How long can a broody hen get off her eggs?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ShadyHoller, May 9, 2011.

  1. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this question has been asked, but I searched the forum and can't find the answer.

    Our broody BR hen has spent the last 25 days (or so) on the nest. She has been very faithful to her project. Yesterday, I put a low board across the floor of the coop, to act as a partition that would keep the poults from falling out the door of the coop, because I don't think they could get back up the ramp. The hen got up for lunch and a stretch, but then she stayed in the yard. Finally I decided that the board (which was obscuring her view from outside) was confusing her. I took it out, and she promptly went back to the nest.

    She was off the eggs for an hour. Maybe two. As soon as she was back on, I reached under her, and felt an egg. It was cool. Almost cold.

    Did I ruin the hatch by putting that board up? Is there anyway to tell if the eggs are still kicking? I candled one, and I saw that it was very well-developed (all dark, except for a good air-sac). I'm anxious to find out if they are still viable.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    (edited to fix typo) (edited again to change title of thread, because no one was replying and I couldn't stand it!)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  2. whenchickensdream

    whenchickensdream Out Of The Brooder

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    I think you will just have to wait and see. I'm sure someone will answer that knows more than I do. I bet they will be okay. Please let us know how things are going.
     
  3. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think they will be just fine. I've had every kind of mishaps with eggs in my incubator and still had good hatches. Leave her be...she will do her job.
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  5. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update? Any hatchlings?
     
  6. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:As of last night, no hatchlings. Today would be on the early end of my estimate for 28 days, however, so it's to early for me to make any predictions.

    Last night, she was much more protective/defensive than she has been. Previously, she was pretty docile if I reached under her or stepped over her to fill the feeder. Last night she bristled and hissed as soon as I got near. Does that change in body language mean anything to any of you?

    Thanks!
     
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  8. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bet you will have fuzzy butts soon! My momma's were extremely protective - she may know they are starting their hatch. Mine are usually mean right from the start! She sounds perfectly normal to me!

    I have an ADD broody now - she is snarly and mean, sits on the nest, then she's up running around like normal. She is making me crazy! I want to put some eggs under her (before the husband changes his mind) - but she needs to decide if she is going to stick with it or not!

    Good luck! You will know very soon!
     
  9. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I predict they will be fine. I have a hen that gets off her nest to eat and strech her legs for an hour almost every day, with no harm to the hatch. Once, a (chicken) hen was off the nest for 5 or 6 hours and every egg hatched. She had "forgotten" which nest was hers and was on the wrong nest.
     
  10. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, everybody.

    Another question: in the event that the next few days come and go and no little poults arrive, how long should I leave the hen on the eggs? If the eggs aren't viable, I don't want her to waste away on a futile project. On the other hand, if I got my timing wrong, and they actually just have another day or two to incubate, I would hate to take almost-hatched eggs out from under her.

    I'm trying to prepare myself for the possibility that there might not be any baby poults coming out of this. If that's the case, will she generally know when it's time to give up on them?

    I am surprised at how anxious I've allowed myself to become over this. I have to fight back the impulse to be constantly poking her and asking: "have you hatched any babies yet? ... what about now? Now have you hatched any babies...? What's taking so long?... how about now?..."
     

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