Hi everyone! I am new to raising chickens and have a question. One of my Buff Orpingtons has been laying on her eggs for about 3 days now. She picked sort of a strange spot.. not in her nesting box but behind some plants! This morning she was running around making all sort of "bok bok bok BOK! bok bok bok BOK!" noises. It looked to me like she was looking for food so I gave her some and she went back to her eggs afterwards. Now she is off of them again and I have no idea why.. she has food and water right next to her nest. How long can a chicken stay off of her eggs before they get too cold and die? :flBy the way.. there are like 20 eggs in her nest!!! is that a lot? I was amazed!!
Broody chicken is leaving her eggs!
OH.. and also.. Will the eggs be ok for me to eat still too if she has been laying on them for 3 days but then wont go back to them? I mean.. will they be rotten? Keep in mind.. I am BRAND new to chicken farming
I wouldn't eat them since they probably have little heartbeats inside them by now. Maybe your hen was just walking around stretching her legs and going potty. The hen can actually stay off the nest for a few hours and the eggs will be fine. Hope that answers your questions.
Thanks!!! That really did answer my question. I just hated for all of those eggs to go to waste!
I have read it takes about 21 days for an egg to hatch. Will she stay on it that long even if the egg is not fertile? and if it does not hatch will she keep laying on them past 21 days? Just curious!
Also.. my chickens lay eggs in hidden spots and I have no idea how long they have been sitting there. What is the best way to tell if they are still good to eat or not?
Yes, she'll most likely keep sitting past the 21 days even if the eggs aren't fertile. If she'll let you touch the eggs, it might be a good idea to candle the eggs and throw out the bad ones before they explode or start to stink really bad. About your other eggs, again, I'd candle them too. Wouldn't eat either batch of eggs though.
Well she wont let me get near her.. she puffs up and gets mad when I get too close. If I scoot her off gently with a broom and take all her eggs to candle them then put them back will she still sit on them? Actually.. I need to move the eggs into the nesting box in a different area of our land.. do you think she will be ok with that and still sit on them? I just don't want her where the dogs can disturb her.
Don't take them all at one time. Just take a few candle them, then mark them. That way you know which ones you have candled.
Hmmmm, I would not take them all at once, she would probably not like that and may well leave the nest... though there's no way to tell in advance. Just to be sure, if possible, I'd slip over at night when she's all sleepy, and using a weak flashlight, take half at a time, candle them with a high powered flashlight a few yards away from her nest. Mark the ones you check, then go get the next half and put the first ones back. It's amazing what you can do when they're sleepy. Just use a weak flashilght near her.
As far as moving her, yes, you could but I have had better luck moving the whole nest if possible into a penned area so she is trapped close to the nest. If it is not possible to move the whole nest, (I've had my 'wylde sisters' set on bare dirt) then do your best to sort of recreate her current space in a pen or cage. She's more likely to get back on if she doesn't have a chance to get too far away. Try to look at where she has her nest now, and sort of recreate the same set up as far as shelter, shrubs, shade etc. You probably can't get it perfect, but similar will probably do. Usually the 'broody urge' is pretty darn strong.
Thanks! This forum is so helpful!! I will try to move her tomorrow and maybe put a potted plant in front of the nesting box so it sort of reminds her of her other nest And I am hoping it will encourage her to use the nesting boxes from now on.. plus teach the other chickens to do the same.
So.. when you candle an egg how exactly does it work. What am I looking for.. a blob of some sort?
Love those Learning Center pages!! http://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-candling-eggs.html