Broody left nest..... cold eggs ok for bator?????


10 Years
Dec 17, 2009
Rocky Point, NC
I don't know if it will still work but........ I have a hen that was sitting on a pretty large clutch of eggs. They were not started at the same time. The sister hen would get on top of the broody hen and lay and egg on her. 4 eggs hatched but one didn't make it. 3 decided to go roam and ended up outside. This is my guess since I was not home today. When I came home I went right to the coop and saw the chicks running around Momma. None of the other hens or rooster bothered them. Thank goodness. I felt the eggs and they were cold and saw 1 chick that had just hatched but probably died because the Momma bird went after her babies and got cold.

The bator has been set up knowing this would happen. I don't know what time of the day the broody hen got off her nest but it definitely was today. My guess is between 10:00 - 4:00. I quickly gathered up all the eggs in my shirt and put them in the bator.

So, what do you think? Do they have a chance? This is really my second time doing something like this. Once with the bator and once with a boody hen that hatched 1 egg. Now I have 3 cute little fuzzbutts and hoping to hatch out more.
Put them in the bator. I had a broody get back on the wrong nest after her daily consitutional and the eggs were ice cold when I got home. I put her back on the nest and she hatched out 9/10 viable eggs, the 11th one was clear.
All you can do is try. I have stuck some in the bator after the momma got up from the nest and some hatched. Also one baby was pushed out of the nest and halfway out of the egg and still peeping and felt ice cold. I took it inside and put it in the bator and it was totally fine after that. You never know. This was one of my broody's first hatch and sometimes they do goofy things with thier first batch of babies/eggs.
flgardengirl, this is my hens first broody batch. She isn't even a year old yet. Not till sometime in January. I was very surprised she went broody. I'll keep an eye on the eggs. Figured what the heck. Doesn't hurt to try, right? Glad to know you guys did it and you still got eggs to hatch. So there seems to be a good chance for them. Thanks.
i would try. if you can candle any, you can see if they have died or are not any good to begin with. my broody always manages to keep her babies with her, but i've heard of some saying, ok, i'm done.

good luck.
if you can candle

I have no way of candling the eggs. Also, they are Maran eggs which are very dark. I doubt I'd be able to see anything.

i've heard of some saying, ok, i'm done.

I think if the chicks had stayed with Momma hen she would still be sitting on the eggs. These babies are definitely giving her some exercise. I did block the babies where they couldn't get away from the nest box. You see, we've had a lot of rain and now the temps have dropped. I don't think it's wise for these babies to be outside in the cold mud. I'm hoping my plan works.

Good news. I see a spot in the egg where a chick has started to zip. That's what you call it, right? Zip when they really get moving? That's a good sign. Maybe I will get lucky and have a chick hatch each day.​
Hens often sit for a day or so after their chicks start to hatch, but once the kids are moving around, they need to forage. The hen's instinct is to abandon the eggs that may not hatch, rather than let her new brood starve. The only way a hen will continue to sit with chicks that are more than a day or so old is if the food and water are within beak's reach of the nest, and even then she may not stay.

I have taken many eggs that were partly incubated and got stone cold, put them in an incubator or back under the hen, and had them hatch. If you can't candle them, I would give them a sniff test. You don't want a bad egg to explode in the incubator! Fortunately, you can usually detect an off smell in an egg long before it builds up enough pressure to explode. If the eggs smell all right, keep 'em going - and good luck to you!
Thanks Bunnylady, I was just going to ask about a bad egg or two. I have 2 eggs where fluid seems to have bubbled through the shell. My first guess is that they are bad eggs and to take them out. I wanted to make sure though. Like I said earlier, this is all new to me. This is the second time I've dealt with the incubator. I didn't see this in the first batch. The eggs that didn't hatch I just tossed. First time I've seen fluid in a couple of places on the egg. Do I toss them? Will the response be THROW THEM OUT!! NOW!!!!!?

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