how long to leave eggs in nesting box?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by silkie4, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. silkie4

    silkie4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Eastern Nebraska
    We have 5 silkie hens 1 has started laying and have been getting 1 egg every other day. Currently there are 7 eggs and none of the hens have decided to go broody. How long should the eggs be left in the nesting box? The oldest egg is 11 days old and of course we didn't think about dating them until today. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    For hatching 10 days would be the max. But I would collect daily. Leave in an egg carton and turn at least twice a day till you incubate. Do you have an incubator?
     
  3. silkie4

    silkie4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Eastern Nebraska
    No incubator, we were hoping the hen would go broody. Some people I talked to told me to leave the eggs alone and they would do the "work" since they were silkies. I'm guessing you are saying that's not right.......
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    Well, it's right IF they are broody. Being broody is a hormonal thing, really has nothing to do with eggs present, they will set on air.

    I'd wait til one goes broody then collect eggs on the kitchen counter, then put all of them under her at once. If you let them collect the eggs, they will abandon the unhatched ones about a day after the first ones hatch, to raise the chicks.

    If yours just started laying, they may not go broody for a while, maybe even spring. The good news is, Silkies are a very broody breed so you'll likely get a broody (or more than one) out of your flock. They also lay on top of a broody's clutch (collection of eggs) and even steal eggs, so even if you put them uner her all at once, it's a very good idea to mark them, and remove any new eggs daily, once she starts sitting on them.

    You might be interested in these:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
     
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I would leave golf balls or fake eggs, not real eggs, they will roll them, step on them, could knock them out of box. I would just collect and mark with date, after 10 days toss. Once you notice someone sitting continuously you can exchange fake for the real deal. Good Luck
     
  6. silkie4

    silkie4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Eastern Nebraska
    I know the eggs that are there have certainly been stepped on and rolled around. I will start dating them and taking them out of the nesting box. I guess its probably not a good time of year to be trying this anyway with the cooler weather on the way.

    Thanks for the input
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    No problem. Anytime of the year is a good time if you have an incubator, I have 3, and Duccle eggs coming tomorrow and will be going to Columbus National Poultry Show in November to get more eggs. But I think you are right, maybe not such a good time for hens. But when spring comes, I bet you will have more broodies then you want.
    Michele
     

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