Do broody hens know if the eggs they're sitting on are okay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yoni242003, May 7, 2009.

  1. yoni242003

    yoni242003 New Egg

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    Apr 9, 2009
    West Sparta
    I have a Bantam hen that has been sitting on her nest for about 20 days. When she first started sitting on them there were about 13 eggs and after a week or so there were only about 9 eggs. I am guessing one of our other chickens got a hold of them??? She has been sitting ever since and I have only seen her out of her box once since then.

    My question is, do they know if the eggs they're sitting on are any good? We have 2 Bantam roosters so I am 99.9% sure they are fertilized. Can they tell if there is something wrong with them??
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I am NOT an expert on this, but I don't believe they can tell. I've heard too many stories of eggs exploding under broodies. I would recommend candling now, and discarding any which are bad. Hopefully someone else will chime in...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  3. sjh

    sjh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I do not think they can tell. I have a broody rode island white that sits on new eggs every day. I can garentee they will not hatch. I have no rooster
     
  4. yoni242003

    yoni242003 New Egg

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    Apr 9, 2009
    West Sparta
    Okay, so I went in this morning and I noticed a broken shell behind her. If the eggs actually hatched, do the hens sit on the chicks to keep them warm??
     
  5. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    Hens do protect their chicks, yes. If you saw a broken eggshell, but no chick, maybe the egge exploded?
     
  6. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    I have had broodies push out eggs from the nest. When I picked up the egg and smelled it, it was definately bad. But other hens will sit on eggs that just won't hatch. After all the eggs hatch and she leaves the nest I take all the unhatched ones and break open to see what happened to them. Most of them were infertile, but I did come across an occasional two week old that just died but didn't start stinking yet.
    I have also had 2 broody hen sitting next to each other and they would steal each other eggs. One would get up to eat and come back to 3 or 4 eggs, while her broodymate was busy trying to stuff 18 eggs under her. I would have to go and equalize the egg count each day.

    Cory
     

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