Brooding Hens Killed by Varmit! Incubator Emergency Questions...

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! Barely know what I am doing...reading instructions as fast as possible!

    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 1.5 " long with all appendages including beak clearly developed (very very small though, and no feathers). 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!

  2. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    Well, 30 hours would really be pushing the possibility of them hatching, but I wouldn't give up, as you say it might have been less time than that. After a day or 2 in the incubator you will be able to candle them and see if there is any life in them.
    You don't need anything fancy to candle them. A cardboard box with a 1 inch hole in it set over a light bulb in a darkened room will allow you to see good enough to tell if they are alive.
    As far as turning goes, 3 times a day will do. Some people use when they get up, when they get home from work, and bedtime as their turning times. It doesn't need to be a set number of hours or anything between turns. An odd number of turns each day prevents them from spending the longer stretches of time in the same position.
    I don't have an answer as to what stage of development your eggs might be at. If they keep developing you can just stop turning when you see the first pip.

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