Her eggs are not viable now what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by laturcotte1, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Had two bantam silkies laying on 3 eggs, together, one hatched and one of the hens took over as mom and has been doing a wonderful job for the past week. While they were brooding they eventually kicked out two eggs. However, when the baby was born the other silkie pulled the other two eggs in and is still laying. It is way past 21 days, do I just go in and lift her off take the two eggs? Do I make her go out and take them? How awful this will be for her.
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I would take the two eggs if they were out from under her for a while. She is probably just desperate to have something hatch right now. Any chance you can buy just one chick to give her?
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    You definitely want to take the eggs out from under her. If they started developing and then stopped for some reason and they break, they will smell absolutely terrible.

    She'll be OK. She is a chicken. I break broody mamas all the time by putting them in a wire bottomed cage with no bedding for a few days. They show no signs of trauma at being taken off the eggs they wanted to sit on. They don't even squawk or fuss.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don't know how long "way past' is, but you can do the float test on those two eggs. Put them in water. They should float. If they wiggle around, they have live chicks in them. If they do not wiggle around, get rid of them.

    The risk if them exploding has nothing to do with them starting to develop then quitting. The risk is that bacteria gets inside the egg. If bacteria gets inside, they will multiply and cause real problems, whether the egg is fertile or not, whether the egg has started to develop or not.

    If those eggs are not viable, you have some options. You can break her from being broody just like WalkingOnSunshine said. It won't hurt her at all. I personally think it is cruel to let one stay broody if you are not going to give her a chance to have chicks. Being broody is hard on them. They don't eat, drink, or exercise enough if they stay on the nest that much. So breaking her is one option.

    Another option is what Aoxa said, get a chick or two and give them to her. Get chicks as young as you can, preferably just a day or two old. Slip them under her at night after it is good and dark. Odds are tremendously high she will wake up the next morning, accept those chicks, and raise them. If you try this, you have to accept that she may not accept them and you will have to raise them yourself, but I'd have no hesitation in trying this. If you want day old chicks, you might post on your state thread in the "Where am I? Where are you?" section of this forum to try to find someone close by that can help you get a day old chick or two.

    Yet another option is to get her a few fertile eggs and let her hatch them. If you try that, she will probably stay broody long enough to hatch them, and once she hatches them she wil raise them.

    Good luck!
     
  5. coffeenutdesign

    coffeenutdesign Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Didn't you state she is still laying? Is there any chance her new eggs are fertile? If so, why not just let her sit on a new clutch?
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Ridgerunner is right, bacteria have to get in there. However, from personal experience, eggs are much more likely to be stinky inside if they started to develop and then stopped. I've had nonfertile eggs broken, and fertile-started-to-develop eggs broken. Ewww both ways, but much worse with the started eggs.

    However, if you decide to get a couple of day-old chicks to stick under her, have a brooder and lights ready just in case. I've tried four times, but never once got a hen to accept chicks not her own. Each time the hen tried very hard to kill the babies, and succeeded in one case. Each time I had to take them away from her and put them in a brooder. YMMV, however. Maybe I've just been unlucky.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I took the post to mean she is brooding on the nest, not laying eggs. I've seen many people on here talk about a hen laying in the eggs when they are talking about being broody. Growing up, we used the term "setting". Just different terminology.
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Right, that's what I thought, too.
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Same here.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    WalkingOnSunshine, how did you attempt to introduce those chicks? I've done that several time and never had a problem. I know each chicken is an individual and we all have different conditions and circumstances, but maybe there is something going on that could help people know what to do or what to avoid.

    The only egg I've ever seen that exploded was under a broody about 50 years ago growing up on the farm. That hen had hidden a nest. I didn't find the nest until she was hatching. I guess the chicks moving around jostled it to set it off. That one had not started to develop.. She still hatched a few after it exploded, but man, it did stink. You do want to avoid that. It's not something you forget.
     

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