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Unwanted Broody Hen on Fertile Eggs- How Late is Too Late to Stop Her?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a 6 month old EE hen who has started showing some signs of being broody over they last week or so. Do to some outside circumstances I haven't been able to collect/wash eggs for a few days, which allowed them to build up a bit. She is currently sitting on twelve (!!!) eggs, presumably fertile as she is in with a rooster and one other hen. The problem is, I'm not entirely sure how long she's been setting; I've been shooing her away from the nestboxes for some time now, and I know I chased her away last night, but I don't know how consistent she has been, exactly when she started, or how far along her eggs may be. I candled them, and I don't see major differences; the eggs are colored and thick-shelled, so it's a bit difficult to discern, but they're definitely not more than a couple days along as there aren't obvious differences from their sister un-incubated eggs from another nest. I don't want chicks right now, but I also don't want to toss eggs with chicks developing inside. I've told my mom (I'm a college student living at home) that I'll get rid of them, but I keep worrying about it and it's making me really anxious.

 

So my question is: how far along is too far along to take them and get rid of them? Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe I'm overthinking it; I just don't want to pointlessly kill anything. I mean, I don't even kill bugs if I can avoid it, it makes me queasy. 

post #2 of 4
If you candled them and could see the yolk they aren't far along if at all, after about a week you can see blood vessels developing, it sounds like you can toss them without guilt, I know the feeling.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

If you candled them and could see the yolk they aren't far along if at all, after about a week you can see blood vessels developing, it sounds like you can toss them without guilt, I know the feeling.

Thanks for answering so quickly! It's good to know I'm not the only bleeding heart, haha. I know I overthink this stuff a lot, I just take animals very seriously, and I hate the thought of inadvertently causing harm or death if I don't have to. I'm going to take them before going to bed, I think, and then maybe move Willow (my broody) to a wire-bottom cage to keep cool air under her and hopefully get her back to normal. 

 

 

(I feel like I should add: since both of the hens in that pen are young, their eggs are itty-bitty- maybe half the volume of the older hens'? Those would be some tiny chicks, bantam sized almost!)

post #4 of 4
They would be tiny chicks, when I let hens hatch some eggs I worry about tossing those that didn't hatch, so I remove them and let them sit a day or two, we once got rid of some extra duck eggs that turned out to be half formed, I felt terrible, it has made me wary of just getting rid of them. I'm a big bleeding heart too.

Glad you going to break your broody, I think it's kinder, over in three days, and she can get back to being a chicken.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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