help...confused about broody hen and egg laying and hatching

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bassfishrman, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. bassfishrman

    bassfishrman Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2007
    Here's my situation:

    I would like for my hens to hatch eggs for me to replace some I lost to a fox recently. I have 2 hens that are broody. When they became broody, they layed 1 egg and would not get off of it. The problem is they both quit laying after 1 egg. I have read about hens laying a clutch of eggs before beginning to incubate them. Why won't my hens lay more than 1 egg? It has been 7 days since they layed the 1 egg. I know I can put other eggs under them, but I want to understand more about this laying a clutch of eggs thing.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, you were probably collecting their clutch of eggs while they were leading up to going broody. So, that was the last egg they laid before getting down to serious business. If they've stopped laying, the countdown to hatching is pretty much started, so you'll need to give them whatever you want them to hatch. Seems like there's about a one month lead-in time before they quit laying, at least in my experience.
     
  3. bassfishrman

    bassfishrman Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2007
    speckledhen,

    Thanks for the reply...but one question?

    if there is a lead in period, how would i know they were going to become broody? I was taking their eggs every day because they would lay them and then leave the nest until the next day.

    If I want them to hatch eggs for me, should I just leave the eggs in the nest for a few days and just wait to see if one of my hens become broody?
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You really won't know what's going on with a hen's hormones. I know mine really well, so I can tell some of the subtle signs she gives. My main broody took a solid month to really start setting after she gave me the signs. If you want them to go broody, you can still collect the eggs, but store them between 45-65 degrees and replace them with fake ones. If the hen goes broody, then you can put the real ones under her, but they will only keep at most two weeks for optimal hatchability, one week even better.
     
  5. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cynthia that was explained so well even I understood - thanks!
     

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