how long is it safe for a hen to be broody? 5 wks too long?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by patandchickens, May 13, 2010.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    One of the sussexes went broody 9 days ago. In order to avoid chicks hatching while we're out of town (don't want to stress out our animal-sitter), I did not put eggs under her until this past Monday morning. The eggs I put under her are probably low fertility - I will candle tonight to see if any are "going". If they are, I'll let her keep the fertile ones and that's that.

    But if (as is quite possible, unfortunately) none of them are developing, is it too late to stick four turkey eggs under her? If I did, that would be the 9 days she's already been setting, plus 28 days for turkey development = 37 days, about 5 weeks total.

    I am thinking that is too long, and would endanger her health? Or would it be ok to do, do you think? She is in a very large dogcrate with food and water right nearby.

    All opinions appreciated,

    Pat
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she's in good health now and you baby her a bit I think it would be ok. I give my broody girls a scrambled egg every other day or so if they don't seem to be eating much of anything when they're sitting and it's worked well to keep them in condition while brooding. It's possible that she'll give up on the eggs before they hatch though, so if you do it be sure to have a back up plan.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Thanks kittymomma, appreciate it -- anyone else care to weigh in (subtle bump?) [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  4. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    I have let hens hatch 3 successive clutches w/o a problem.
     

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