Do viable cracked embyos move?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lizzzzz, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. lizzzzz

    lizzzzz New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Hi, Feeling pretty crap here, have removed a bunch of eggs from under a broody hen, she had gathered everyone else's under her - I have had chickens all my life but haven't had roosters before. One services the bantams and the other services the larger girls. So I'm used to routinely removing eggs from broody hens. This girl has been quite persistent and friends have been suggesting I push her off to make her feed and drink.

    I was replenishing water near her brooding box today when she took flight - so I decided to take the eggs. I washed them in a bucket outside as I assumed they would all be off. But actually none floated to the surface the way an off egg often will. So I brought them inside and washed them again in the kitchen sink.

    I haven't ever candled an egg, and I will certainly do so from herein - I thought before discarding them I would crack them open to have a look inside. The first one had a large embryo inside, from pictures I have seen online since I would assume around day 10. Having never seen inside a fertilised egg before I assumed it had died and took it outside to the garden. I cracked some more, some had blood rings, some others had embryos at smaller stages of development. None had an odour of any kind, ,

    So. I have just killed my chics? Or had they already failed? I'm pretty devastated to think I have done that. None moved in anyway - the yolks were very runny, but it's a very hot day here today. If they were still viable would they have moved after I opened them?

    If they had already failed, would it be safe to assume that's because of inconsistent temperatures?

    Secondly, what's the best practice then with broody hens and fertilised eggs - to take them off her each day, or leave her some and see what happens? We aren't set up with an incubater or anything...... mainly just keep the chickens and roosters because they are so lovely.

    Thanks.....
     
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Unfortunately, It's very possible that there were viable chicks in the eggs. The yolk should have been intact and not runny if the embryo was alive tho. I know it's devastating to think you may have killed them because I did something similar with one of my first incubator hatches. After I assumed the hatch was over I took the last eggs out and threw them in the gravel pit. A perfect chick started peeping loudly. I tried to save it but it just wasn't ready to hatch yet with the yolk still attached. I still feel bad about it and that happened a long time ago. I didn't even know about candling back then.

    If she is so determined to brood why don't you let her keep a few eggs. It sounds like most of the eggs were fertile. It's a fascinating process to watch. Depending on where you live It might not be the best time of year for her to do it tho.

    I see this is your first post. Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG]
     
  3. lizzzzz

    lizzzzz New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Thank you so much for replying. I would like to leave her some to try. I only took the, because I thought they had been there a very long time. I just cracked them like a normal egg from reading today I see best to go from the bottom. I didn't know. Do you think thought there should have been movement if they were still alive? There was no movement after any were cracked. My way of cracking them cracked the yolk. There was no odour.......... How long do you think they would go with no odour of they were not viable any more. I could try writing dates on the, but I don't want to disturb her
     
  4. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I would think that there would have been some movement if the embryo was alive when you cracked it open. The one that looked like a 10 day embryo for sure would have been active. Whether they died in the collecting and washing process we will never know. As far as a smell that may not be an indicator of their condition. I have opened eggs left in the nest over a month and there was no smell. Out here they usually just dry up inside since we are a very dry climate. Stores are allowed to sell month old eggs because they don't easily go bad. As for how long the eggs would stay fertile for hatching, less than a week is best. Hatch ability decreases very fast after 3 or 4 days.

    If you give her some eggs to hatch then write the date down on your calendar along with the 21 day hatch date. Other hens may add to her clutch tho so don't be surprised at a staggered hatch. [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    There are many ways to manage a broody hen, but some management is necessary.
    Fertile eggs can stay viable for quite some time, fresher is better of course,
    but I gave broody an egg that had been in the refrigerator for almost 2 weeks and it hatched.

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     

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