Broody & unsure

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CaptnGreever, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. CaptnGreever

    CaptnGreever Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    My lady, Meriadoc, had been broody for about a month. Wouldn't leave the coop AT ALL, refused to eat or drink... This is the first of any of my girls to show signs of being broody in the least, so I marked 3 eggs and let her sit on them... She has barely left the coop other than to eat and drink for a few minutes in the morning. There's been a couple of times that I've caught her sitting in the wrong eggs and I've had to shew her back to the 3 marked ones. I'm not sure if they were fertile or not. I tried to candle one and it just looked like the egg was completely black save one light air pocket in the pointy end. Today is the 21 day mark... Should I let her sit for a few more days and see if they hatch at all? Or when should I take them away from her if they don't hatch? I guess I'm asking how long should I let her sit on these eggs past today's date?
    I know that generally the first time they don't always do a great job at turning them appropriately or sitting on them right - so I'm not really expecting them to hatch. I guess I'm just curious about others experience with first time broody hens.
     
  2. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    Oops ... that she was sitting on the wrong eggs a couple of times. That's not encouraging, but all is not lost necessarily.

    I would wait a couple of days. At least two. Maybe three. Some times that time when the eggs were cooled can cause the hatch to be a little late (or not happen at all, sad to say). But I am all for not giving up hope too early.

    My experience with first time broodies was a little different from yours because I have dedicated broody pens/arks where the hens can't confuse their eggs with anyone else's and no one can come in and lay more eggs or bother the broody hen. I move the broody (at night) to the broody pen after she has sat on eggs for about 3-4 nights in the main coop, then I see if she remains broody and settles on some eggs I don't need, then if she seems settled for 24-48 hours on those eggs, I take them away and I give her (at night) the eggs I want hatched. That's usually how it works, but sometimes, they sneek off or set in one of the nesting boxes before I'm really paying any attention or have time to do anything. However, it's nearly foolproof with the small broody pen.

    Great name ... Meriadoc!

    Candling was super difficult for me at first ... for a long time. It kind of comes to you all at once, I think. [​IMG] And then you wonder why it was ever difficult. But maybe that's just me. But actually I don't always candle the eggs under my broodies. It gets the broody all upset and I have a difficult time getting her back in the pen/ark, which is a disaster! Because then she is off the eggs all night and sometimes stops being broody. Of course, all broodies are different, but mine seem to all hate me digging around underneath them too much.
     
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  3. CaptnGreever

    CaptnGreever Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    That's a great idea about moving them into their own separate pen... Good thinking for next time! She moves her eggs a lot too... From one box to the next, and sometimes out of the nesting box entirely and just sits on them in the middle of the coop. A separate pen would be good because I'm guessing the movement had to do with the other ladies encroaching on her. (Or her feeling that they were doing so.)

    I'm uncertain about the candling because at first when it was dark and a light air pocket, I figured they were just doomed and done for. But I've read a few things and seen a few pictures that look the same as mine. I should have candled from the get-go. But I never thought of it until now. I don't see any spider veins at all. Just blackness and then an air pocket at the pointy end. I think they might have started to develope and then stopped and I'm going to have to toss them. I'll give them another week and then give up and toss them probably.
     
  4. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2012
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    Um ... that may be exactly what you see when you have a chick inside!!!

    That air pocket at the pointy end ... if it's truly on the pointy end instead of the fat end, then that's what I see when I incubate in an incubator when there are actually chicks inside.

    The air cell is in the fat end of the egg. Go candle some eggs from your fridge to see what I'm talking about with the air cell in the fat end of the egg.

    To see the air cell in an incubated egg at 20 days, you have to shine the light across the top part of the egg because if you shine the light from the bottom, you can't see the air cell at the top because the chick is in the way not letting light get through to the top (fat end) of the egg.

    At least that's how it works for me. [​IMG]
     

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