Cold temps and a clutch!

evergreendors

Chirping
Jan 29, 2018
43
29
59
I have 2 different clutches started in both of my coops. They do not have a hen on them. It is supposed to go down into the low 20's tonight. I don't want to take the chance of the eggs freezing and being useless for either consumption or hatching. What should I do? I have an incubator that is 4 days in on a hatch, can or should I bring them in and put them in there? Can or should I just bring them in the house and put them back in the boxes tmrw am? Very confused...
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,295
701
Central PA
Bring them into the house, replace them with golf balls, and wait until the hen's actually setting. Works for me...

Do you know that your hens are going broody, or are you just hoping for a setter?

EDT: If you put them into the incubator for more than six hours, they might start to develop. If you put them into the cold after that, the hatchlings'll just die.
 

evergreendors

Chirping
Jan 29, 2018
43
29
59
I have several broody hens...but no golf balls.

Yes I know I cannot put in bator then back out. I was thinking I could just put in bator and I could do all the work instead of the hens!!!
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,295
701
Central PA
I have several broody hens...but no golf balls.

Yes I know I cannot put in bator then back out. I was thinking I could just put in bator and I could do all the work instead of the hens!!!

Staggered hatching isn't something I would do with four days' separation. Two weeks, yes, so that you can make up for the extra humidity they experienced early. Two days, also good. Four days... I think the eggs would have too much humidity from the other eggs' lockdown and wouldn't survive.

Golf balls are just what I use. I've also used plastic easter eggs (glued shut), Styrafoam balls, infertile eggs, etc. Hens are easily confused if it's approximately the proper shape.
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,295
701
Central PA
Do I need the golf balls if the hens aren't setting on them yet?
No, though if you remove the eggs, a lot of the time the hens will start collecting eggs in a new spot. I like the golf balls because I can leave them in the nest without attracting rats or snakes. If a hen starts setting, I can switch the balls out. They also encourage the hens to lay in the nest boxes instead of in the barn top.

(Remember, a nest from which eggs constantly disappear is an unsafe nest. A rat or a snake is probably eating them, and a wise mumma doesn't want to set there.)

It's also great for when I'm collecting eggs to hatch from a specific pair, but haven't got enough. I use the golf balls until I have a full clutch, then switch--no staggered hatches!
 

evergreendors

Chirping
Jan 29, 2018
43
29
59
No, though if you remove the eggs, a lot of the time the hens will start collecting eggs in a new spot. I like the golf balls because I can leave them in the nest without attracting rats or snakes. If a hen starts setting, I can switch the balls out. They also encourage the hens to lay in the nest boxes instead of in the barn top.

(Remember, a nest from which eggs constantly disappear is an unsafe nest. A rat or a snake is probably eating them, and a wise mumma doesn't want to set there.)

It's also great for when I'm collecting eggs to hatch from a specific pair, but haven't got enough. I use the golf balls until I have a full clutch, then switch--no staggered hatches!
Great thoughts! Thanks, I will be heading out today to find golf balls, or plastic eggs, or something to switch with... in the meantime I brought all the eggs in last night so hopefully all will be well.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,762
32,560
1,092
On the MN prairie.
I have several broody hens...but no golf balls.

Yes I know I cannot put in bator then back out. I was thinking I could just put in bator and I could do all the work instead of the hens!!!
I'm a little confused... If you have several broody hens, why do you need golf balls, and why aren't they setting on the eggs you want to hatch? Are they already on other eggs?
 

evergreendors

Chirping
Jan 29, 2018
43
29
59
I'm a little confused... If you have several broody hens, why do you need golf balls, and why aren't they setting on the eggs you want to hatch? Are they already on other eggs?

They just started laying again. We had 2 hens setting (after a clutch of 10 was achieved) but my puppy got into the coop and ate the eggs. So hens are laying again but not setting as there is only 4 eggs. I got balls today put them in and now they are setting. I will be switching out with eggs as soon as I have enough (tomorrow).
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,762
32,560
1,092
On the MN prairie.
They just started laying again. We had 2 hens setting (after a clutch of 10 was achieved) but my puppy got into the coop and ate the eggs. So hens are laying again but not setting as there is only 4 eggs. I got balls today put them in and now they are setting. I will be switching out with eggs as soon as I have enough (tomorrow).
So they're laying. Broody/setting is when they decide to hatch those eggs, staying on the nest, day and night except for the once a day or so when they go eat, drink, poop, and stretch their legs.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom