Broody hen abandoned eggs during development, what to do?? Help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 77horses, May 29, 2010.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    OK so my broody hen, Oreo, has been sitting on over a dozen eggs...So far, 4 have hatched. These eggs are all at different stages of development...Some are just beginning to develop, and others should be hatching sometime this weekend. That's how scattered it is because they were all laid at different times. Which has been fine, but now today Oreo has decided to get off the nest to care for her 4 already-hatched baby chicks, which means her 15 unhatched and still-developing eggs are left alone with no warmth. It's pretty warm out right now, but it gets chilly at night and it's not warm enough to keep those eggs warm without a hen or an incubator.
    Normally I would go ahead and take the unhatched eggs and put them in my incubator...But my homemade incubator is at my mom's house, over an hour away, and I can't get it back until this Monday (Memorial Day). [​IMG] I don't have any other incubators at the moment here with me, and no other current broody hen to put the eggs under. One time I had this happen before, but I had another broody hen and so I just put the abandoned eggs under her.
    So what should I do??? I doubt the eggs will make it all weekend without any warmth, so they can't say out there. At least two eggs should be closed to hatching...It looks like, when I candle them, the baby chick should be pipping the air bubble sometime this weekend.
    Help! I really don't know what to do with these eggs...I know that many or all of them have developing embryos in them, and if something isn't done quickly they will become cold and die. [​IMG] Is there any easy and quick way to save them (besides going and buying a whole new incubator?)

    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  2. kid-n-chickens

    kid-n-chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2010
    I dont know but have read on here before where others have put wet sand (wet for humidity) in a plastic box and put a heat lamp over the box. Would be worth a shot! At least till you get your bator back up and running!
  3. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Quote:Thanks! I've never heard of that! [​IMG]

    UPDATE: Oreo and her 4 baby chicks went back to the nest box during the day and shes sitting on the eggs again, at least for now because her baby chicks are still too small to not sleep outside the nest box I think. It's warmer and safer in the nest box so for now that's where they're staying and she's sitting on the eggs at the same time. [​IMG]
  4. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    Neat.........Let us know how it works out..............

    Good Luck [​IMG]
  5. Chic Chick

    Chic Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    East Central Alberta
    Why were you adding eggs under a broody hen at different times?
    You put a whole clutch at the same time...they can be laid on different days, up to two weeks, but keep them away from the hen until you have enough to put under her. Mark all the eggs and check every day in case any other hens might lay in that nest and remove the eggs that aren't marked. Otherwise move the hen to a private place where the others can't bother her.
    A hen will usually sit for only so long after the first chicks hatch and then they will usually abandon the late ones so they can look after the ones they have.
  6. missred871

    missred871 Eggxhausted Momma

    May 5, 2010
    Perry GA
    Quote:well, I shouldnt have to say that is obvious. I too have a staggered hatch but I removed my chicks from the hen when they were dry and put them in the brooder until I was ready to put momma with her babies as well as my 4 other hens babies LOL. I still have 4 more eggs, one should be coming out in the next couple of days. I hope she stays on there for you. Atleast until you get ur bator back. Have a good memorial day weekend.
  7. Bantimna

    Bantimna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    77... Could you ask your DF if he could take you to your DM's house?

    kid-n-chickens wrote:
    I dont know but have read on here before where others have put wet sand (wet for humidity) in a plastic box and put a heat lamp over the box. Would be worth a shot! At least till you get your bator back up and running!
    I agree with kid-n-chickens, I hope it works [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  8. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Quote:You see, that's my problem. I wasn't able to take out any eggs that other chickens laid in there because I was at my mom's house and she went broody unexpectedly, by the time I went ahead and candled the eggs she was sitting on and found out that she was seriously broody, it was too late; some eggs were ahead than the rest, and some looked like they were just starting to develop (some barely visible veining...some I wasn't sure about, but I didn't want to risk taking them out and then finding out the hard way that some development had begun [​IMG]). Also, our other broody hen was also taking care of a staggered hatch and already hatched out 4 chicks at the time, she got off the nest and left them, again I didn't have my incubator with me so my only choice was to move them to Oreo (the current broody right now).

    Bantimna- I tried, but he really doesn't want to drive over an hour to her house to get it and says "they will be fine". [​IMG] Well, for now, Oreo is still sitting tight on the eggs with her chicks, and just maybe she will stay on them until tomorrow morning...

    UPDATE: Two eggs didn't make it I think. [​IMG] One was squished by the mother hen somehow, I found out this morning, and another had pipped and gotten cool and the baby chick doesn't look like it's alive anymore...I can see it's beak and it's not moving or peeping at all. [​IMG] But I stuck it back under her and am hoping that it will warm back up and the baby will make it... [​IMG]
  9. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    UPDATE: Found one egg cracked and the baby chick didn't make it, another one had been crushed, and now a 3rd one if trying to pip still. Hopefully it makes it out! [​IMG] Oreo is still staying on her eggs and the baby chicks seem to be occupying themselves by walking around Oreo in the nest box, climbing on top of her back, and interacting with each other... [​IMG] Oh and theyir peeping seems to be encouraging the egg that is pipping. [​IMG]
  10. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    I've got a RIR hen that's been setting for a couple of weeks now. I put three eggs under her at first, but she swapped nests after a few days, and I tossed out the eggs, as they were cold. I put three more marked eggs under her then, and started over. We were away yesterday for most of the day. When we got home, she had swapped again. The eggs were cool, but it had been warm all day, so I put them back under her. My brother-in-law told me that he isolates his hens while they're setting in order to prevent this problem. I will be isolating her tomorrow. Do you reckon these eggs will hatch? I candled them, and they are all "full" with a small air sack. How long does it take for eggs to "die"?

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