Broody Hen. How do I tell if the eggs she's sitting on are fertilized?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by evnsfamily, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. evnsfamily

    evnsfamily Hatching

    Mar 2, 2013
    I have a silkie rooster, 3 silkie hens, and a polish hen together. I have seen the rooster mating with the hens, or at least trying to. I just don't know how successful he has been. A couple of days ago I noticed one of the silkie hens became broody and was sitting on an egg. My husband and I have discussed letting them hatch their own eggs to see how it goes. However, he went out last night and shooed her off the egg she was sitting on so that he could collect it. I was unaware he did that and so when I was telling him about her brooding this morning he told me he collected the egg. Argh! So I went to check on her and she was still brooding, sitting on nothing. I shooed her out of chicken house so she would go eat and then checked on her again this afternoon. She was sitting on an egg. Is there a way to tell if the egg she is sitting on is fertilized? If she is broody and sitting on unfertilized eggs that's not good for either of us. I'm new to the whole hatching eggs thing, as if you couldn't tell. Any help and advice would be much appreciated.
  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2013

    If you have seen your roo cover the hens then there is a darn good chace they are fertile, Ive read here that a hen can hold the sperm for up to two weeks and all the eggs she lays during that time are fertile... I know I didnt see my roo cover each and every hen but 23 eggs in my incubator have baby chicks in them [​IMG]... If you want her to sit on a few eggs you can always candle them in 7 days and you will know for sure if they are fertile or not.
  3. I have had hens lay eggs from a roo over a month after being with him. (Hatched an obvious mutt). It will take at least 3 days to have any chance of seeing something with candling. 7 days, like suggested above, is a good time. I would mark any eggs you want her to hatch so you can remove any eggs added later. You can crack open any eggs you gather and look for signs of fertilization. Infertile eggs will have a small white dot. Fertile eggs will have more of a bullseye mark.

    (picture googled - not my own)
  4. Leonie Binnie

    Leonie Binnie Hatching

    Feb 26, 2014
    We don't have a Rooster but our neighbor does, our hen went missing for a full day and night. How do I know if she is laying on a fertilized egg? She's been broody for a while but we just pick her up out of the coop. Please help!!!!! Leonie
  5. scali1971

    scali1971 In the Brooder

    Oct 9, 2011
    If she is broody I would bet they are fertile
  6. A broody hen will sit on golf balls. Broodiness has absolutely nothing to do with fertility. You can open the eggs when laid and look for the bullseye as I previously posted, or if you let her set you can wait 3+ days and candle the eggs with a flashlight for embryo development.

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