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Help - Broody Hen - Eggs not fertile

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have 2 hens currently we use just for eggs, recently our black hen went missing! She was gone for 2 weeks (we thought something got her) and she came back for a day then went missing again. I went searching for her with no luck. We live in Columbia aND recently had a flood, thought she was surely gone. Nope! She came back and would eat in morning and go missing for the day. I figured she was hiding a clutch of eggs somewhere so I watched her all morning this time and sure enough I found her sitting. I found her in the back of our coop in a pretty amazing hiding spot (we would have never guessed). Anyways so I've read about breaking them, but we would like to increase our chicken count. I found a local guy willing to give me some fertilized eggs. My questions is, how do I go about switching them so she can actually hatch something out?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 9

If you have room in the coop/run you can put her and the eggs that you want her to hatch in a pet crate. That way, at least you know that she's safe. Some hens will not continue to broody if moved from their original nest site. When you let her out for her daily food, water, and poop break, she may try to sneak off to her old spot. You'll have to pick her up and put her back in the crate with the eggs.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
She's safe in her current spot, nothing can get her there, and she's out of the way of the other hen. Do I just switch out the eggs when she comes out in the morning? Also to add, she has direct access to food and water with no issues.
Edited by chickadeeNSC - 10/8/15 at 11:05am
post #4 of 9

Does the other hen know where she is and is she adding to her eggs?

 

Go ahead when she leaves and add the fertilized eggs, mark them with pencil, I number mine...that way IF another hen sneaks in and lays, you will be able to remove that one. The hen will only sit on the eggs, 21-23 days, then walk off with her hatch lings and abandon the rest...I had to rescue 2 and hatch over night in the house under a heat lamp, I then snuck them under the hen and she raised them as if she had hatched them.

 

How long has she been broody? If she is consistent and stays on the eggs, they should hatch...she won't be able to tell you switched them, from my experience. I used my broody to hatch out all my other hens eggs, she wasn't the wiser.

 

If she spends most of the day off, you need to break the broody and forget about hatching out eggs, she isn't sitting on them long enough and they won't survive.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
She's been broody a few weeks already, I'm assuming she was hiding and laying in this spot during that time bc she has a good many under her. The other hen has no clue she's there and isn't contributing. She only comes out once a day (morning) and stays on them the rest of the day and night so she's def dedicated. I'm just wondering if I switch the eggs for her to hatch, has it already been too long for her to sit 3 weeks and hatch these out? I'm getting 10 fertilized eggs from someone to replace them with.
post #6 of 9

hmm, ok I just did something like this, I had a hen sitting on about 9 eggs, I went away for a couple days, the person watching my chickens, didn't go and collect eggs...then hen left her batch and accidentally sat on a different set of eggs, (the other hens that did not get picked up) I threw all hers out, as it was several days since she had abandoned them...and started over.

 

She hatched out the new ones, but she had been on eggs for well over 30 days...a long time...they need to leave to eat and such.

 

IF your hen is doing this, and looks fine (my hen's comb started fading, she was not eating very much) then go ahead and switch the eggs, remember you have another 21 days at least for her to sit. So if you feel she has had enough and needs a break, you will have to break her broody and hope she goes in again. I have not had the same hen go broody twice in a year. If you feel she is fine, and can handle it, go ahead...

 

Many will say its too stressful, if she has been broody for weeks already...it may not be fair to her. You have to decide. As far as I know the broody won't break till eggs hatch. My fool proof way is to suspend an open cage over 2 buckets, allowing cool air to circulate under the hen, usually takes 2 days.

 

Good luck, let us know what happens.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks! That helps. I think she's doing well, and seems pretty comfy. Looks in good shape etc. I am getting the fertile eggs tomorrow so I will sneak them in and see how it goes!
post #8 of 9
She won't know the difference, you don't even need to sneak :-)

I replaced my broodies 5 weren't developing eggs with one plastic one while I'm waiting for some chicks to come out of the incubator and she still hasn't noticed.
Edited by appps - 10/8/15 at 12:17pm

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
post #9 of 9

good luck....let us know how it turns out, as long as she looks healthy and you know she is eating etc...it will go well...since you only have 2 hens, you will be fine with no added eggs, I would still number the eggs with pencil before placing them, just because! Keep us posted!!

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