exactly when you first noticed your hen missing, then this may give you some idea as to when to expect the chicks to hatch (21 days incubation period).


Hope that helps


Good luck


post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I candled one last night and there was definitely a dark spot in the egg and a air sac it looked similar to some I found online. So I might have some babies soon.
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