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How does she know?????

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Pats Poultry, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Pats Poultry

    Pats Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,
    Not sure if the is the correct forum to ask this. I am curious as to now how a hen knows that an egg or eggs that she is sitting on are fertile or does she? Also if she lays an egg a day for lets say 4 days and now she has four eggs that she is sitting on, how on earth do they all hatch at the same time???. Just curious, I only have three pullets and can understand that they might go broody, but if there was a rooster involved, I just do not understand now how all of that works and how do they know. As you can tell I am very new to this. Hope that all makes sense
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually she doesn't. She just sees an egg and immediate broody instincts kick in. Most broodies will take in just about nay egg given to them.

    The eggs do not hatch at the same time. On hatching day several eggs may begin hatching, maybe minute sin between or a days time in between,some only a few hours. I have hatched chicks twice and never have I seen chicks hatch at the immediate time, it isn't impossible.. Although some chicks may not even hatch that day.

    A lot of encouragement from chicks who hatched and the mothers calling is what also drives chicks to hatching sooner, rather then later.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    She doesn't know if they are fertile or not. I once had a hybrid (mule) duck who tried to incubate 3 apples. Given the opportunity a hen will build a clutch of eggs then start setting and add no more eggs to the clutch. Problems arise if and when other hens add eggs to the clutch after the hen has started incubating. Generally the hen will leave the nest with her chicks within 36 hours of the first egg hatching. Any non hatched eggs are left to expire.
     
  4. Pats Poultry

    Pats Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 17, 2016
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    Thank you all for the replies, Wow, very interesting, One more question, If a hen is sitting on 4 eggs that all came from her does it take a rooster encounter 4 times to have all 4 of the eggs to be fertile, I don't know how all of that works either. Like I said before I am just curious as I only have the three pullets and don't see them hatching any chick any time soon. Thanks again
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    From one mating a hen can store enough sperm to give her eggs high fertility for up to 2 weeks, moderate fertility for up to 3 weeks, and occasional fertility for up to 4 weeks after the mating.
     

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