Day 21- I think my broody just quit!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by coops gone crazy, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. coops gone crazy

    coops gone crazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2012
    OK- I started 21 days ago with 12 eggs. By a week ago we were down to 3 (2 FBCM, 1 Lav Ameraucana). I had a silkie and a blue orpington (Helen- has had cataracts since she was 6 mo old, partially blind......can still eat and get around but she misses when she pecks sometimes and occasionally stumbles off low drops). This is the first time letting her brood. She is about 3 years old. They had already been broody a few weeks when I took the jump and ordered eggs. After losing 9 eggs- found some broken shell, never found the others...suspect she ate them once they broke or something (yes they are isolated in a very small coop with no holes) I kind of decided it was very unlikely we would get any chicks. Yesterday she was off the nest a lot. Even laying out on the coop floor once. The silkie stopped brooding about 7-10 days ago but I left her in there because she did sit in the nest with Helen at night and I figured 2 warm bodies were better then 1.

    Well- today Helen was off the nest for over 3 hours. I decided to feel the eggs- they were pretty cool. I brought them in to candle to see if there was any hope. Couldn't see in the darkest one. Could a bit in the lighter brown one- good air cell, veins....maybe movement but may have been my imagination. Started on the blue one- good air cell......it started peeping! Set up the incubator. Popped them in- but I REALLY don't want to hand raise any chicks right now. Put 3 similar unfertile eggs back in nest. 30 min later......Helen was sitting on them! Swapped them with the fertile ones. Helen stayed on them another 1/2 hr or so....then back off and now has been off for a good 45 minutes. Sigh. My thought is to let nature run it's course......but then.....Grrrrr....

    Advice?
     
  2. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Finish them out in the incubator and once hatched, put them under her at night and see how she does. Just be prepared to take them back from her if she isn't a good mother.
     
  3. coops gone crazy

    coops gone crazy Out Of The Brooder

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    That's my current thinking. I went back outand they were getting cold again. They are in the bator now. Only problem is I leave for a 24hr shift just after 6am tomorrow.
     
  4. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    does your bator double as a brooder? some you can leave the chicks in after they hatch. if so then I would just have someone come check on them and then take care of the chicks once you get home.
     
  5. coops gone crazy

    coops gone crazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah- they can stay in it. I guess first to focus on step 1- see if any hatch. Then I will worry about the rest later.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A hen has a natural or ingrained sense of how long it takes to hatch eggs. When her bottom gets sore she thinks that the time is up and she will leave the nest and give up the attempt to hatch the eggs you gave her. It sounds to me like your hen may have been setting for a month before you put fertile eggs under her. Brooding eggs is how nature intended for chickens to replicate themselves, it is not a hatch or bust suicide pack.
     
  7. coops gone crazy

    coops gone crazy Out Of The Brooder

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    I realized it was a risk with her being broody for a while. My other broody had finally stopped sitting after about 9 weeks last time she was broody so you just never know how long they will persist. Just rough to see them stand up late on day 20.......
     

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