Can I replace the 'duds' under my broody hen after 1 week?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by klw987, May 23, 2019.

  1. klw987

    klw987 Hatching

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    Hi all! I'm new here, this is my first post! I have a broody hen, sitting on 7 eggs from a neighboring farm. (I don't have a rooster) Tomorrow will be day 7, and I have a few questions!
    1. I am completely new/ untrained to candling eggs, other than YouTube ;). Should I reasonably be able to tell if anything is happening in the eggs? They are all varying shades of brown eggs.
    2. If nothing is developing, is switching out the eggs an option? Or should I not do that? Will the hen abandon the nest a week before the new eggs would hatch b/c she thinks they are duds? Or, will she stay on the nest, but it would be too long for a hen to sit since I know they lose a lot of body weight when broody.
    Thanks!!
     
  2. Virginia and James

    Virginia and James Songster

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    Welcome to BYC! Others will chime in to say lots of cool stuff too, but I'll put $0.02 in.
    Yes, you should be able to see blood vessels at day 7, probably a dark spot that is the baby.
    This is one of my legbar eggs on day 7.
    20190519_221901.jpg
    And my hand looks creepy. Jeez.
    If your girl is broody, and I mean BROODY, switching eggs is fine. Chickens can't count to 21 days, or 6 eggs, or whatever. If nothing is developing and she seems healthy, you could switch. If she is wasting away, look in to incubating those eggs.
    Oh, and here's some motivation for ya
    20190523_172233.jpg
    Keep us posted!
    -V
     
    klw987, HuffleClaw and Harmony Fowl like this.
  3. Harmony Fowl

    Harmony Fowl Songster

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    Just wanted to add that if you see that some eggs do have shadows and veins that represent healthy growth and some don't, you'll want to leave the good ones, remove the duds and don't replace them. A mixed hatch isn't a good thing when a broody hen is doing the incubating. When the good eggs hatch, the hen won't wait another week for the rest you added later to catch up. She'll just leave the nest with her hatched chicks before the others are ready to hatch.
     
  4. klw987

    klw987 Hatching

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    May 23, 2019
    Thank you both! I checked last night and again today to be certain, definitely no development in the eggs. The broody hen is vigilant and doesn't leave the nest more than once/day or even every other day. Today I got lucky and she took a brief break, so I switched the eggs. We'll see how it goes! Fingers crossed these eggs take, and she sticks it out for 3 more weeks!
     
  5. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    David, Chiriquí, Panama
    A hard boiled egg sprinkled with powdered chick vitamins & minerals for your broody hen (served to her on the sneaky sneaky so the others don't know) will help ease the lack of calories, vitamins and minerals that broody hens experience. It's a lot of protein packed in that egg without a lot of waste.
     
    klw987 likes this.
  6. klw987

    klw987 Hatching

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    May 23, 2019
    Update- I switched the eggs out on day 7 after confirming that there was no development in the first batch. I put 8 new eggs in from a different source, waited a week and checked those eggs. 6 are showing growth!! If they continue to grow and hatch, I have no idea what type of chickens to expect. The rooster is a sizzle (silkie x frizzle) and the hens are a variety of regular breeds (buff orpington, buckeye, barred rock, easter egger, golden buff). Want to take guess on what to expect?
     
  7. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    David, Chiriquí, Panama
    Your hatch should be getting close, right? Please let us know how that turns out and PICS are always welcome!
     
    klw987 likes this.
  8. klw987

    klw987 Hatching

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    May 23, 2019
    Candled the eggs at day 14 and all six seem to be on track. They should hatch in about a week. Mama hen is currently sitting on the eggs in a nesting box about 6 inches off the bottom of the coop. She is in the middle box of 3. My options are:
    1. Do nothing.
    2. Move them to a nesting box on the floor and block off about half the coop for them.
    3. Leave them where they are but remove one or two of the walls so that she and the chicks have space for me to add food and water.
    Advice?? TIA
     
  9. Harmony Fowl

    Harmony Fowl Songster

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    Can you make the chicks some steps or a ramp? I've found that by the time mom leaves with them, they can jump up an obstacle the size of a brick, so I use those at the entrance to the coop where a railroad tie would otherwise present too large an obstacle for some. Or a little ramp, just a small piece of wood leading to the nest, maybe with some bricks or stones to prevent it from accidentally being pushed away. There are good reasons to move them sometimes, but it's pretty much always easier not to move them. All your options are good ones, though. If you can create her her own space, I think that's best, but not 100% necessary. If you can create her space without moving her, that's even better. Not all will continue to sit when disturbed to that degree. Every mom I've had appreciated food and water nearby.
     

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