Does a hen know if her egg is fertilized?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jencleg, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    3
    113
    May 5, 2011
    Jasper
    I have a cochin that is sitting on one egg. I have a few questions....

    1. Does she know if the egg is fertile?
    2. Will she continue to lay eggs?


    Thank you.
     
  2. Kagu

    Kagu Chillin' With My Peeps

    714
    1
    113
    Feb 18, 2012
    like shes broody?


    we need some more info...


    do you have roosters?

    No hens dont know if they're egg is fertile or not, if they go broody (wanna hatch eggs) they will sit on a non-fertile egg, any egg from any animal, THEY WILL EVEN SIT ON NOTHING! No she wont continue laying until you break her broody, which can be done by taking her off of the nest several times a day


    is she sleeping on the egg?
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    66,586
    17,438
    836
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    No, there is no way that hens can tell whether or not an egg is fertile. If she is truly broody, she will stop laying.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,490
    3,885
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree. She does not have a clue if the egg is fertile and she will not continue to lay if she is truly broody.

    My test before I give her eggs to hatch is that she has to stay on the nest for two consecutive nights instead of roosting in her favorite spot. If she cannot give me two consecutive nights on the nest, I don't trust her with hatchng eggs.
     
  5. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    3
    113
    May 5, 2011
    Jasper
    I noticed that she was 'missing" yesterday evening when I went to let the kids out of the run to play a while, and I was terrified she was dead in the coop. I opened the door and she was snuggled in a suspended drawer we used as a nesting box. She did come out to get some food, and while she was out, I felt around for an egg, and there was one there, all warm & toasty [​IMG] she went right back to the egg. I have not had a chance to see what she is doing today but she stayed in all day yesterday. Never coming out to free range with the others. I do have a rooster in with them. He is a bantam cochin like her. He has never seemed to be very accurate on his mating [​IMG] but I did see a bullseye like dot on one of the bantam eggs I pulled out the other day..... Can I candle it in a few days? 3 days? Thank you guys for all your help!
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    66,586
    17,438
    836
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    3 days you may see veining - five days veining for sure.
     
  7. Jencleg

    Jencleg Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    3
    113
    May 5, 2011
    Jasper
    A few more questions...I am a nervous wreck!

    How do I get it out from under her to see it is viable?
    Is there anything I need to know about handling the egg??
    Will she only lay that one egg to be hatched?
    Or should I try to sneak on of the other Bantam eggs under her & see what happens?
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,490
    3,885
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    How do I get it out from under her to see it is viable?

    You have a couple of options. You can pick her up and throw her out of the coop. Or you can just reach under her and get it. It might be beneficial to wear long sleeves and maybe gloves. Leather gloves work real well.

    Is there anything I need to know about handling the egg??

    Just keep your hands clean. You don’t want to get the egg dirty.

    Will she only lay that one egg to be hatched?

    Usually hens lay a lot of eggs before going broody. I’ve seen hens hide a nest and lay 18 eggs before starting to brood. But you never know.


    Or should I try to sneak on of the other Bantam eggs under her & see what happens?

    If you put other eggs under her, remember that it takes about 21 days for eggs to hatch. If you start eggs a day or two apart, she might hatch them all or she might not. When the first chicks that hatch are ready to leave the nest to get food and water, she will abandon any unhatched eggs and let them die. She will take care of the living chicks.

    It is best to collect all the eggs you want her to hatch and start them at the same time. And mark them so you know which ones they are. You need to check under her daily to remove any other eggs that might show up. The other hens may lay in the nest with her or she may steal eggs from another nest and bring them back to her nest.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by