how long can a broody hen be off her eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by siouxbee, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. renstar

    renstar In the Brooder

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    May 12, 2012
    Our eggs are due to hatch in about 2 days... My broody sussex is off the nest this morning and has been for about 2-3 hours. I am worried this will affect the eggs. How long can she be off the eggs before they die. It is about 27 degrees celcius. What can i do to get her back on the nest without stressing her out. I picked her up and put her back on but she was off again :( hopefully it is not bad news.[​IMG]
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I hope you were able to persuade the hen to go back on the eggs, even if its been a while it couldn't hurt to try, even if the eggs were allowed to cool. Each hen has her own component of broody skills & mothering instincts, sometimes you'll get one who just up & quits before the job is complete.

    I find it best to keep my broodies confined to their own private quarters and usually curtain the cage so they're not distracted by the outside world. At the very least, put the hen back on the nest at nightfall and make sure she can't get away & doesn't see outside.

    Let us know how it turns out!
     
  3. renstar

    renstar In the Brooder

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    May 12, 2012
    She eventually got back on after about 4-5 hours. It was pretty warm so hoping we are lucky. Will be disappointed if nothing hatches. Time will tell in the next few days.
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    156
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That's all you can do, hope for the best. The eggs may need an additional day to "catch up". Let us know what happens!
     
  5. renstar

    renstar In the Brooder

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    May 12, 2012
    We have seven out of ten hatched so far. Super excited. Amazing stuff.[​IMG]
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    156
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Yay, that's great!
     
  7. ZooKeeperInTheMaking

    ZooKeeperInTheMaking In the Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2011
    Llwyngwril
    I've got a broody Barnavelder who had about 7 eggs, on sunday she pushed 4 out, (2 o them had dead chicks inside and 2 had nothing in but smelly yolk) and one chick hatched yesterday which is doing great! But he pushed the dog cage door open and moved and made a nest somewhere else with the chick. So we've put her back in the cage but moved her to the wall where she had moved to, ( we thought it could be cooler over there where she prefers). We put the 2 remaining eggs back under her and she at straight away, but will she leave the 2 eggs now that she has a chick or will she carry on sitting? Sorry for the long lead up!!
     
  8. angidee

    angidee Songster

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Washington
    My husband collected eggs last night and took them from a broody hen. She was 2 weeks into the time period.
    I just noticed this morning 12 hours later. Wondering if they are still alive? Fortunately, they weren't put in the refrigerator.
     
  9. Sazbaby

    Sazbaby Chirping

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Wow, heartbreaking!!! I'm speaking without experience here, but 12 hours sounds like a long time to go without a hen on the eggs... especially if it was overnight or inside an air-conditioned house?

    I actually came to add my woes to the long list, we have a broody hen on day 11 or 12, and she is in a chain-link kennel to keep the others from bothering her, and inside that is a smaller wire kennel that we lock up at night so nothing can get her, as the chain-link kennel does not have a predator-proof top to it. Anyhow, I'm out of town and hubbie is taking care of things at the farm for the week- he opened her up this morning and all was well. Went to close her up tonight and she had knocked down one of the sides of the nesting box (hard to describe the setup), and was sitting on top of it, on top of the eggs. Nothing had broken, but the eggs were cold to the touch he said. No clue how long she was technically off of them... so sad and frustrating... It's luckily warm weather at home, but if she was off the nest to eat/drink/poo this morning or afternoon, then it could have been nearly all day that she was sitting on the board over her eggs... ugh. I just want to cry! Can't do anything about it now except keep my fingers crossed and re-rig the nesting box so it can't happen again, but I will be so devastated if they don't hatch. Out of 12 dorking eggs I had under her, I had just candled 2 nights ago and had 9 definite viable eggs and 1 that was possibly viable! It's always the longest 3 weeks of my life, and now, since this happened, and because I'm out of town, it will be excruciating to wait and see!!!!
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    156
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think it's always worth a try to put the hen back on the eggs and see what develops (literally). Stuff Happens in nature too and developing eggs are designed to compensate for less than ideal conditions. Candle them now and then again in 2 -3 days, hopefully there will be some progress to detect.
     

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