How long till hatching??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Forever Green, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Forever Green

    Forever Green In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2009
    My 1 yr old Jersey Giant for the last 2 days decided that she was not going to get off of the eggs. I have 8 hens, producing 8 eggs/day. The first day, she allowed me to go underneath her and retrieve our eggs, not happy, but she did it. Now yesterday, she was not budging, so i left all of the eggs she had underneath her and let her be. She sat in the nest all day, through evening and never come out of the coop. This morning she came out and one of my golden buffs sat on the eggs, then Jersey Giant went back in and sat. It appears that none of my other hens laid eggs today.

    I'm guessing that my Jersey Giant is broody and wants to hatch these eggs. If she is successful, how long does it take naturally for the egg to hatch via the old fashion way with sitting on them? Is there anything that I should do differently (move this hen and these eggs to separate facility?). I have 2 very sweet roosters with my 8 hens, a wonderful flock, all get along fabulously. Looking for any advise......should I toss yesterday's eggs or try to let nature take its course?
  2. Generally, 21 days for chicken eggs, though the hen often manages to have all eggs hatch the same day. Some kind of hen psychic ability, methinks. [​IMG]
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It depends on your set up. I tried moving one last time, and that was a wreck, she moved back and left the clutch after sitting on it fine for 3 days.

    This time, I left them where they were (I had two in two days go broody) I have only caught one off the nest one time, and they have done a super job, when I sneak a peak, the eggs are clean, and moved around. Tonight, Butter is doing the half squat, where I think she is letting them cool off a bit, as she is holding herself just a inch high than the eggs [​IMG]

    The problem with leaving them, is the nest. If other hens can get into the nest, they often times will and lay a new egg. Then there gets to be too many eggs, and none of them get properly covered for enough time to develop, they get too cooled and die. My neighbor just went through this, and wound up with one chick out of 24 eggs. They started with 14, but other hens kept adding. YOu can mark the eggs with a pencil, and then you know those are the ones that are suppose to be there. If your hen will let you look, (one of mine will, and the other would amputate your arm at the elbow for such a liberty)

    I do not have multiple pens, and I want mine to blend into the flock, and I had a wreck when I moved the last broody. So in 3 days, I will have either a success story or a train wreck, but I have left mine in the nest of their choice, they are small nests, and I have never seen two chickens in one nest at the same time. I have 3 other chickens that are laying, and I keep getting 3 eggs a day, so I know they are not contributing to the broody.

    My plan is to let the non broody hens and rooster out early the next three days, and let them out of the run to free range. Mine often free range, so not too worried. I think when the chicks actually start pipping/hatching, I will lock my broodies in the coop, and lock my layers outside the coop but inside the run those nights. Just till everyone gets up and going. Then in the morning, I can let the layers out, then let the mama's out.

    Last year, after the broody left her clutch, she still was broody so on day 21, I slipped 6 baby chicks under her. She got them down to the floor the next morning, and they stayed close to her and the other hens never bothered her or the chicks. Even when she wan weaning them. That is what I am hoping for.

    Thursday I should know:fl
  4. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Songster

    Jun 16, 2010
    Well, It takes 21 days for a chicken egg to hatch. Some may hatch early, some may hatch late. Ya never know.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You'll get several different opinions on whether to isolate the broody or not on this thread. It also tells you some of the things you need to do whether you isolate her or not.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread

    It is possible that your hens have all stopped laying but it is not likely. What I suspect is that the other hens are laying with the broody or the broody is collecting the eggs and moving them back to her nest. They can carry them. I was doubtful until it happened to me. It's also possible the broody won't let them lay with her so, since they cannot lay where they really want, they have started a hidden nest somewhere.

    You need to start all the eggs you want her to hatch at the same time and remove all other eggs from her nest daily. Mrs. K talked about one of the possible problems with not collecting the eggs. There gets to be so many that the hen cannot cover them all so some cool off and die. The eggs that have died get moved back under her and other eggs get shoved out where they cool off and die. The other possible problem is that it takes about 21 days for an egg to hatch. If you start eggs at different times, they hatch at different times. The broody will take the early hatchers off the nest when they need food and water and leave the unhatched but living eggs behind to die.

    Whether you let her continue with the eggs she has or you collect eggs for a day or two and start them so they all started at the same time is up to you. Either way, you need to mark the eggs you want her to hatch and collect the others daily. There are different ways to mark the eggs. I have used a soft-leaded pencil and held it so I am rubbing it on like I am sharpening the pencil so I get a decently dark wide band. If you try to write on the egg, it will probably fade so you cannot read it, especially with a hard-leaded pencil. I have also used a sharpie. Both work about the same for me. I've noticed no difference in the hatch rates. Whichever way you mark them, make sure you use a pattern that you can tell these eggs belong to this hen, just in case one of your other hens goes broody and you decide to let her hatch. They will sometimes steal eggs from each other. Some people write dates or other information on the eggs. There are legitimate reasons for some people in doing that, but in your case, you are just wanting to know which eggs belong to which broody hen. X's on one batch and O's on the other or one band the long way around versus two bands the short way around can tell you that at a glance.

    I grew up on a farm many decades ago. One of my chores was to collect the eggs daily, including checking under the broody hens. Some of those broodies were vicious. I did not have the option of long sleeves and gloves for protection. I really did not want to check under some of those broodies, but it was just something that I had to do. No way was I going to tell my father "I'm too scared".

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