Originally Posted by WVduckchick @PD-Riverman
today is day 20, maybe 21, for the first few eggs under my broody. I didn't know better at the time, so I left eggs with her for 4 days before I started removing more, and separated her. So now its time for the first ones to be due (I saw an internal pip last night) but the later eggs are going to need a couple more days. Will she likely stay put long enough for them all to hatch?
Two of her sisters have now gone broody next to her (but separated by wire), so I should start removing all their eggs, then give them some back, all at one time? (they just started within the last few days) and I could use them if the need arises to "finish" any of the initial ones? Then give all chicks back to the first girl?
OK, good you started getting the added eggs out before to many days past. Its hard to say----a lot of hens will stay put. Some will not--- so you will need to monitor her or remove the chicks as they hatch and come out from under her---put them under some heat till she gets through--then give them back at early night OR put the unhatched eggs in the incubator.
One other thing """I""" would Never do during hatching time is tilt her up to see the eggs and For SURE not remove a egg to candle it again during Hatching time-----she needs all her moisture to hatch the eggs and tilting her allows it to escape----could cause hatching problems, But I know you have a situation that I never have to deal with so you have to handle it the way you feel is best. Good Luck
Oh your other question----I would Highly suggest for now and the future as long as you keep chickens-----if it is in your control-----to remove ALL eggs From ALL nest Daily and do not skip a nest because a hen is setting on it. The reason is---the eggs will still be good for eating because they have only been under her a few hours---want hurt anything. Plus should you allow her to set---there want be any eggs a day or two older then the rest-----which is Why I mention every time---Fresh Layed eggs put under her---if a egg has been under her all day----if you add more later that day to that one---it will hatch probably a day earlier. I want all mine to hatch the same day if possible---which I do everything in my power to make that possible.
Some people will put a couple fake eggs under a broody that has just started setting----which is a good thing---it allows her to keep some eggs and allows you to know if she is going to stay put.
Let me define "Fresh Eggs" in my opinion----any eggs that has been layed in the last week, that has not been in a cold fridge or setting in the hot sun or has not been under a broody for a day or more. If I got a broody starting and I want her to set---I start saving eggs from chickens I want her to hatch----keep in mind all my chickens are separated by breeds----over 60 chicken pens here---when I get enough eggs for her nest and she has been staying put---I Move her to the hatching pen at night----if she is a first time broody I will give her a day to make sure she will stay in the new location---then set her the next day----Other hens that have been broody and hatched before----I set them on the fresh eggs in the hatching pen at the same time.
You know you do not have to move her----but if you don't you got to mark her "set" eggs clearly and remove fresh added eggs to her nest Daily to prevent a Staggered hatch.
Some people say they just let nature take its course-----that does NOT work when "WE" humans pen up the chickens. A free-ranged hen will go off and hide her nest and lay her eggs in it daily till she gets ready to set----then she will set----most other hens will not know where her nest is to add eggs----that's why Sooooooo many people post on here that their Hen(they thought was gone) showed back up with a bunch of chicks-----Nature Took its Course and she did not have "US" nosey Humans having our hands all in her nest candling her eggs and pulling them out at hatch time, looking under her, etc------That's why I do what I do---I duplicate nature as much as possible, still keeping them confined and safe and I have Great hatches with All My broodies---over 70 broody hens in just the last year.
Edited by PD-Riverman - 5/30/16 at 6:55am