22 days and no Chicks


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 4, 2011
I have a Buff O that went broody 22 days ago and still no yellow fur balls. She is sitting on her eggs, but when I went to go a collect the other hen eggs, she was sitting on the nesting box next to her original spot. I left those eggs alone and when I check on her she will be on one nest one time and then the other nest another time.

Like I said it has been 22 days since she started sitting on the original nest. At what point should I remove her and destroy the eggs????
I would wait at least another few days. I had a chick hatch at day 23 and my mom decided for me to wait one more day before I remove the egg and hen. Thankfully, because of that, that night a chick hatched. So don't give up quiet yet, just wait a few more days.
Has she been doing this switching all along? It really depends on how long she stays on her original eggs and how long off. If she has let them cool too much then it's probably already too late.

I usually move the broody hen and eggs to a hutch I have for separating chickens or to a large dog kennel used for such things as soon as I'm sure she is really serious. Easiest to do this at night, trying not to wake her too much. Put the eggs in her new nest first then let her settle in on them. Make sure she can't get out of this area for a few days. I dropped the ball on this once, depending on a hen's tendancy to be in her "broody trance" while on eggs and she called my bluff, going back to the henhouse to set on what she thought were her eggs again. After a couple days on lockdown she settled down and stayed on her nest with a successful hatch to show for it.
I will want until Sunday. That will be 26 days. She just started the switch thing, because I would collect the Eggs daily, so there was nothing for her to sit on. I thought maybe she moved her eggs to the new nest, so I left them.

Next time I will remove the eggs no matter what.

I can build another coop or modify my open coop for a nesting box. It is so hot down here I have a semi enclosed coop and another one that only has 2 walls and a vented roof. The guineas like this open one better, but I can enclose and build a baby raising coop.

FYI, Guineas can be a pain, it is hard to believe that in now consider a Chicken as brilliant when compared to the lack of Brains in a guinea
You could always candle an egg to check if there's any growth inside. I usually do it in a dark room with a torch shining it through the blunt end and if there is a shadow with veins around the edges, there's a chick. At 5 days there is a few veins branching out. At 12 days I can usually see veins with two blotches, one of which I can see a beating heart in. This will show you if it is still alive because if she's been setting 22 days, you shouldn't be finding 5 day old embryos.
(And obviously no embryo = no chick.)
I pitched the eggs that were in the nest next to her, and there was one broken rotten egg and one unbroken rotten egg that I could see. I think they got to cold when she would go a sit on the other nest.

I will give it one more day, and if no chicks the eggs will be destroyed.

To bad I love little yellow puff balls.

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