Hen and Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by teamsunbelt, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Songster

    May 23, 2011
    Midland, NC
    My father inlaw has a broody hen. She started with 6 eggs. She is in a hidden nest. She has been on the nest for about 2 weeks. The other hens have laid to her over the last few days, probably up to 15 eggs now. Should we candle the eggs to get her back to the original 6? She has so many now she can not cover all of them. Another week and the original should hatch out. Can we candle and mark them to make sure we keep the goods ones for the next few days if they lay to her again.?

  2. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Songster

    May 23, 2011
    Midland, NC
    Never got a reply, so this is what we did.

    I pulled out every egg from under the hen. Candled them, and put the best back. We found 21 eggs total.

    7 that looked to be about ready to hatch.

    7 that had agood signs of development, probably around 10 days.

    7 more that had no signs. We cracked one of these to find out it was fertile and had a heart beat.

    We put the first two groups back. I am thinking she will hatch the first group, and then maybe hatch the second if she will sit there with the chicks a few more days. Or, she will leave the second batch. There were 2 other hens there that laid the extra eggs.
  3. Niss

    Niss Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    I am sorry you didn't get a reply. I am too new to advise you. I have yet to get a single chick from my broody, but it's just now day 21. Good luck!
  4. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Oh my goodness you have fertile eggs coming out yer ears! Lol
    do you have an incubator? She probably won't wait a week for the second batch and even less likely that she will hatch the third group.

  5. Quote:You did good. However, the second batch probably won`t make it. Hens usually leave the nest on the second day after the hatch, so the second group of eggs need hepl. At that stage, you might set up a hatcher, which is a box, container, etc. ,that has a light and can be temp controled , to finish the 2nd batch off. they will be pretty close to lockdown time when the hen leaves the nest.

    If you had left all the eggs under her, she would have had a pore hatch as eggs would have been rotated out in the cold during normal turning. You did good.........Pop

    Edit to say, don`t forget to raise the humidity in your hatcher. You can put in a bowl of water with a sponge as a wick. Crude, but better than just letting them die.

    Another idea is to remove the early chicks so she finishes the later eggs. Ya gotta have a brooder set up for that.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Sometimes the right people don't see the questions. Sorry but that sometimes happens on here. There are a whole lot of good people on here that would have been glad to help you if they saw your post. But on the 4th of July, many were probably busy with other things.

    What I usually recommend if you let a hen hatch with the flock is to mark the eggs you want her to hatch (I use a Sharpie) and check under her every day to remove any other eggs. You were right to reduce the number to an amount she can cover. If you don't, the developing eggs can get shoved out where they cool off and die, then they get moved back under her and other good eggs get shoved out and die. Yoou very seldom get good hatches when that happens.

    Since you have had two hens adding to her nest and you started with 6, what I expect to happen is that most of the original 6 will hatch. A very few of the others might, the ones that were laid the next day or two, but not really any more than that. At some point, usually about two days after the first one hatches, she has to decide if she keeps setting on the unhatched eggs or take her living hatched chicks to find food and water. She should abandon the nest and any unhatched eggs at that point to take care of her chicks.

    Yiou could try a couple of things. If you have an incubator, you could put any unhatched eggs in it in lockdown mode when she abandons the nest. But you'll probably have to raise any of those that hatch in a brooder yourself. You might be able to add a couple nore chicks to her brood, but probably not all of them. They could be hatching for another two weeks.

    This one I would not do, but some people have. You can try taking away the chicks as they hatch and dry off. Raise them in a brooder yourself. She might keep sitting on the unhatched eggs and hatch some more out. You could let her raise the last few that hatch, but you will have to raise most of them yourself. And there is no guarantee that she won't abandon the nest anyway if you take the chicks.

    It is not the best of circumstances for you right now, but think how smoothly your next hatch will go now that you have the experience.
  7. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    Friends of ours asked us to farm sit for a week. They had 2 broodies with a Roo in a cage. The broodies were sitting on 14 eggs. When the eggs started hatching, our friends told us to take the chicks home and put them in our brooder. We have 5 happy, healthy chicks in the brooder and the 2 broodies are still sitting on the remaining eggs. How long might it take for the other eggs to hatch? I don't know when they were actually laid. Our friends are back now and I believe they are going to candle the remaining 9 eggs. Just wondering what the probability is that more will hatch.

  8. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Songster

    May 23, 2011
    Midland, NC
    I do not have an incubator or brooder right now. It will not be long though.

    We basically sacrificed the youngest eggs. We left the second batch just to see what would happen. There were so many eggs that she could not cover them all, so I know we increased the likely hood of the orginal eggs.

    The other hens finally started back laying in their nest, so hopefully they will leave her alone for now. I will post when she hatches.
  9. chicken farmer 1997

    chicken farmer 1997 Songster

    Jun 26, 2011
    lewis county ky
    i know ppl that have broody hens that will sit until EVERY egg is hatched that she is sitin on.

  10. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Songster

    May 23, 2011
    Midland, NC
    I spoke with my father in law this evening. He has four visible chicks and the hen is still sitting. He is waiting to see how many hatches from the oldest eggs and then see if she will finish the rest.

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