Depressed and disappointed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by azygous, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Has anyone had a successful hatch beyond day 22 of broody-sitting?

    This is my first experience with having a broody hatch some eggs. Morgan, my one-year old Black Cochin was going broody every time I turned around, so I began collecting her fertilized eggs and when she went broody for the fourth time three weeks ago, I gave her the eggs and she began sitting on June 30.

    Over several weeks, I collected and saved a dozen eggs, swapping the older ones out as she laid new ones, so that I would end up giving her the freshest eggs to sit on. They were kept in a cool, dark spot at constant temperature. She's been doing a wonderful job sitting, only being off the nest for a few minutes twice a day.

    I've read that, by day 22, which is today, the eggs have to hatch or they probably have no chance of doing so. What are the chance that incubation may be like cake baking at high altitude - require more time? (I live at 7500 feet)
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I don't know about altitude but I do know not to give up till day 24 or 25. Have you candled any eggs to be sure they're developing?
     
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Yes, at least some of the eggs are full of something, and they have a different "heft" to them, like they're full of fluff rather than liquid.

    So, coming from an expert, I might still have hope?
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Yes, you might. And they do sound like they are good. Another thing you can try is the float test, which I think is kinda fun. Get a bowl of water that is warm, around 100 - 102 degrees and float a few eggs in them. Watch closely for movement. If any move, they've got babies inside. If they don't, well, probably baby gave up.
     
  5. SilkieChickenLover336

    SilkieChickenLover336 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If she was broodie then she wouldnt lay!!! also if you kept swapping the eggs from under her then no wonder why they wont hatch!!!
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:I think you misunderstood her post.

    OP, do you know how old the oldest egg was? I believe hatchability goes down a fair amount after a week -- though am far from expert on this stuff.
     
  7. SilkieChickenLover336

    SilkieChickenLover336 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think you misunderstood her post.

    OP, do you know how old the oldest egg was? I believe hatchability goes down a fair amount after a week -- though am far from expert on this stuff.

    OH wait yea i did....... [​IMG] oops [​IMG]
     
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I would estimate that her oldest eggs weren't more than two weeks old, since I kept taking the oldest one away from my dozen cache each time I added her latest egg.

    But how do clutches of more than a dozen eggs all hatch when hens lay them "free-lance"? She can't lay them all inside of a week's time. I've had a hen disappear and reappear a few weeks later with thirteen chicks in tow. (Many, many years ago when I didn't have a clue about chickens and couldn't care less.)
     
  9. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    If she is brooding in a nest that is asessible to other hens then the other hens can be depositing eggs in the nest. In this case it is best to mark the eggs you want her to hatch. Write the date on the calender.
    Only remove the unmarked eggs. Eggs can take anywhere from 21 to 25 days. The 21 day is usually a guide based on the normal average it takes to hatch.

    It sounds like you may not be sure on the actual time she has been on the eggs. Let her set a bit longer and watch for any signs of a quitter (funny/bad smell, seepage, bacteria ring when candling)
     
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Morgan has been sequestered in the broody coop and no other hens have accessed it. I do know how long she's been on the eggs since I carefully noted the exact date she began sitting.

    That said, it's moot now. I did the "water" test. No movement whatsoever. I gently shook the dead-in-the-water eggs and they sloshed inside. All but one. It didn't slosh with liquid. I replaced the one egg under Morgan.

    I took the rest of the eggs to the compost pile and cracked them open. A few had black blobs inside about the size of a caterpillar, and the rest just runny, yolk and watery white.

    The sole remaining egg had no movement in the water, but I'll leave it to Morgan for one more day. Then it's all over.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
     

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