Emergency egg/hen questionf

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by gatorridgechics, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. gatorridgechics

    gatorridgechics Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Missouri
    First off i want to thank you for readinh this. Alright I have a broody hen/egg question(s).  In October our middle aged hen Princess Lay-A started laying. At first it was sporadic then it was every day then it tapered off to about one a week. We want to increase our flock so we left her alone and waited. Then right around Jan 1st we counted 15 eggs in her box. It was then that she started sitting. For all of January I only saw her off the nest three times. By my calculations she should of been hatching around the 25 of Jan. Well that day came and went. We started thinking maybe there isn't anything going on in there but after reading about "psychological zero" and broody hens we decided to wait her out and she would let us know when she was done sitting. The eggs never stunk and she faithfully sat every day. Then around the first week of February she got off her nest in the late afternoon and Gator snuck in and got an egg to candle (picture below). I did the candling and took it back to her nest. When I got done, well I couldn't really tell anything from the egg, but when I got to her nest I counted the eggs to see if she had ditched any. What I found was 17 eggs! That is two more than what we counted in Jan. So now we obviously can't get rid of the eggs and start her over so we agreed to wait till the end of February. That brings us to today. Gator was looking the eggs over and dropped one. When it cracked open the yoke was kind of a milky yellow and there was a flesh colored blob in it with no bone structor. At this point I kinda feel lime we should mgive up on this clutch and let her start laying again. I also think if we truly want to increase our flock we should buy an incubator. What say you? Does anyone know what is going on with this bird or her eggs? Should we start again? And If you were ms would you buy an incubator? Please help me!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    I'll ask a real obvious question. Do you have a rooster? Are the eggs fertile?

    If you have a rooster and the other hens are laying, I'd crack a few and see if they show the bull's eye. This link has photos that might help.

    Fertile Egg Photos
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008&p=6

    If you have fertile eggs, I'd save a few, mark them with a Sharpie, and swap eggs with her. Toss the old ones and start her on the new fertile eggs. I'd give up on all the current ones and toss them.

    If you don't have fertile eggs and want her to hatch some chicks, you need to find her some fertile eggs. You can find the Missouri state thread in the "Where am I? Where are you?" section on this forum and post there to see if you have a neighbor that can help. Or maybe ask at your feed store to see if they know someone who has fertile eggs. Hens cannot count time. It is possible she will quit being broody at any time, but it is also possible she will continue to set there until the new eggs hatch. They are living animals. No one can say for sure what will happen.

    The other option is to break her from being broody. I'll give you a link for that.

    Break a Broody Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2176186#p2176186

    Hope this helps some and again :frow
     
  3. gatorridgechics

    gatorridgechics Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Missouri
    lol Yes we have a rooster. Our other hen has finaly started laying, although not everyday, in the last two weeks she has only laid 3.
    I am kinda new to this. I haven't spent any time with chickens since I was little. I just can not imagen the eggs are any good if she has sat on them for two full months now. I forgot to include a picture earlier. This is a pic of an egg we candled almost a week ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I can't tell anything from that picture. The egg you candled could have had an embryo that was a week along or so and died or it could have been a large meat spot (would have to see a picture of it to know). She can't keep sitting because she can deplete her reserves and die due to severely reduced food and water. I almost lost a hen who refused to eat and drink at the end, though she wasn't even sitting on eggs (no rooster, no fertile eggs, kept trying to break her up). I'd break up that hen, remove all the eggs and candle them with something more high powered like a slide projector or one of those more expensive flashlights like a maglite. If there is nothing, dump them all or if there seem to be some developing, you could put them in an incubator. Since you don't have one, I'd just dump all the eggs and break up the hen.


    In the future, don't let eggs collect in the coop that way. That's not the way folks do it with broodies. I remove eggs daily and collect them in the house, rotate out older eggs after a week or so, and if a hen starts being broody, then give her the fresh eggs I want her to hatch in a place where no other eggs can be deposited in the nest. Then I know what the actual hatch date will be, no guessing games.
     
  5. gatorridgechics

    gatorridgechics Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Missouri
    Thank you so much. I'm picking up an incubator today. My husband wants to do things naturally, but they way I look at it. We've spent two months letting her try it on her own, and not only wastes (probably) 17 eggs, but potentially put Princess in danger. I read the suggested post about checking if eggs are fertile and I took some from the fridge and checked. They were good! Clyde our guy has always been busy with our girls. And right now we get the eggs we eat from a co-worker who has several birds and more eggs than anyone can eat. I'm sad about these eggs though I hate to see life be wasted. I appreciate ya'lls comments. Thank you both again.
     

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