How long will a hen set?

chic_a_lay

Chirping
8 Years
Dec 12, 2011
43
3
84
How long will a hen set if her eggs don't hatch? Will they break the "trance" and get off the nest? I don't think any of her eggs are viable any more according to my count she's overdue? What should I do?
 

gamebirdsonly

Crowing
13 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,418
178
381
UTAH
I have had some hens that would just keep on setting even when there is no eggs. So it depends on the hen.
But if you think the eggs are no good I would get rid of them and place some more under her.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
12 Years
Mar 15, 2010
16,682
36,809
1,132
On the MN prairie.
If they're no longer viable, can you get some chicks (less than a week old) to put under her? I would not put more eggs under her as that would have her setting for another 3 weeks. Being broody is hard on them as they lose condition while they're brooding.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Apr 9, 2016
15,321
21,951
932
California's Redwood Coast
I agree with @bobbi-j iether get her chicks (5 days is my oldest so far) and stick under her at night or go ahead and break her. Sitting too long is detrimental to their health and I've had girls sit longer than a month on air until I broke them, before I knew better. Elevated, wire bottom cage. Sometimes one day, sometimes 5 depending on the hen. You can test by letting them out. But if still clucking, they are still broody.

DO NOT place more eggs under her.. chances are she is already shaky from hardly moving around, muscles get stiff and weak. And they lose weight as well.

If you want to you can share your count situation and see if we agree... but you probably know. :) Did you actually candle at any point to see if the eggs were viable?
 

chic_a_lay

Chirping
8 Years
Dec 12, 2011
43
3
84
I did candle them on May 8. It seemed to me that 1 was a non starter and the other 4 were ok. I haven't checked since them and I don't know how long it was before I knew she was serious about setting. I'll try candling them again tonight. She just seems, like I said, in a trance.
 

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