Chickens, laying and sitting and related questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spiral_72, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. spiral_72

    spiral_72 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2010
    Chesnee, SC
    My chickens laid their first egg Friday!!! YEA! I posted my first egg pic too [​IMG]

    Friday she laid an egg. I kinda want some chicks so I left it for her to sit on. Saturday another one, Sunday another. That's THREE eggs, but she still hasn't sit yet. I was worried they would go to waste so I put them in the fridge. From my reading, that may not have been correct though.

    I've been reading on the newest chicken activities. In an effort to validate what I think I've read, and put it all in one place for others..... please confirm or deny and comment/correct any of the following:

    #1 If I have an active young rooster, chances are the eggs are fertile.
    #2 If my chicken lays an egg (and I want chicks) I should just leave it, let her lay more and she'll eventually sit once she decides she has enough.
    #3 If she lays several eggs and never comes back to sit, after one week I should discard them (do not eat at this late time)
    #3a is she lazy? young? too hot or any of many reasons not interested in sitting?
    #4 If she sits, after the gestation period beginning the day she starts sitting, I should discard any unhatched eggs, or at the point she quits sitting.

    I imagine I'll keep track of all this stuff by writing small dates on the egg. Does this sound reasonable?
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Welcome to BYC!

    A new laying hen almost NEVER goes 'broody'- that means wanting to sit on the eggs till they hatch. Is your hen fluffing up and growling at you when you go near her when she is on the nest? Is she spending more time on the nest then off it? If no to those questions- she will not be hathing out any babies.
    Also, you should not try to hatch the eggs from a new layer- they are almost always too small and the chicks die before they can hatch. It has been done, but not often with success.

    You might want to look into a cheap incubator and egg turner if you want to hatch eggs.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    It is not usual for hens who have just started to lay to be broody. I think by just leaving the eggs you are wasting them, I would eat them.
    When the hen is ready to go broody (related to a hormonal change in the hen) she will do so. hens most usually go broody in the spring and early summer.
    I would not encourage her to go broody at this stage as a mature hen will make a much better momma, but leaving eggs in the nest boxes when she is older will probably encourage her. Adolescents usually do not make the best parents,

  4. spiral_72

    spiral_72 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2010
    Chesnee, SC

    Well, that pretty much shot all I thought I had learned.

    I forgot to mention I think my egg-producer is a RIR (my only RIR hen after the coon attack [​IMG] )
    The rest are sexlinks, which I thought would lay white eggs, but something I just read says that may not be true. They're not laying yet.

    Aside from that.... I suppose we'll eat the eggs until she's a little older..... until when/if she starts sitting. I'd like to have some more RIR hens running around [​IMG] How old do you suppose a RIR hen would be to be considered "Mature" enough for mother-hood?? She's 18 weeks right now.

    Thank you BYC!

    Gosh, I have so many more questions. I try to read up on this stuff, then my reading never seems to be completely accurate.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Some breeds are more apt to go broody than others, and some breeds have had the broodiness bred out of them, (they did not keep eggs from hens that went broody) According to my chart, RIR are not real apt to go broody, but sometimes, people do get lucky.

    Broodiness can not be induced, it is a hormonal change that naturally occurs, and without it, the hen will lay an egg and leave the nest. Even if you were to trap her, she would not sit on the nest.

    If she does go broody, she will not get off the nest, if you take her off the nest, she will get right back on, and when you go to move her, she will lift her feathers, making herself bigger, and will growl and often peck at you. She will appear to be in a deep trance, until you get too close. She will sleep on the nest. If she has stayed like this for 2 or 3 days, then is the time to slip fertilized eggs under neath her.

    It would be my best guess that you are at least a year away from this. My own buff orpingtons were 14 months old when they went broody.

    Eat your eggs and enjoy. Having a broody hen is fun, and watching her with chicks is great, but you don't want a teen age mother, or broody hen. They need to have a bit of age and size on them, so they are good mothers.

  6. spiral_72

    spiral_72 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2010
    Chesnee, SC
    Awesome. Thank you very much.

    Eatin' them is no problem for me [​IMG]

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