first timer, brooding questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Artistruth, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Artistruth

    Artistruth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Hi all,
    I'm new to the forum so let me know if I'm doing everything right...

    I have a 2 yr. old Austrolorp who is free range on 7.5 acres along with the rest of my flock. About a week ago she went missing (didn't go into the hen house at night) and I figured that she had become coyote bait or hawk dinner, but yesterday my son found her sitting on a nest of 12 eggs in the woods. We have 3 roosters (Cochin, Frizzle & Silkie) and she has been a favorite with them.

    They are guys that had been abandoned at my neighbor's house, obviously by someone who lives in the city & can't have roosters. I don't know if they are banty's or full size, as I have never had those breeds before. This is my second year of chicken keeping. I wouldn't mind having a few additions to my flock, since they do occasionally drop off with predators around here.

    I was worried that she would become prey for animals out all night, so after dark last night we picked her up off the nest and tried to settle her in an enclosed stall in the barn where she would be safe, and I wanted to be able to monitor her food & water...

    This morning my son said she wasn't on the nest, but when I just checked on her, she was on the nest. However, some of the eggs looked like she had rolled them out... she was on some, but not all of the eggs.

    I'm wondering if this will take, and she will be able to hatch some of the eggs? I don't know how long the eggs can go without the hen, etc. How long should I wait before candling them, or should I just let nature take its course?

    Thanks in Advance for any and all advice you can provide! [​IMG]
    Ruth in Oregon
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG] . Some of our hatching experts will hopefully swing by to answer your questions
     
  3. Artistruth

    Artistruth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Thanks Kevin,
    No replies yet... I have an update though. Mama is still on the nest tonight and has moved all but two eggs back under her. So, I'm wondering how long they can actually be off the eggs and still have them be viable. I think I will give her a few days and then candle them... I don't want to disrupt her any more than I have to. It was so traumatic to move her... She screamed all the way to the barn. Hoping to hear from anyone with more experience on the issue of how long they can be off the nest...
    Ruth
     
  4. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AL
    I would go ahead and candle the eggs that she is not sitting on. I've noticed that any egg that was rolled out from under my hen, ended up being rotten. You shouldn't disturb her to much. It's recommended to candle the eggs on the 7th day of incubation, but providing you have a bright light, you can usually be able to tell if there's anything in there by the 3rd or 4th day. Broodies will get off their nest for 15-30 minutes a day to eat, drink, do their business & occasionally dust bathe, so being off the nest for a little while is normal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  5. Artistruth

    Artistruth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Thanks Becci,
    I really appreciate the advice! I removed the one she's not sitting on this morning and candled it. It had been fertile at one time, but didn't look alive to me. This is my first batch of eggs... so I'm pretty inexperienced. She has moved all the rest of the eggs back under her. I may try to candle the rest of them tonight, if you think I should... I shooed her off the nest this morning to eat, because it didn't look like she had eaten anything or even pooped at all. I've been keeping out of there as much as I can though. As far as I can tell, this would be day 9 of incubation, but I'm not really sure.
     
  6. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Artistruth

    Artistruth Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Becci,
    Yes! I was just perusing the pics. I think I will do the candling tonight, just to make sure that I have viable eggs in there. She may have been off the nest for too long the first night. I don't know. That is what worries me. But as you say, she will know what to do!
    Best, Ruth
     
  8. Artistruth

    Artistruth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Well, when I went out this afternoon mama was off of the nest. One of the eggs was broken and they were all cold. She couldn't get out of the stall fast enough. I candled them all after I removed them. All but one had been developing, but none had any movement, and they were very cold. All looked like they had that 'blood ring' thing... no veins showing, etc. I'm sad that it didn't work out this time. Next time I will know better when one of my hens starts acting broody. I guess I should have collected the eggs myself & set her up in the empty stall to begin with, then tried to get her to set on them. Who knows if she will stay broody or not?
    thanks for the advice...
    Ruth
     
  9. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Honest, you did the best. There's always next time.
    Is she a first time broody?
     
  10. Artistruth

    Artistruth Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Becci,
    Yes, it was her first time... mine too :)
    Better luck next time I guess...
    Ruth
     

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