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How long can my broody be off her nest before the eggs are too cold?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My broody hatched one chick a few days ago and got off the nest with the little one today.  She did go back to the nest then and tucked the remaining three eggs underneath her.  I checked the eggs and they were not "cold" but not very warm anymore.  Are the eggs still viable for hatching?

I have another broody get off of her nearly ready to hatch eggs and go sit on a nest of just laid eggs.  I took those eggs from her and put her back on her own nest.  Her eggs were also cooling off and not very warm anymore.  I assume if these eggs don't hatch in a few days, the won't ever hatch.  How cold can an egg get and still survive?  All of these eggs should hatch any day now.

post #2 of 11

many people said, 15-30 minutes. smile

as for me, i never worry about it since i know that the hen know much better about keeping her eggs than me. smile

trust her (i suggest).
especially with *village chicken* here, they're best mother.

The only good and honest police in my country is police statue.

pardon for bad grammar and spelling, I'm not a native English speaker..
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The only good and honest police in my country is police statue.

pardon for bad grammar and spelling, I'm not a native English speaker..
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Its funny, I almost thought there weren't any eggs in the nest at first, then I noticed that she had sort of "buried" them in the straw in her nest.  When she came back to the nest, she dug them out of the straw and gathered them underneath herself!  Maybe she buried them to keep them warm while she was off the nest???hu

The one chick that she did hatch was tossed off the nest by another hen, for an entire day!  (I couldn't find her at first)  At least eight hours!  When I finally did find the chick, she was ice cold, eyes closed but breathing and not pecked.  I put her back under mom, and she is fine! ya These eggs were not as cold as that chick was when I found her.

I put up a partition to keep the other hens off the broodies nest, but now the broody is knocking it down to go walkabout with her new baby.  I guess I'll just keep checking on her and hope she stays put.

post #4 of 11

glad to hear that the lost chick  was found. big_smile

maybe like you were thinking that she make it like that to keep they warm, as i said, she know the best. i never disturb or watch over my hen when she is broody (that's almost 3 years ago). i always let her take care of them, i know she can. hen here are tough and *cruel* when meet human/other *living* creature when she is sitting. i have many bad experience when try to look below the hen.big_smile and i won't try it again if i have broody hen. smile

good luck with remaining eggs. fl

The only good and honest police in my country is police statue.

pardon for bad grammar and spelling, I'm not a native English speaker..
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The only good and honest police in my country is police statue.

pardon for bad grammar and spelling, I'm not a native English speaker..
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post #5 of 11

I've watched a lot of hens brood a lot of clutches here, it's always fascinating.  They seem to have a reliable thermostat in their little heads that tell them just how long of a coffee break they are allowed depending on the outside temperature that day.  I've had hens set eggs through our infrequent freezes in South Florida, they press down like panakes and rarely leave the nest.  But during the sweltering summers they can stay off the nest for a much longer time.

I've also seen both chicks & developing eggs survive being left out in sub-optimal temperatures.  Chicks that get lost and stay out alone overnight, eggs that were left to get cold to the touch in the nest, all making remarkable recoveries. 

The developing eggs that got cooled due to your misdirected hen may be just fine.  But you see why it's best to keep a broody hen confined to an area with only her nest box accessible to her.  Often they'll get confused after going out for their break & settle on a different batch of eggs.  Also, other hens will often interrupt the broody, shoving her off the nest so they can leave their eggs in there too. 

But the eggs left to cool in the nest of the hen with the hatched chick may not hatch.  Usually the hen will stay on the nest for about 24 hours when her chicks begin to hatch, she won't get up for her break that day.  She & the first-hatched chicks wait together for the rest of the chicks to hatch.  But after a day both the hen & the new chicks need to get up, to eat & poop and get on with their lives.  Any remaining eggs are left behind, I rarely have seen a hen go back & try to continue incubating them.  Even if they do, the new chicks will have more & different needs than the older chicks and so may not survive.

You can try to get your hen to continue to set on those eggs, or you can try to hatch them yourself, or just bury them.  You can be brave & crack them to see if they're duds or not, I just don't want to know & bury them whole.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Maybe if this hen wants to get off the nest again (right now she's still setting) I'll give her eggs to the other broody??? 

The other broody hen is very determined brooder and a very good mom.  That will give her six eggs total and better odds at hatching some of her own!

post #7 of 11

Sure, it's worth a try.  You should candle or gently shake them, make sure they're not sloshy duds.  There may be some issues if the added eggs hatch before the other hen's own eggs are due.  You could remove the chicks that hatch & brood them until all the others hatch (or pass their hatch due date) then try to put them all together.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have done that before.  I removed 11 chicks and when number 12 hatched, the hen hopped off the nest leaving 1 cold egg.  I gave the chicks back to her, cracked the cold egg and the chick was alive!  I kept him in a blanket under my arm for hours until he was warm and dry and fuzzy.  He thought I was his mom and grew up to be a big rooster, mean to everyone but me!

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, one more egg hatched and the first chick switched Mom's on me!  Both chicks are in with one broody and now the hen that hatched the first chick is still setting.  Maybe that will work out for the best.

Still not sure if all of these eggs are viable or not.  Will give them a few days and see.

post #10 of 11

I had a hen on a nest of eggs that was laid across 2 weeks.  When I tried to move her to private quarters, she abandoned the nest.  After 24 hours I took the eggs and put them in the incubator.  Almost all of them hatched, about 1 every other day.


Edited by jenjscott - 9/13/09 at 11:34am

Jen -   Buckeyes, and Japanese Bantams (for the most part) Working on a flock of barred Hollands.


 
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Jen -   Buckeyes, and Japanese Bantams (for the most part) Working on a flock of barred Hollands.


 
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