Brooding Chickens Killed, How Long do I have?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by XCTRACKCOACH, May 17, 2009.



    May 17, 2009
    Opossum found its way in to kill my two brooding chickens. The eggs have been laid on for about 10 days or so. The eggs could have been without hen between 6 and 30 hours. How long can an egg that far along go without a hen? I have transferred them to an incubator now, but wanted to see if there is hope for this batch of 24 eggs. THANKS!

    PS. Temp never got lower than 50 degrees, and this morning when I found the issue, it was 60 degrees.
    ALSO, I cracked open a few of the eggs that I thought might not be salvageable and found that the chicks were about an inch long with all appendages including beak clearly developed (very very small though). About how much longer should it take from this point to have them hatch. I read that I have to turn the eggs every 5 that correct? My incubator has a fan for even heat. Thanks for the help everyone!
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  2. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Depends on the weather in your area and just how much the eggs chilled. I would give them a few days in the incubator and then candle them to see what is going on.
  3. ChickyLaura

    ChickyLaura The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Mar 31, 2009
    Eastern/Central PA
    I'm not sure, but I would stick them in the 'bator like you did. That's really ashame that momma got killed. Good luck, hope it works out.

    I read that if the power goes for awhile, you're supposed to take the lid off and let the eggs cool until the power goes on again. I think I read that in Storey's book.
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    If only six hours you have a good chance, I have had broodies return to the wrong nest, leaving thier eggs uncovered for 1/2 of the day and still had a good hatch, but agree with above if its 80 degrees out they can go longer unattended then if its 30 degrees out. [​IMG]

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