Hens will no longer sit on eggs- HELP!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by itsmyobsession, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. itsmyobsession

    itsmyobsession Songster

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    A friend of mine was moving out of state and couldnt take her chickens with her ( she had 100 in all) She found homes for all of them but three Austrolorp hens that were all sitting on eggs, she asked if I would take them since I already had some Austrolorps, after much thought and discussion with my DH I agreed, DH spent two days last week building them a seperate pen. They arrived at my house yesterday( Sunday 8/22/10) about 11:30 a.m. We got them situated in their new pen with their eggs BTW they each came with 11 eggs so 33 in all. They were sitting on their own Austrolorp eggs plus some Rhode Island Red eggs from a hen that decided she didnt want to sit anymore.

    Since arriving at my home yesterday morning I havent seen them sit on the eggs one time. I went home over my lunch hour and eggs are cool, the eggs range from 18 days fertile to 7 days. I don't usually hatch out eggs so I dont have an incubator, what can I do. I called my friend and she said don't worry about it because people ship eggs in the mail for 3-4 days and the chicks are fine so if they dont sit right away they will still be ok?????? This doesnt seem right to me.

    Are my eggs ok? Is it too late to do anything at this point? What can I do? I certainly can't keep 33 eggs in my bra.......I hate for them all to die especially since some of them are so close to hatching..... HELP, someone, anyone

    BTW we are in Georgia and the temp is about 96 degrees during the day and about 80ish at night, if that makes a difference

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Songster

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    Aside from running out and buying an incubator set-up or trying to throw one together in a pinch, I'm thinking you might be a little stuck on this one. The issue with even trying to incubate them is the difference in age/stages of development. At Day 18, some of those babies need to go into lockdown...you don't want to have such a staggered hatch or have such varied conditions for all of those eggs. What about the pen area? Is there a way to somehow confine the hens a bit...give them less room for wandering to encourage sitting? I'm thinking that the stress of the relocation has thrown them off. How upsetting!!! [​IMG]

    Updated with another thought: Have you candled them at all? How do you know the age range...just by the laying? If you can candle them and know that many are viable, trying to incubate might be worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    If you can lock the hens on the nest (no room for them to get off) for about 24 hours, they may take to the nest. Or the move may have broken them from being broody. Only thing I can think of.

    Wish you luck!
     
  4. itsmyobsession

    itsmyobsession Songster

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    If I do go out and buy an incubator or somehow get the hens back on the nests are the eggs still viable and if they are how long do I have until it becomes "too late"?
     
  5. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Songster

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    For hatching eggs, they are able to sit for up to 10 days safely prior to incubation. I'm not sure what the rule of thumb is for eggs that have already started the process. I would think that after a day or two, they might no longer be viable. I would definitely candle and check on the development...if you can tell that nothing is going on in the majority, it may not be worth the stress and effort.
     
  6. itsmyobsession

    itsmyobsession Songster

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    [​IMG] poor little chicks.....I was trying to do a good thing, guess it wasnt so good [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  7. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Songster

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    [​IMG] Hang in there...there are plenty of peeps on here that might give you much better advice!
     
  8. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Songster

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    my advice is probably bad but it's what i would do: candle them like another poster said and if there is movement in any put them on a heating pad set on low until you can quickly throw a bator together. Try to get the hens back nesting in the meantime. Just what I would do...
     
  9. josiemare

    josiemare In the Brooder

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    My Miss Banty was off her nest for 36 or so hours before I could get to the store and get an incubator, much less getting this one set up. I did, two weeks later, we had several baby keets. The rate was 4/7 I believe.....given my odd circumstances, I am really surprised that we did so well. I candled after a couple of days. My first time ever for candling and incubating....we did well. I also did the floating water test....

    Out of 30ish eggs, we had 19 hatch successfully! We did good....Long story....

    I would say keep them warm, outside best. Get a bator set up. and go for it!

    Good Luck. Let us know how it goes!
     
  10. itsmyobsession

    itsmyobsession Songster

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    Thank you to everyone who has replied to my post.

    As an update, my DH and I candled the eggs last night and we had 13 survivors [​IMG], which I guess is pretty good considering the circumstances (not great though). Talk about guilt that's 20 chicks that didn't make it.

    We made a make shift bator for the few survivors. We took our cooler and put hay in the bottom with the eggs on top of the hay, then we took a towel and made it damp and wrapped it around the eggs and put a light in their and closed the lid, oh! we put a portable thermometer in there to track the temp.

    When I got up this morning towel was dry so I hope eggs didn't get too hot, we redampened (don't think thats really a word) the towel, put the light back in but left the lid off this time since it gets so hot in GA during the day.

    I don't have a clue if what we are doing is even right. I'm trying though [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010

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