911 - Broody Hen gone, need to build incubator!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NewEnglandChick, May 30, 2010.

  1. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    119
    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    One of my hens has been broody for about 13 days. I finally got her some eggs to sit on 3 days ago - she was very happy. I was away tonight for longer than normal and when I got home and went to close in my hens there had obviously been a tussle and she was missing with 1/2 of her eggs broken in or around her box. The rest of the girls were on their perch and fine. (My husband suspects a racoon came in, went for the eggs and when she didn't give them up easily he took her instead.) Needless to say, I'm HEARTBROKEN as she was my first broody hen and I was really looking forward to her hatching these eggs and being a mama.

    6 eggs seem to be intact and in good condition. I've been looking at the incubators online and am quite confident that my husband can easily build one of the cooler or styrofoam cooler ones - but I need some advice.

    First of all...how much time can the eggs sit before being placed in an incubator? If we can't get the stuff together and built and stabalized should I even bother keeping the eggs or am I just giving myself false hope? Do I start their 21 days over...or does her sitting on them for 3 days count for anything?

    Next - I'm trying to read the highlights on the "how-to" page focusing on Bill Worrell's Dry Incubation page (but feel in my emotional state that I'm missing the bullet points of how to incubate eggs). Does anyone have anything to add, or any sidenotes that a newbie should know? I'm talking the BASICS!

    - Where do you get an old computer fan on short notice?
    - What's a water wiggler and where is the most likely place to find one?
    - What type of thermostat have people found to work best?

    Any help would be appreciated. The easier this project is the better, as my poor husband won't be able to deal with my emotions and a failing project!
     
  2. LaSombra

    LaSombra Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Washington
    I really don't have any advice, but I read this and felt so bad for you!! That poor momma hen [​IMG] I hope you can get the incubator put together in time to hatch those eggs... I've had a hen off her nest for several hours before in the winter and the eggs felt cold and still hatched in the end. I don't know how long your eggs have been without momma, but I'll be thinking of you! *hugs*
     
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
    17
    321
    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Eggs can go for several hours without the mom. I've had bators lose power for as long as 14 hours.

    If your hubby is handy I'd start by using a light bulb and a cooler and trying to manually create a 100 degree temp by covering the top of the cooler partially with wood or whatever you have.

    In all honesty while it's possible for this to succeed it's rather improbable. You may want to just accept the loss and get the heartbreak over with. With that said if it happened to me I'd be keeping the eggs as warm and stable as I can until I can run out to a Tractor Supply and buy a $40 Little Giant incubator.

    Best of luck with this. I'm crossing my fingers for you.
     
  4. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    119
    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    Amazing Update!!! She's alive and she's back! [​IMG]

    I got home at about 11pm last night (which is, at most, an hour after I normally shut the girls down). One of the nestboxes was moved halfway across the coop, there were fluffly feathers everywhere and 7 of the eggs Rudy was sitting on were either smashed or severely cracked...but despite that I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion!

    I went out this morning and she was sitting on the step that goes into their run. I let her into the coop, she hoped up on the roost with her sisters, looked down at her nestbox, jumped down and started rolling the "good" eggs around, and the sat on them as if nothing had ever happened! (My second thought, after just being thrilled she was okay, was that she left the nest cause she wasn't broody anymore - so this was a good sign!)

    I'm encouraged, PurpleChicken, as she has been off the eggs for at least 9 hours - and probably not more than 12. I've got my fingers crossed that the remaining surviving eggs will be okay! [​IMG]
    Now, instead of an incubator, I'm going to have hubby build her her very own mama hutch inside the coop...so she can't get out, and nothing can get in! Not taking any more chances!

    This really makes me wonder what goes on in there after hours. I'm thinking about installing a camera...
     
  5. LaSombra

    LaSombra Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Washington
    Quote:That is great news!!!!

    glad to hear she's back in the nest and good idea for him to build a mommy hutch. I had to learn the hard way that it's best to keep momma separated from the rest of the flock... even though I'd been told before. I guess I can be hard-headed. Let us know when they hatch... and pics!!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by