How long (beyond 21 days) will a hen sit on eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Tamara119, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    Hi all,
    I have a hen going broody now (Tuesday) and I won't get the eggs I want until Sunday. She's on a couple of store bought eggs at the moment. If I switch out the store bought eggs on Sunday with the eggs I'm getting, will she stay long enough to hatch them? She's been showing signs for about 5 days, and although we've tried to postpone it I think she's firmly decided to stay on the nest as of today.
    Thanks for your input!
    Tamara
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Hens don't have a built-in "egg timer." Some hens will get up before the eggs are fully incubated, which can be really frustrating for the person without an incubator for back-up! Most hens keep right on going, and going . . . .

    I had a Silkie hen a few years ago that started setting in, uh, I think it was May. Other hens joined her at times, some snuck in and added eggs. Every day or so, I'd pick her up and remove any chicks or empty shells. She continued to set for about 3 months before I finally took pity on the bird and removed all but the one egg that was right at the hatching point. I left that chick with her, and she finally got up when that chick was ready to move around.

    A lot of people will tell you that you can break a broody by putting her in a wire-bottomed cage that lets air get to her underside and cool her off. I had a Silkie that went broody in a rabbit cage (wire floor), and spent months sitting on nothing at all! I finally gave her a couple of eggs to hatch, when one of them did, she finally got up after nearly 5 months. I swear, I was beginning to wonder if that girl still had the use of her legs.[​IMG]

    Anyway, I think it is quite likely that your hen will be content to brood for the few extra days that these eggs will take. Good hatching![​IMG]
     
  3. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    Thank you!! That is such good news! I'm away from home, and I'm returning with the eggs on Sunday. Meanwhile my husband has been dealing with the hen. I do have a back-up incubator, just in case.
    Thanks!
     

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