Another hen added egg to broody's clutch this morning.

Bookworm chick

Songster
10 Years
May 27, 2009
227
0
109
Salem County, NJ
I had relented and put two eggs (marked) under the persistent broody yesterday afternoon. This morning another of my hens got in the nest when the broody left to eat. I removed her and put her in another but when the broody returned the hen squeezed in with her.

My question is whether I could leave this additional egg for her to hatch or would the 16 hours difference be too long. The broody is settled firmly on the nest. Up until this morning the other hens had been laying in the other nest. We won't be able to isolate her until this weekend because the hubby will have snow removal duty.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,264
23,475
907
Southeast Louisiana
Isn't it interesting that they'll do anything they can to make life a bit more difficult.

As you know, chicken eggs hatch in about 21 days after incubation starts. Some hatch in a little less and some hatch in a little more. There are diferent theories why. I saw a University of Virginia paper that thought it was an inherited trait. Some people claim it is due to incubation temperatures. I personally don't know why.

A chick can go two or three days without food or water. And hen will take her chicks off the nest when she is ready. With all that said, it would probably work out OK but you are taking a chance. If the two that have started are a bit early and this one is a bit late, you could have problems. I don't know what the odds of that happening actually is, probably not real high, but it depends on your risk tolerance. I personaly would not do it but my situation is different to yours. I would not start a broody until I had a dozen eggs to put under her.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
382
341
Ontario, Canada
I don't think 16 hrs difference is likely to be a big deal - and, I mean, the worst that happens is that it hatches late enough that it doesn't survive, which is no fewer chicks for you than if you removed the egg - but you probably do want to make sure that they are all now well-marked so you can remove any FURTHER eggs that hens add to the clutch. I made the mistake of not doing this with my broody last summer and ended up with WAY staggered eggs and a poor hatch
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Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

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