HELP! I think I messed up

chicks and hens2

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 28, 2011
129
3
93
Newbie here, Anxious for broody hen to hatch a clutch so I'm sure I've made too many switches to have any viable eggs
I have a setting Eastern Wild Hen her first full day of setting was March 17th. There are 2 nesting boxes with a total of about 337 eggs now. She was setting in nesting box # 2 but when she briefly steps out ( or gets out if I go in and it disturbs her) she goes into back nesting box #1 instead. (I have 3 hens laying). I think I messed up because I figured she was forgetting which nest she was sitting on, so I moved all the eggs into one nest into nesting box #2, which she can't possibly cover all of them, then one of the other hens would go into the nesting box with her which I thought was OK, she'll help keep them warm, but I think she was just adding to the clutch. At any rate, hen #2 hasn't decided to go broody SO then I took out the cold eggs that hen #1 couldn't cover (she hissed at me then ran out of the box) and put them back in nest #1. when she went back into the coop she went in box #1 NOT #2 so I tried to get her to go back into box #2, but that just scared her so I left and she settled back into nesting box #2.She was only off for 5 min's or so, But I'm wondering If I should just take all the cold unattended eggs into the house so she stops trying to go into the other nest box or wait it out to see if one of the other hens goes broody? The others are still laying eggs. They've been laying for about 3- 1/2 weeks now..I don't know which eggs came first because I never marked any of them (dummy me,now it's too late to know what's newly laid and what's older.
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Newbie here, Anxious for broody hen to hatch a clutch so I'm sure I've made too many switches to have any viable eggs
I have a setting Eastern Wild Hen her first full day of setting was March 17th. There are 2 nesting boxes with a total of about 337 eggs now. She was setting in nesting box # 2 but when she briefly steps out ( or gets out if I go in and it disturbs her) she goes into back nesting box #1 instead. (I have 3 hens laying). I think I messed up because I figured she was forgetting which nest she was sitting on, so I moved all the eggs into one nest into nesting box #2, which she can't possibly cover all of them, then one of the other hens would go into the nesting box with her which I thought was OK, she'll help keep them warm, but I think she was just adding to the clutch. At any rate, hen #2 hasn't decided to go broody SO then I took out the cold eggs that hen #1 couldn't cover (she hissed at me then ran out of the box) and put them back in nest #1. when she went back into the coop she went in box #1 NOT #2 so I tried to get her to go back into box #2, but that just scared her so I left and she settled back into nesting box #2.She was only off for 5 min's or so, But I'm wondering If I should just take all the cold unattended eggs into the house so she stops trying to go into the other nest box or wait it out to see if one of the other hens goes broody? The others are still laying eggs. They've been laying for about 3- 1/2 weeks now..I don't know which eggs came first because I never marked any of them (dummy me,now it's too late to know what's newly laid and what's older.
I am assuming that the 337 is a mistype and that you meant 37. That is still too many eggs for a nest. It is my opinion that you have already messed around far too much with your turkey and her nest.

My recommendation is to pick up all but a few of the 37 eggs, mark the remaining few (I use a pencil and scribble on them so I can determine the original egg/eggs from a distance). After doing that leave your turkey and her nest alone. She knows a lot more about what she is doing than you do..

Good luck.
 

chicks and hens2

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 28, 2011
129
3
93
Yes, I meant 37 sorry, Thought I proof read it before I sent it out. She is and has been back on the correct nest, but the eggs that I moved last night to the first nest box, I actually brought in the house to day since no other hen wanted to set. I think she still has too many under her but I can't move them now I don't think because they have probably starting forming into poults.I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
I did leave 3 eggs in the first nest box and marked them with an X so I would know which ones to get rid of since they are probably a lot older. I'll date the other ones as they are laid until another hen decides to be broody. I haven't read the other posts yet so will see what others said to do.
Thanks All
 

chicks and hens2

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 28, 2011
129
3
93
I am assuming that the 337 is a mistype and that you meant 37. That is still too many eggs for a nest. It is my opinion that you have already messed around far too much with your turkey and her nest.

My recommendation is to pick up all but a few of the 37 eggs, mark the remaining few (I use a pencil and scribble on them so I can determine the original egg/eggs from a distance). After doing that leave your turkey and her nest alone. She knows a lot more about what she is doing than you do..

Good luck.
37 was the total number of eggs in both nests, she's setting on about 15 now. The other hens were laying new eggs in her nest, so it was hard to keep the number down. What is the most a hen can successfully set on? I've read several different numbers from 8-10 all the way up to 18. She doesn't get off the nest unless she has to so it would be heard to mark the ones she has remaining. I agree that I have messed up, thanks for the input. I won't make that mistake again.
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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37 was the total number of eggs in both nests, she's setting on about 15 now. The other hens were laying new eggs in her nest, so it was hard to keep the number down. What is the most a hen can successfully set on? I've read several different numbers from 8-10 all the way up to 18. She doesn't get off the nest unless she has to so it would be heard to mark the ones she has remaining. I agree that I have messed up, thanks for the input. I won't make that mistake again.
I had a hen last year that didn't go broody until she had 24 eggs in her nest. She certainly gave the appearance that she could cover all of them. Your hen should easily be able to cover 15 eggs. It sounds like she is now setting very well so I would just leave her and her nest alone and just wait for the outcome.

Good luck.
 

chicks and hens2

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 28, 2011
129
3
93
I had a hen last year that didn't go broody until she had 24 eggs in her nest. She certainly gave the appearance that she could cover all of them. Your hen should easily be able to cover 15 eggs. It sounds like she is now setting very well so I would just leave her and her nest alone and just wait for the outcome.

Good luck.
Well... All the eggs that I took from the nest yesterday had NO veins appearing when I candled them last night. and after that I washed them off and put them in a glass of water to see if they were still good and they all sunk.We ate several this morning and NONE had any of the rounded circle in a circle- type marking(can't remember the correct term) that would indicate that they were fertile, so maybe none of them are fertile or maybe hers are but the other 2 hens that have contributed to the nest aren't. I did take some more away from her today because there were still over 20 eggs under her.I took the cold ones that she wasn't able to cover anyway, AGAINST her wishes. I'll leave the rest with her and see what happens.If none are fertile how long before they rot or explode. I read that some in incubators explode if they aren't fertile.
 

markb816

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
129
3
111
Middle Tennessee
I would leave her and the hen alone. You can't change what already has happened or what you've done so far. But going forward, I would leave her and the nest alone. You don't want to stress her out or confuse her. She should be left alone and let the hen mess it up, if you don't get the hatchings you're looking for. Turkeys are fairly good mothers, and her great instinct is 100X's better than your good intentions. I know it can be frustrating and you just want to help, but let her do or job, or what's next?... You're going to help the babys crack open their eggs to get out??
wee.gif
Everything will be fine.
 

kuntrygirl

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
22,031
784
461
Opelousas, Louisiana
I would leave her and the hen alone. You can't change what already has happened or what you've done so far. But going forward, I would leave her and the nest alone. You don't want to stress her out or confuse her. She should be left alone and let the hen mess it up, if you don't get the hatchings you're looking for. Turkeys are fairly good mothers, and her great instinct is 100X's better than your good intentions. I know it can be frustrating and you just want to help, but let her do or job, or what's next?... You're going to help the babys crack open their eggs to get out?? :weee Everything will be fine.

 


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