How much longer should I let her hold on to unhatched eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by new2green, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2013
    Hi Folks:
    My silky was sharing a nest with another brooder, a wild chicken that lived at the property before we moved in. The wild one hatched 4 chicks and left the nest. She was killed by a bobcat (during the day!!!) and left 3 chicks who are being raised by my only silky rooster (go figure).
    The lady silky has been sitting on the remaining eggs for about 25 days and nothing has happened yet. I am worried that she will die from eating so little, since I never see her go outside. I put food for her at the nest, but she won't eat in front of me. I don't know if the other chickens are eating the food, or maybe the chicks since they come to her at night for warmth.
    We live in Florida so they are free ranging all day.
    How much longer should I wait until I get rid of the eggs? Will they ever hatch? Should I substitute them for other eggs and let her have her babies?
    The 3 roosters are loose with the other chickens so all eggs have good potential.
    Please help. Thank you,
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    The latest I've had a chicken egg hatch was day 25, under a broody hen. That is VERY unusual though. I'd break that hen's broodiness and let her recover and put some weight on before letting her sit again. If you have a wire bottom cage, put her in there for a few days with some food and water, no nesting materials.
     
  3. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for answering me. I'm new at this. What do you think happened? Why didn't the eggs hatch?
    Will she brood again later? The other two brooders are dead and I love having babies running around.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    There are a few things that can cause hatch failures, even under broody hens. See a breakdown of the causes here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/egg-failure-to-hatch-diagnosing-incubation-problems

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/diagnosing-hatch-failures-it-starts-with-the-egg

    How long after the wild hen left the nest did the silkie take over? The cold may have killed the remaining eggs... Just thinking out loud here. It's difficult to troubleshoot if you don't have the full background.
     
  5. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    They actually were sharing the nest, both sat together and when the first 4 babies were born, the wild one left with them. They would come back at night.
    She got kiilled and the chicks are under 3 weeks old. Only 3 left and they sleep with the silkie. The silkie was the last to come into the next, but has been there for a long time. yesterday there was an egg half open with a dead chick inside. :(
     
  6. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I would candle all those eggs and see if any are actually viable still. Then get rid of them if they aren't so she can get on with her life and put some weight back on.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    x2
     

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