Egg hatched one week "early" ....

JosieG

Hatching
Mar 5, 2018
9
8
9
Perth, Australia
I purchased a dozen fertile eggs 2 weeks ago to place under a broody hen. The breeder said she had just the day before placed some eggs into the incubator, so I took a mixture of eggs that had been incubated for 24hrs, and eggs that had received no heat. I figured if they hatched one day apart the mum hen could cope.

Just returned home from a weekend away to find mum off the nest and strutting around the coop with a chick! Its pretty feathered and dry already so i don't know how old it is. I picked it up and put it back in the nest, and put her back on the eggs. She seems settled but I'm now wondering whether she will sit out the next week, or decide that the remaining eggs are not viable as they haven't hatched at the same time as the first one.

I don't have an incubator, and even if I got a friend with an incubator to assist with the hatching, I'm guessing she won't accept 11 new chicks if she has a single week old.

Any thoughts or experience on whether she will sit it out, what I can to do make sure she does, or do I get rid of the first chick and hope that 'resets' her incubation urge?

Not buying pre-incubated eggs again!
 

JosieG

Hatching
Mar 5, 2018
9
8
9
Perth, Australia
Thank you. No I didn't candle them. The problem isnt that the rest haven't hatched - they shouldn't have hatched as the hen has only been sitting on them for 2 weeks. The problem is that one of them was obviously incubated for one week not one day as claimed, and so is out of synch with the rest of the batch. My concern is that now one egg has hatched, the hen will give up incubating the remainder of the clutch before the eggs have been incubated for 21 days and so they will never get the chance to hatch.....
 

casportpony

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Thank you. No I didn't candle them. The problem isnt that the rest haven't hatched - they shouldn't have hatched as the hen has only been sitting on them for 2 weeks. The problem is that one of them was obviously incubated for one week not one day as claimed, and so is out of synch with the rest of the batch. My concern is that now one egg has hatched, the hen will give up incubating the remainder of the clutch before the eggs have been incubated for 21 days and so they will never get the chance to hatch.....
I was asking because if you had candled all of them you would have seen that the one was a week along. Was curious, that's all. As for whether or not she sits until the rest hatch, I think there is a good chance that she will.
 

JosieG

Hatching
Mar 5, 2018
9
8
9
Perth, Australia
Thanks - put my mind at ease. Never occurred to me to candle them before putting them under her, I know its a good idea at 1 week and 2 weeks but have never heard of it being recommended at the start. Will give it a go next time.
 

aart

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Nov 27, 2012
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OyVey!!

I always candle eggs before setting in bator look for cracks or other probs and mark air cell.

But come to think of it, :he
I did not candle the broody eggs that are now one week in.
Tho I know they weren't pre-incubated.

Best of cLuck to you.....and Welcome to BYC!
 

Miss717

Songster
10 Years
May 5, 2011
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Rushville, NE
I was asking because if you had candled all of them you would have seen that the one was a week along. Was curious, that's all. As for whether or not she sits until the rest hatch, I think there is a good chance that she will.

Will she stay sitting if she already has one chick hatched? I thought a hen will only stay on her eggs two maybe three days tops if she has a chick under her.
 

JosieG

Hatching
Mar 5, 2018
9
8
9
Perth, Australia
That's what Im worried about. Has been 2 days so far and she is still on the eggs, so we will see. However the chick is getting more adventurous which is causing problems - its following her out of the nest when she leaves at lunchtime to stretch her legs and poop, and then can't get back in - my hen house is raised off the ground and the ramp and steps are both too steep / high for it. Ive been coming home from work at lunchtime to put it back in, and she happily follows and goes back on the eggs, but if I don't put it back in i think she would be happy to scratch around all afternoon with it in the garden...
 

JosieG

Hatching
Mar 5, 2018
9
8
9
Perth, Australia
An update in case anyone comes across this in future and is in a similar situation:

Its Friday morning. 2 more chicks hatched yesterday morning, and another one over night. Now that I have other chicks to compare to, I reckon the first one must have been at least a day old, if not 2, when we discovered it Monday afternoon. So lets say it hatched Sunday morning...which means chicks #2 and #3 hatched 4 days later, and chick #4 hatched almost 5 days later.

She is still sitting on the nest, although is getting up several times a day for a scratch in the yard with the oldest chick. So long as I give her 10 mins to do her stuff then put her back, she seems happy enough to go sit on the eggs again. But you can see she is not quite as 'trance-y' as she used to be.

Got a friend with an incubator on standby, but also read some threads on here last night about incubating in your bra which I may also give a go if required! Hatch date should be tomorrow and Sunday if they are on schedule, although this experience has proven there is no such thing as a schedule for chicks!

I was wondering why the hatch dates are so spread out. As well as the obvious 'more than one day in the incubator' scenario, I was actually wondering how likely it is that eggs can start to develop simply if the ambient room temperate is warm enough? Im in Oz and its late summer. The lady I got the eggs from had them stored in her loungeroom and it was nice and warm - not as hot as a chooks breast, but still toasty. Is it possible that they had started to develop while in storage??
 

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