Broody Hen Sitting on Rotten Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MotherCharlotte, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. MotherCharlotte

    MotherCharlotte In the Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2012
    Southern Ontario
    Hello,
    This is my first post here. My husband and I just moved into our country home, and the woman who lived here before us left behind a few chickens she didn't want - 3 noisy roosters (which we will not be keeping for long!), a bantam hen and 2 chicks, and a broody hen who is sitting on about 9 eggs in a nesting box in the chicken barn. We basically have no idea what we are doing with these chickens as we have been city people up till now. They all free range the property except for the broody hen.

    We saw this hen (I think she is Cornish Cross) sitting on the nest when we were here for a final inspection of the property July 14th. Today is August 8th. So she has been sitting on the nest over 3 weeks for sure. We lifted her off the nest last night to have a look, and the eggs don't smell rotten but nothing has hatched. The hen was very agitated at being removed from the nest. So now we are not sure what to do - should we throw out the eggs and let the hen be upset, or should we wait until she decides to leave the nest on her own? She does leave every morning to eat, drink and poop, so I don't think she is going to starve.

    Thank you for any advice you can give us!
     
  2. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Songster

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    You might give her another week. Some of the eggs may have been added after she started sitting. You could also candle them. (there are tons of candling pics here and on the web to compare) If they look clear, probably infertile. If you see blood vessels or movement, could still hatch. If they are dark blobs and you can't tell, could be rotten or could still alive and ready to hatch.

    If she's been on nest 4 weeks and nothing hatches, probably not going to. Double or triple bag eggs and put in trash. Or if you are not squeamish, crack them just to see. If they are rotten, it it a terribly smelly mess and the smell lingers on hands or clothing even after washing. Just be prepared that you might see some embryos. It that would bother you, probably should just toss them.
     
  3. MotherCharlotte

    MotherCharlotte In the Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2012
    Southern Ontario
    Thanks Aggie. I did hold up an egg to a lightbulb last night, and it just looked like a dark blob. I have a feeling that the embryos died part way through development, possibly because we have had some extremely hot weather. But I will wait until the weekend before throwing them out, just to be totally sure. The hen still seems quite happy to be there anyway.
     
  4. MotherCharlotte

    MotherCharlotte In the Brooder

    27
    1
    22
    Aug 8, 2012
    Southern Ontario
    We waited for a few more days, and then removed the hen from the coop and carefully removed the eggs and put them in the garbage.

    The hen came back to the nest once or twice and seemed a bit unhappy but then she rejoined our little flock and seems to have forgotten the ordeal. :)

    Funny thing is, just today I noticed the other hen we have is sitting on a nest in the corner of the chicken coop - I wonder how this time will turn out.
     

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