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Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by ryantollefson81, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. ryantollefson81

    ryantollefson81 New Egg

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    I have a 23 week old hen that has layed 9 eggs and I am not sure how long ago. I have 2 roosters also. These are her first eggs. Actually our first eggs ever!!! The hen is very protective of them. Do we leave them or take the eggs?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You say she is very protective of them. What does that mean? Is she staying on the nest practically all day and every night? If so, she is probably broody. Does she peck at you when you stick your hand in the nest when she is laying an egg? Plenty of hens will do that even if they are not broody. If you could explain what you mean by “protective” it might help.

    What are your goals? Personally I’d have been eating those eggs but different people have different goals. What do you want to happen?

    You cannot cause a hen to go broody by leaving eggs in the nest, especially a pullet just starting to lay. If a hen is thinking about going broody letting the eggs pile up in the nest might help trigger them going broody, but I’ve tried that a few times and really had no success. I did have a hen go broody once doing that but that was in a different nest without any eggs other than my one golf ball.

    Then you have the question about hatching pullet eggs. It is possible to hatch pullet eggs, I’ve done it. But you often don’t have great success with them, especially the very first eggs. For an egg to hatch everything has to be right. All the parts have to be in the egg in the right place and in the right proportions. It’s pretty common for pullets to take a few days or even a couple of weeks to get all the kinks out of their internal egg making factory. So that can cause a problem. Still, most pullets get it right to start with.

    The other problem is that the pullet eggs are pretty small. Even if everything is in the right proportion and the eggs do hatch, the chick that hatches is going to be pretty small. They are often not as strong as chicks from regular eggs. There are just not enough nutrients in that small egg to make a regular sized chick. I find that if I have a chick that dies after hatch it is usually a small one from a pullet egg. That does not mean they all die or even that a lot of them die, just that if one dies it probably came from a pullet egg. If they get past the first two weeks, they usually do really well.

    As I said I sometimes hatch pullet eggs, though I do wait a few weeks to set them. I sometimes have pretty good success with them, but sometimes I don’t.
     
  3. ryantollefson81

    ryantollefson81 New Egg

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    She stays with them most the time and pecks at you if you try to grab them. We lost 8 chickensto predators this year so wouldn't mind some chicks. But didn't know how well that work during the winter. I love in Kansas so it gets pretty cold. We didn't catch the eggs when she first laid them as we haven't had any lay eggs yet till now so not sure if they are still edible?
     
  4. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    If you want to test the eggs to see if they are edible, you can float them. Get a deep pan/bowl/bucket of water and place the eggs in it. Any that rise to the surface are inedible. If they stay in the bottom, or stand on one end, they are okay.
     
  5. ryantollefson81

    ryantollefson81 New Egg

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    We ended up throwing the eggs away and starting over. Since then she has been laying an egg every day! It is so exciting to go out every morning and get the egg from her nest. Now just waiting on the other 3 to start laying eggs. Is it true that chickens don't lay eggs as much during the winter?
     
  6. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, most of the time. There are some exceptions to the rule but if you have birds who have been laying, it is not unusual for them to slow down or even completely stop.
     
  7. ryantollefson81

    ryantollefson81 New Egg

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    Is it likely that the 3 will start laying eggs during the winter? We have artificial light in the coope?
     
  8. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    It is a possibility but my bet would be on late February or March. Let me know if the start before that.:thumbsup
     
  9. ryantollefson81

    ryantollefson81 New Egg

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    Well I went out this morning to get my egg..........and there was 2! One in two different nesting boxes!!!! So that must mean another one is laying right????? I am so excited!!
     
  10. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    yeah!!!
     

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