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Broody hen - but rooster is gone

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by angelami4, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. angelami4

    angelami4 New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2012
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    A little back story here - We had a Buff Orpington Rooster (young - was supposed to be a pullet ha! but he had just started crowing) that I was planning to keep so we could get some chicks. Unfortunately, he disappeared a few weeks ago.
    Today, we found one of my Barred Rocks in a larger coop that we purchased used from a friend but needs some work done on it. We've been slowly fixing the little issues it has. It has 3 nesting boxes in it. She is in one of the boxes with several eggs up under her and is refusing to come out. She is definitely broody. What should I do? Could these eggs possibly still be fertilized and hatched into chicks since the roo has been gone so long? Should I let her sit or force her out of the nesting box and take the eggs? I would think that some of them would be bad by now though since she's probably been in there at least a week or two by the looks of the number of eggs. (We've been trying to find her but didn't think to look in this coop.) Would love any ideas on this! Thank you!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    How long has the rooster been gone? Hens retain high fertility up to two weeks after the removal of a rooster, and some fertility may remain as long as four weeks. You could just candle the eggs to see if they are developing.
     
  3. angelami4

    angelami4 New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2012
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    It's been about 2 months since the rooster disappeared. I'm guessing a predator. We live on 20 acres of land and I don't know of any other chickens close by and our chickens stay in the yard area for the most part. How do I candle an egg? This is the first time I've had a hen go broody in the 2-3 years we've had chickens. I've only ordered day old chicks twice. We eat and sell the eggs and I've just never looked into hatching eggs or broody hens.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You can candle the eggs by shining a bright light through them in a darkened area - try an online search for a better description. Two months absence would mean no fertility, I am afraid.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are some articles in the Learning Center at the top of this page about candling or just follow this link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-and-raising-chicks

    I agree with Sourland. If the hen laid for two weeks before she started incubating and has been setting for two more weeks, that’s still a month since the rooter was around. Not much hope of fertile eggs but it doesn’t hurt to candle.
     
  6. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say after that length of time the eggs are no longer fertile. You could always see if any neighbors may have fertile eggs that you could place under her.
     

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