First time broody hatch not hatching... help please!


5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
Essex, UK
Hello everyone, from sunny Essex, UK :)

I have a silver laced pekin bantam who went broody some 4 weeks ago. Although I have kept chickens for some years now, I have never before had a broody, so this is all a learning curve! She was obsessively stealing the other hens' eggs and sitting tight, so I bought her half a dozen fertile Araucana eggs to sit on (I don't have a rooster). I have isolated her from the rest of the girls and she has been doing a fabulous job of sitting on the eggs and growling at me every time I go near, however, we are now on day 23 and there is no sign of any hatching going on :-( I did try candling the eggs at day 7 and found it very difficult to see anything other than big blobs... no obvious blood vessels and certainly nothing that even vaguely resembled the pictures I saw online! I'm not sure if that's because of my technique/ inexperience, the fact that the eggs are deep blue, or whether they actually weren't viable in the first place. I could do with some advice please, as I'm not sure how much longer I should let her sit there. I lifted her today to check the eggs and she really did not want to be moved. Should I give her a bit longer? Or would it be better to take her off the eggs and put her back in the run with the other girls? As she still seems so keen on sitting on the eggs, should I discard this clutch and give her some new ones? I really would appreciate any advice that is offered :)

Many thanks in anticipation



12 Years
Mar 15, 2010
On the MN prairie.

If there was no obvious veining, or anything else that resembled the pictures you have seen online, I would guess that your eggs were not developing. (Maybe not fertile, maybe something happened in the shipping process, who knows?) At this point, I think it's safe to say that they're not going to hatch. It wouldn't hurt to wait just a couple of more days to be sure, if you want to do that. Do you have anywhere you can get some day-old (or close to it - less than a week old) chicks? That's what I have done in your situation, just because I feel sorry for the hen. I figure she did her job, she should get something out of it!
If you were to do that, you could get the chicks, keep them in a box in your house (with some heat on them to keep them warm) until dark, go out, slip the chicks under your hen and remove the eggs. Now, me - I'd be cracking open those eggs to find out if they had even started to develop. (This is best done outside, standing upwind from the eggs. Some people put the egg in a ziploc baggie before breaking it open.) But I'm curious that way. Oh, you had one more question. I would not get her another clutch to brood. I don't know if she'd eventually give up and abandon the clutch or not. I think 3 weeks is long enough to go with barely eating or drinking anything.

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