How does a Broody hen get enough eggs to sit on?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chirpy, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Ok, this may have been answered before, I couldn't find a post on it though and I've been wondering how this works.

    If a hen goes broody, how does she get ten or so eggs to sit on if people aren't involved?

    If it takes 21 days to hatch an egg and it takes her at least ten to twelve days (or more) to lay ten eggs then the first eggs would hatch at 21 days and her last eggs would only be nine days into the incubation. Does she just walk away from eight or so eggs that haven't hatched with one or two chicks that have or does she know to wait an additional nine or ten days for all the eggs to hatch?

    If we want her to raise babies then my understanding is that we need to give her all the eggs from our other hens that are laying on the same day or maybe over two days, even if they aren't the same breed, and she will hatch them? (That's, of course, if we want the other breed chicks.)

    Sorry, but I just don't get this part of broodyness and egg hatching. Hope this isn't showing one of my 'blond' moments.[​IMG]
     
  2. silkiebeginer

    silkiebeginer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I am way new to this, and by far no expert. But this is what happened with my hen. I put in a plastic egg, she started setting on the plastic egg. we put it in there to encourage her to start to lay because we had only had her about 2 weeks. So we ended up having to put her off the nest. I then put in 2 eggs from my sister in laws hen, I figured if she was gonna set might as well let it be on at least a couple of real eggs. But instead of setting she started to lay an egg a day. She would go in, lay and egg and come back out and not go back in till the next day. She didn't lay an egg and set on them. She went in every morning until she had laid 10 of her own eggs plus the plastic egg and the 2 i put in. Then after she laid the 10th egg, she went in that night and didn't come back out till there were babies. So they don't really set on the eggs until they feel they have enough. They will go in and lay then come back off the nest. So she starts actually "setting" on the eggs the same time.

    Jennifer
     
  3. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Breathe in....Breathe out...lol
    If the eggs are not taken away a hen will lay a clutch of eggs, (depending on the breed, some breeds are practicly non broody) this can be anywhere from 8 to 25 eggs more or less (15 is about the amount she can cover. Once she has layed her clutch she will begin incubating her eggs, they will all hatch at the same time.
    Some hens are so insinctive that they will set on an empty nest even if the eggs are taken away. This is when you can put other eggs under her, It doesnt matter what breed, She knows no difference
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    So if she lays ten eggs over, say a ten day period, but doesn't sit on them until the tenth egg is laid you are saying that those first nine eggs are still viable? They haven't been kept warm for nine days and they can still hatch?
     
  5. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, thats exactly right - thats why you can mail eggs for incubation. Is it not just amazing, then after a mere 21 days a chick is born.....
     
  6. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they can go up to 3 weeks or more and still hatch, A hen lays her egg, leaves it, only to return to lay another egg. Only untill she begins to incubate will her eggs germinate
     
  7. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Remember that not all hens are broodies. They will just lay and lay and lay and never set on them. They have had the instinct bred out of them. Just leaving eggs in the nest will not "make" a hen go broody. On the other hand, some breeds like Silkies, and cochins will set on nothing and cluck for 3 or 4 weeks.
    When eggs are laid, they go into a suspended animation. Of course they need to be fertile and you need a roo for that. Once a hen starts setting the eggs or incubator reaches the optimum temps and you put the eggs in will the egg start to develop all at the same pace.
     

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