Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sylie, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Sylie

    Sylie Songster

    May 26, 2014
    SE Iowa
    My bantam hen laid an egg within the last hour or so, but she is not sitting on it and it is cold, it should be fertile, it is her first, what do I do? I have no incubator and don't know anything about incubating eggs, can someone tell me what to do please? (I am freaking out! [​IMG])
  2. 20eas12

    20eas12 In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2014
    They usually only sit on them if they are broody. Mine hop off the nest as soon as they lay.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Collect the eggs and eat them. There is nothing wrong with fertile eggs for food. If you feel you must hatch them then collect and turn them a few times a day awaiting for how you will incubated them. Usually you wait for the eggs to get of size, first eggs are small, before starting to collect for hatching.
  4. Sylie

    Sylie Songster

    May 26, 2014
    SE Iowa

    Thank you :) I read somewhere last night that if you leave the eggs in the nest for a couple of days the hen may go broody and incubate the next one so I dated the egg (with a pencil on the shell) and left it, today she laid another egg, again she left the nest but within an hour she went back to the nest and sat there on the 2 eggs for over an hour but hunger won out and she got off the nest to go eat, never returned. It's a start! Maybe 3rd time's the charm? I will leave the 2 eggs in there another day and see how tomorrow turns out, I won't leave the eggs in too long since I don't want them to get smelly. I do realize the current 2 eggs won't hatch after getting cold but maybe if they are "training" or "encouraging" eggs...who knows. at least she's figuring out what to do.

    Also, this is very likely a silly question but it's always confused me, how do hens get so many eggs in the nest to incubate? are they other hen's eggs or does she just keep laying while she's incubating? If she continues to lay while she's incubating, does that mean she will never get done incubating? I mean, all of the eggs will be different ages, they won't all hatch the same day. Right? Or....

    I'm sorry, I'm relatively new to this part of chicken keeping, I have only had hens for eggs, no rooster, I just got my bantam rooster and hen this spring and decided to try to let her hatch one or two babies.

    As for the eggs being small, these are pretty decent sized for bantams, close to the size of a small egg from a regular sized chicken.

    My sweet little Cricket (the bantam hen in question) is such a good chicken, actually the rooster is amazingly sweet as well, it's kind of throwing me a little to be honest. I've heard all of these horror stories about roosters getting mean once they mature and begin to mate but he is still sweet and loves to sit on my lap (as long as Cricket is there too!) He always respects Cricket when doing the deed, when she says "knock it off" he immediately stops and tries again later. Is that normal for bantams? His upbringing is a story for another time but I think it may play into his temperament a little.

    Anyway, thank you again for your advice, I do appreciate it!

  5. mmmeyer

    mmmeyer Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    south jersey
    A hen will lay an egg a day for 1-2 weeks. if she's broody she will then sit on the eggs to hatch them out. The eggs are fertile and dormate. In that until she begins to set on them and raises the internal temp of the egg to a certain %. They are just eggs. Once the proper internal temp is reached the eggs fertilize and the chicks begins to grow. When a hen sets shes on the nest 24/7 except that she will get off the eggs once a day to eat drink etc.. This also drops the egg temp which for whatever reason is needed for the eggs to hatch properly. This is why all the eggs hatchout in 1-2 days . For details like temp and how many days etc. see the learning center.
  6. Sylie

    Sylie Songster

    May 26, 2014
    SE Iowa

    Okay, so, do I understand correctly...the eggs that are in the nest but not being sat on are still good for hatching? They can still be hatched? If so, how long can they sit in the nest without being sat on before they can no longer turn into chicks?
  7. jade1

    jade1 In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2012
    If you want to hatch them you will need her to be broody, which it doesn't sound like she is. You can collect her eggs and if she goes broody put them under her all at once at night.They will store for ten days somewhere room temperature and still hatch. Read up on it first!
  8. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Sr Chicken Wrangler

    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    Why try to hatch pullet eggs?

    Why not wait until she is laying full size eggs, I think you would have a better chance of getting chicks. Plus as I remember from my youth, pullets are not very good at incubating eggs. They are just too immature to be dedicated to the job.
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2013
    If a person waits atleast 2-3 months the pullet eggs are closer to the size of an adult egg, not quite but close enough...I successfully have hatched out those eggs..

    I had a six month old Maran go broody, I decided to allow it and gave her a few eggs, on the 18th day found an egg pecked open with a dead chick inside, since there was a good deal of blood I believe she felt it wiggle and got confused, I removed her remaining eggs to an incubator and put her in the broody break up pen

    That said, I just placed 8 eggs under a Jersey Giant who is 7 months old.. I cant help it, I will always give them a chance.

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