How long can a broody be off eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amcconnell, May 4, 2009.

  1. amcconnell

    amcconnell Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    1
    134
    Sep 4, 2008
    I have a broody hen that has been sitting about a week now and this is her first time at this. The first few days she did not come off the nest but she is starting to now about once a day. How long can she be off the eggs and the eggs be alright. I'm afraid she is staying off too long.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,507
    3,900
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It depends on several different things. Most broody hens are off for about 15 minutes, but people have posted on here that their broody would leave the nest for quite a bit longer and still had a good hatch. Trust your broody. Her instincts are probably pretty good.
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,518
    72
    308
    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Exactly right. Stay out of the way and let her do her thing.
    Really.
     
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,034
    622
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I agree with what they have said. I was also worried about a month ago when my broody banty hen was getting off of her nest but I realized that she knew what she was doing when she hatched 7 chicks. Although 4 were her own and the others were "stolen" eggs from a standard chicken, she was the perfect broody hen. She got off long enough to stretch her legs and wings, eat, drink, walk around and get right back on her nest. She'll be fine. Let' us know when they hatch.
     
  5. amcconnell

    amcconnell Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    1
    134
    Sep 4, 2008
    Thanks so much for your replies! This is all so new to me....I'm learning alot from this forum:)
     
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,518
    72
    308
    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    A hundred years ago it was recommended that you allow a cooling period each day for indubated eggs, to simulate the hens forays off the nest.
     
  7. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    938
    8
    151
    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I had a broody on eggs when the temps were in the 20s. She would leave the nest and then get back in to the WRONG nest - and she did it almost daily. I would find her in the wrong nest, happily sitting on newly laid eggs, while hers were in another nest - uncovered and cool to the touch. I would put her back on her eggs - but I was convinced she would NEVER pull off hatching any of those eggs.

    She hatched out every single one of them. They are over 2 months old now and just fine.

    I only said all of that to say this - leaving the nest for a while is normal. And even if she leaves for what you think is a long time, her eggs will probably be just fine. I would have never thought mine would hatch out eggs that had gotten so cool so many times, but she did! If she's getting back on them, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm not sure what you could do about it anyway, other than put the eggs in a bator and hatch them yourself [​IMG]
     
  8. racingpigeons98

    racingpigeons98 Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    21
    Jun 15, 2011
    I have a broody hen that has been sitting on her eggs for about a week, but one day I found out she was in the wrong nest, leaving her eggs cool. She was on the new nest for about two or three hours, though it is summer now and the temperature is in the 80's. Immediately I put her back on her nest and she happily sat back on. This time I made sure she couldn't go in the wrong nest by putting boards around her and moved her food and water closer to her. But my question is, "Will the eggs still hatch"? This is my first broody, please reply.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  9. racingpigeons98

    racingpigeons98 Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    21
    Jun 15, 2011
    Does anyone know about incubator eggs? I have 15 chicken eggs and 16 peacock eggs in the incubator, but somehow somebody moved the temperature to 85 degrees. Approximately the eggs were on the temperature for about 5 hours. Now they are on their regular temperature, but will the eggs still hatch?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  10. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    4
    101
    Apr 24, 2011
    Don't worry about it-once our peacock got spooked and came off her nest for hours. The eggs, which were about 3 days from hatching at the time, were completely cold. The mother went back to the eggs, but we figured the babies were dead for sure. But her instincts were correct! The eggs hatched into 3 healthy babies, now a few weeks old!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by