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Abandoned eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickenD7, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. ChickenD7

    ChickenD7 In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015

    I'm hoping some of you could give me some guidance....

    We noticed about a week ago that we had two broody hens (one red sex link and one black sex link). We decided to leave the eggs in the coop so as not to disturb the mother hens and interfere with incubation. Since then, one of the broody hens (red) has abandoned her eggs, but the other hen (black) has taken over sitting on them, which leaves her (black) original clutch unattended. I have no way of knowing which eggs are still viable and which should be removed. I don't want her (black) to waste her time sitting on eggs that aren't going to hatch because of getting too cold when the mother hen (red) left them. Now, the other clutch that was being originally incubated by the other hen (black) has been abandoned. Do I have any chance at all of hatching chicks? Should I just remove all the eggs and start over? How can I tell if the eggs are still viable or not? Mother hen (black) is dedicated and committed to sitting. I want her to raise some chicks and not be working in vain. Poor girl....:(

    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

    Chicken D

  2. How many days have they been setting?
  3. ChickenD7

    ChickenD7 In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015
    About a week...
  4. You may be able to candle the eggs and get rid of any clears. Maybe then the rest of the eggs will fit under the hen.
  5. azoh10

    azoh10 In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2014
    Can any one tell me if there a website how to gather eggs from hen if the cold of egg sitting in nesting box unattended for a few hours if I can put those eggs in my incubator? Or do I have to be right there when a hen laid the eggs.
    Thank you
  6. ChickenD7

    ChickenD7 In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015
    The problem isn't the hen being able to set on all the eggs. My concern is whether or not I should allow my hen to continue setting on eggs that, have possibly, been left alone for too long before she began to set on them. I'm afraid the eggs may have gotten too cold and may no longer be viable. I feel like I should do something so she doesn't waste her time setting on eggs that won't hatch. Perhaps, I could replace the eggs she's setting on with new, fresh eggs now that we know she's committed to setting. I want to be careful about interfering, though, because I don't want her to stop brooding, if that's possible. I've tried candling other eggs, but it's difficult for me to fully recognize what I'm looking at. We are new to this and our eggs are brown! What signs should I look for to show that the embryo is alive and still viable versus one that should be discarded at day 8? Are there any hints or tips that could make candling effective for a beginner? Thank you so much, enola, for helping!
  7. By day 10 you should be able to see obvious veins in the egg. Can you get a stronger light to candle with?

  8. ChickenD7

    ChickenD7 In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2015
    Yes, I'm going to find one today. I've been researching candling to get a better idea of the best methods, best materials to make my own, or the best commercial candler.
  9. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Songster

    May 18, 2013
    Omak, Washington
    My Coop
    You will need something like this 5,000 lumen flashlight... fashion a cup that fits over the lens and around the egg.... then you will be able to see blood vessels forming inside the brown shelled eggs... You may have to do the candling in a darkened room... like a closet....
    Hens leave the eggs several times per day to do necessary stuff... the eggs aren't harmed... put all the eggs under her until you can candle them.... If you are going to continue to hatch eggs at home, the flashlight will be a big help... you can scramble the clear eggs and feed the chickens...

  10. malndobe

    malndobe Chirping

    Aug 6, 2013
    S. CA
    Depending on your temps all the eggs may still be viable. Hens, even when broody, have to leave the nest at some point to eat/drink, even if it's a very quick one.

    I had eggs in my incubator last year, my son accidentally hit the switch on the power strip. The incubator was off for over 24 hours before it was noticed (have a turner, set and forget type thing). I think it was closer to 48 hours but don't remember for sure. The incubator was in the house, so the temps got into the high 60's low 70's but it's not like they dipped into the 30s or 40s. I went ahead and turned it back on and hoped for the best, over half those eggs actually ended up hatching. So ...

    I would candle the eggs, toss any clears or blood rings, then combine both groups into one for the broody hen to sit on. Even if they got started a few days apart she may still sit until all of them hatch. My last broody did, after 75% of the chicks hatched she spent a lot of time off the nest caring for the brood, but she always brought them back to the nest for naps/nighttime. That was enough heat I guess because over the course of the next week, every egg in that nest finally hatched. This was during the summer so outside temps during the day were in the 70s but I think the eggs aren't always as fragile as we tend to think.

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