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Help! When to get rid of remaining eggs??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Our hen hatched laid 16 eggs. The first one hatched 6 days ago, and the last hatch was 2 days ago. She is still sitting on the remaining 7 eggs. Is there a possibility that any more will hatch or are they duds?


I don't want to risk going in there and messing with the eggs if they could still hatch, but I don't want her to be sitting on rotten eggs that could bust.


What do I do?!?!?

post #2 of 6

First of all, congrats on the chicks! :thumbsup



The mother and hatched chicks need food, water, and a chance to stretch, so I would suggest removing the remaining eggs. If you have an incubator you can place them in that or you can make a home-made incubator (as I did a couple times, it actually works!). You can candle the eggs to see which ones developed and which ones didn't. If an egg appears to be rotten but you aren't sure you can carefully open it up from the airsac and check inside (this is also what I do).


I hope this helps. Best of luck with your chickens!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 



She gets up to stretch her legs but she is a dedicated momma!  I have chick food and water in there.


What do you use to open it up and peek? Honestly, I'm too scared I would hurt it. I was able to sneak in there and candle 3 until she was getting peeved at me. 2 looked mostly empty so I tossed those, the last one was questionable so I left it with her.


How many days after the first hatch do I need to call it quits?

post #4 of 6

That is a good momma. :thumbsup


I know it sounds bad, but I actually use a needle to open them. You do it very, very carefully and scrape instead of poke. You scrape away the calcium and then pry up a small piece of shell. You can then look inside without poking into any veins or the chick, as the air pocket is large enough to prevent this.

However, if you think the egg is rotten watch out, as they STINK when you open them. They sometimes even explode (we had this happen... not fun).


If a chick is nearing hatching it should respond if you cheep to the egg. Hold it up to your ear and listen for the tapping of a beak or the chick cheeping. If it doesn't respond, it may have died trying to hatch.


Its hard to know how long to wait because you don't know when the egg was laid. However, if you do know when it was laid then waiting until day 23-24 is about right.




We were sure this egg was dead but opened it up carefully from the top (the white part is the membrane stretched around him). He was still alive! Precious grew up to be strong and healthy.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Aww, so did you leave him in there and let him come out when he was ready?


I have no clue when she started, I thought they would not hatch until the first/second week in February but I was dead wrong. This is our first hatch ever and my daughter and I keep running out side to see the babies. Its so sweet and fun!

post #6 of 6

Well, because we opened it up from the top he likely wouldn't have been able to hatch on his own, so once we did that we had to help finish it up.


This is the rest of his story:



Chicks are so much fun, especially when they are raised by their momma. :) I think its one of my favorite parts of having chickens. I have three momma hens right now, one with fully feathered chicks, one with some young babies and another still on her nest.

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