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I think my chicken is sitting on unfertilized eggs ...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chrisdawnc, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. chrisdawnc

    chrisdawnc New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Hi! I'm new around this neighborhood although I've read a lot of past posts!

    Here is my story: a neighbors chicken layed a bunch of eggs under our house and low and behold, we ended up adopting two (one died). We never thought we could fall in love with a chicken but we did. Family and friends think we are nuts [​IMG]

    Anyways, "Cheepy" recently started behaving weird which I realized later that she was "broody". She had been sitting on her eggs in our neighbors yard. We brought her and all her eggs back to our yard and placed her in a large cage. She continues to be a good mama and has been sitting on her eggs all this time.

    I don't know exactly when she started to sit on her eggs but based on how she was acting, I would say it's been close to 3 weeks. We decided that if nothing happens by April 1st, we will assume the eggs are unfertilized. We tried to "candle" them using the lamp and toilet paper roll method but I couldn't really see anything.

    My question is, when April 1st comes around, should I just take away her eggs all at once? Let her run free as she used to? Keep her in a cage until she realizes there are no eggs? I feel so bad for her. She is trying so hard. So I want to make this process as easy as possible on her.

    I would be grateful for whatever help you could give me.

    Thank yOu,
    Dawn
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    With most hens they will abandon the nest on their own if nothing is developing. Best odds are she will lose interest before long. There are exceptions to this of course.
     
  3. chrisdawnc

    chrisdawnc New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Thank you kstaven! I did not know that. So I guess I should not do anything with the eggs until she loses interest. Thanks again! Dawn
     
  4. Jayare's Chicks

    Jayare's Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does Cheepy get any "PLAY TIME" with the neighbors ROOSTERS? If she is your ONLY chicken and she gets no "PLAY TIME" with the Rooster next door then the eggs will not be fertle.

    If she does play well with others and you don't know exactly when she started sitting on those eggs just let her keep sitting until you KNOW the 21 days has come and gone and nothing hatched before you throw those eggs out.

    Jayare
     
  5. chrisdawnc

    chrisdawnc New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Dear Jayare,

    Yes, Cheepy did have a "friend" next door with a lot of playtime (boy, watching those two go at it was interesting to witness) although he has since been relocated.

    I read somewhere on this message board that a rooster could fertilize eggs for up to three weeks since a "get together".

    Thank you for your help!!
    Dawn
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Try candling again. I use a good old flashlight with new batteries and a strong light beam. In a dark room, place the egg on top of flashlight.. adjust egg if necessary if you can't see through the egg.

    Past a week or 10 days it is very easy to see things in the egg(especially white or light tan eggs), such as blood vessels or what looks like half of the egg is glowing a reddish color with the other half being brighter. Closer to 21 days, the egg progressively gets darker and harder to see anything except the airspace seems to become much sharper.

    If you have been able to see through the egg past one week but it all seems to shine brightly, maybe even see a slightly darker roundish thing(that would be the yolk) with no obvious darker spots or blood vessels then it probably was not fertile.

    Despite what others say, it is actually very common for hens to sit on eggs for 2 or even 3 months.

    So either after candling and finding all clears or waiting until the 1st, your other option is to get a couple fertile eggs and slip them under her to hatch? Otherwise just remove all eggs at once, she will not be amused for a day or two but will eventually forget about it and go on perfectly well.
     
  7. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Guess my hens aren't very common then. [​IMG]
     
  8. chrisdawnc

    chrisdawnc New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Thanks for the extra info! Perhaps I will give candling one more try ... last time I was so nervous I was going to drop one.
    [​IMG]

    I sure hope my chicken is not like yours and will sit on these eggs for months! The suspense is driving us bonkers!

    Have a great weekend,
    Dawn
     
  9. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I had a hen that would not get up, she would sit for weeks and weeks on unfertile eggs. I would collect the eggs but as soon as more were laid she'd sit. I would throw her off nest and take the eggs, dried dipping her in water, nothing worked, until I Put fertilized eggs under her and let her hatch them. Every year she would do this, so a couple times I got fertilized eggs from friends, and a few times I bought chicks and then switched them for the eggs after me throwing her off nest. They do not eat when they are sitting and I think they can die if they sit forever.
     

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