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day 23 - advice needed!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

This is my first time trying to hatch eggs with a broody mama. Today is day 23. No hatching, no pipping. Started with 16 eggs, were at 10 as of day 21, and today,  only 8 eggs remain in the nest. I found some empty shells, figured there were too many in the nest and some broke and the mama ate them. Very surprised today though, after they should have already hatched, to find only 8. 

 

I float tested the 8 eggs today, all floated about 25% or less above the water. I took that as a good sign, until I read more into the float test, that it might not actually tell me anything. I compared with an unfertilized egg and it floated exactly the same, so I'm not trusting the test anymore. 

 

I really really really want these babies to hatch, but I'm worried that they are not viable and the mama will just keep eating them until there are none left. How long should I let this go on?? She's been very dedicated to sitting on her nest, I was hoping she would make a good mama. She's also looking really haggard, skinny, comb is dry - she's been sitting for a total of about 5 weeks (about two weeks on her own unfertilized nest before we bought the 16 fertilized eggs for her to hatch). 

 

Help!!

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by melbajojo View Post
 

This is my first time trying to hatch eggs with a broody mama. Today is day 23. No hatching, no pipping. Started with 16 eggs, were at 10 as of day 21, and today,  only 8 eggs remain in the nest. Are you sure the hen ate the eggs? I found some empty shells, Could some of these eggs have hatched and the chicks have been lost? figured there were too many in the nest and some broke and the mama ate them. Or a predator. Very surprised today though, after they should have already hatched, to find only 8. 

 

I float tested the 8 eggs today, all floated about 25% or less above the water. I took that as a good sign, until I read more into the float test, that it might not actually tell me anything. I compared with an unfertilized egg and it floated exactly the same, so I'm not trusting the test anymore. Candling them with a bright light and comparing what you see to pictures of developing eggs might give you some answers.

 

I really really really want these babies to hatch, but I'm worried that they are not viable and the mama will just keep eating them until there are none left. How long should I let this go on?? She's been very dedicated to sitting on her nest, I was hoping she would make a good mama. She's also looking really haggard, skinny, comb is dry - she's been sitting for a total of about 5 weeks (about two weeks on her own unfertilized nest before we bought the 16 fertilized eggs for her to hatch). Were any of the hen's own eggs broken? If the 16 (Too many for many hens to brood) were smaller eggs than her own, that would account for the breakage.

 

Help!! Wondering-Is this a large hen that broke her eggs accidentally and then ate them to clean the nest; usually the shells are eaten too. All to often large hens are clumsy when it comes to brooding.

 

Candling the eggs may help determine if the eggs are viable. Day 23-probably not.  From your description of the hen, consider breaking her of brooding once you're sure if the eggs are good or not.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 


Thank you so much for your response. Let's see, some answers...

 

I am not sure that she ate the eggs. They were there one day and gone the next, and I found empty shells most of the time. I don't think it's possible that it was a predator. This is happening in my urban backyard and I've been watching the nest pretty closely. As for the eggs hatching and the chicks getting lost, I guess it's possible, but I've been checking many many times a day and haven't seen chicks or heard peeping.

 

I took out the hen's own eggs (she was sitting on 10) and replaced them with the 16 fertilized eggs. I knew it was too many, and within the first couple of days we were down to 11, then 10, and now 8. She is not a large hen, she's small to average. 

 

I'll try candling the eggs the next time she comes off the nest. 

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