broody then not

RoosterDon

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 19, 2014
116
4
63
Austin Texas
our broody hen inherited eggs every time she went for a break and ended up sitting on 16 eggs. she hatched two of them, now is leaving the eggs when she comes down from her nest to take a break. her two chicks follow her, and the two chicks can't get back in the nest, so naturally the hen stays down with them till. the rest of the eggs have gone cold now three times. i just put them in my incubator. the eggs are varying in age from "should hatch now, to having 10-15 days left".

any suggestions? when the eggs have been in the right temperature and humidity for awhile, i will candle them.

will candleing be effective now?

if the eggs have been left and went cold multiple times, should they be dead eggs now?

thanks.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,202
491
Long Beach, WA
It's very normal for a hen to leave a clutch of eggs after only a few have hatched. That's why, if you want all the eggs to hatch, you need an incubator just in case this sort of thing happens.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
More than likely you are looking at a baby chick cemetery rather than a new flock. It is extremely frustrating to attempt to serial hatch chickens.

Leave a "few" nest eggs but remove, and properly mark each and every egg with a X on one side of the egg and an O on the opposite side. Then date every egg from which ever hen or hens that you want chicks from. Properly store your hatching eggs and when your hen goes broody return the 15 freshets eggs to her nest after you are sure that she is serious about becoming a mommy. Discard the nest eggs once you have replaced them with the eggs that you want hatched. Never allow other hens to fight with or lay in the nest of a setting hen. I can guarantee you that you won't like the outcome. Instead move the hen, her nest, and the eggs as a unit to a small maternity pen.

Read up on how to properly store hatching eggs to learn about the Xs & Os. I would say that improper storage of the hatching eggs is responsible for most of the poor hatches reported by new chicken keepers and an incubator will not solve a poor start in life for a baby chick.
 
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