How long can Hen stay off the nest?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chellebugwv, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. chellebugwv

    chellebugwv New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2011
    My Hen has been setting in 4 eggs for a little over 3 weeks. I am proud to say I am a grandma of 1 baby chick! BUT here's my dilemma: the nest is in a coop which is about 4 ft off the ground, and when I went out this evening to check the nest I found mamma with baby down on the ground. How long can she stay off the other 3 eggs without them dying? When I felt them they were cold, and I have no idea how long she's been away from them. I went ahead and put baby and mamma back in the nest. So, now I have a ton of worries and questions about their survival. Please help me.
     
  2. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    It really just depends. A hen should only be off the nest for 15-20 minutes a day, but if she stays

    off them a bit longer, it will not kill them right then and there. It depends on temperatures outside,

    etc.

    A couple days after the chicks hatch, the hen will abandon the remaining eggs, which is your problem.

    Your going to need an incubator to put the rest in. Do a float test and/or candle before putting them in

    the incubator, to be sure they are actually still alive. :)

    Thread on how to do a Float Test -
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=383525
    Candling Thread -
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261876
    Eggtopsy Thread (If you were interested... Not saying your eggs are dead:)
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=4408592

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  3. chellebugwv

    chellebugwv New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2011
    TY!!! I am a newbie at hatching and raising, but I've had my 4 hens and 1 rooster for a year now. I have fallen in-love:D[​IMG] I found her off the nest this morning with her babe in tow. I don't have an incubator, but now I am thinking investing into the "idea" of one, LOL. Thanks for your help!!!
     

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