How many is too many?


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
My dad is of the belief that you put as many eggs under a hen that will fit. Well, me being too dumb to listen to myself, about NOT listening to his advice, put 15 eggs under a medium sized hen. She just hatched, and she only hatched 6. 6 didn't have anything in them, and the other 3 are in the bator, hopefully going to. So I was wondering, what is a good number of eggs to set under small or medium hens?
Only about as many as she can keep covered and warm at all times. Not sure of the exact number but I would guess 6-8 maybe. Depends on how big the hen is.
Are you sure they were all fertile? I sure wish you good luck with the ones that are in the bator. I once had too many eggs under a hen, and it was so sad. One of the eggs had a developed chick, but died from getting cold. And the saddest part was it was going to be an EE from the rooster that I had for a short while until it went to a new home, I still have the EE hen. The hen I have that likes to go broody will lay about 6 eggs, then start sitting, but the eggs are not fertile. A smaller hen, I would try about or 5 eggs maybe.
The light that i use is not strong enough, but I have not had that many unfertile eggs at one time yet. There were 5 empty, and one had a blood ring in it. The only hen that I consistently get unfertile eggs from is my cochin (supposedly bantam). I am not sure if that is because she is a lot bigger than my dutch roo, or if it is just her. But no, I'm not positive they were all fertile.
I have never candled an egg, so I am not sure I know how. How old are the 6 that hatched? Was that today? Congratulations on those! Are they different breeds?
The first is 2 days I think, and the last one hatched yesterday. They weren't supposed to hatch til today, and I had another hen that was laying in the same nest for a little while, so that's why I'm givving them the benefit of the doubt.
Unfortunately they are all mixed breeds, and all mixed up as well. I think the next time the hens start laying, I will keep each hens eggs separated, so I know who's is who's. This one's hatch was mostly her own eggs though. Daddy is a blue splash dutch, and mama is supposedly an Egyptian hen. Not sure about that though. She looks just like one I saw on Google, but she looks like she is kinda big. But all 11 that she has are between 1 and 3 days old. She had hatched 3 as of yesterday mornign, and today had 6.
I had an itty bitty Sebright hen sit on 8 and hatched 7. So I think it depends very much on what she can confortably cover and the size of the eggs.

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