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How long is it safe for a broody to stay off the eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Featherland, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    My broody stayed off the eggs for about an hour this morning. When I touched them they felt cold. Is this normal or would it be better to stick them in the incubator? This is the third day.

  2. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    My Black Spanish turkey hen was off and on her nest for a couple of days but she is sitting tight now. My Red Bourbon hen gets off her nest for a few minutes a couple of times a day but she sits them tight except for eating and pooping timeouts. Sometimes she will dust a few minutes before getting back on the eggs.
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Is this the first time this hen is sitting on a clutch of eggs? It's always hard to tell with first-timers whether they are seriously broody.

    From our experience, while the hen is still adding eggs to her clutch for hatching, she will be off the nest quite a bit. Then after she has stopped laying the eggs for her clutch, she spends more and more time on the nest.

    Our Jersey Black Giant hen was off the nest for about 30 to 45 minutes in the beginning, but just once a day. Then she would take two 15 minute eat/drink/poo breaks. From day 18 to hatch, she was leaving the nest for one 15 minute break.
  4. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    It is her first time. She stopped laying over a week ago. When she is on the nest she is SERIOUS. Because it is my first time with a broody I am not sure what is OK and what to expect.
  5. kellim

    kellim Songster

    Jun 19, 2008
    SC, GA Border
    In my opinion they will be fine. My hen just hatched out for me and she was on and off the eggs quite a bit in the beginning. As the days went on she spent less time off the nest. Everything should be fine. Mine was a first time broody too and she did great!!! Good Luck!
  6. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    Thanks! Maybe its normal to spend more time on the nest as the days go on. She took quite a break this morning again but then she stays on the rest of the day and night. She is a Partridge Rock named Pi one of my nicest hens. I'll wait a few more days and then I'll candle th eggs. I do have an incubator going with more eggs too.
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    My broody would leave to go eat, etc. and come back and sit on the wrong nest! I found cold eggs at least four times during her sitting time. I would keep putting her back on the right nest. Now, I've learned to move her to a separate area away from the other chickens where she can't get back on the wrong nest (I keep her in a rabbit hutch).

    She sat on five eggs... one hatched. I don't know if the hatch rate was so low due to her being off them so much or that they were shipped to me in the mail. I was thrilled with the one chick though!

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