If the 1st clutch doesn't hatch, will a broody sit for a 2nd?

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by sahmhomesteader, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. sahmhomesteader

    sahmhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the 1st clutch doesn't hatch, will a broody sit for a 2nd? Is this even healthy for a hen or is she too depleted of energy to sit another 21 days?

    I have never hatched chicks before so this is all new to me. Chicks are due in about 7 days, but I have not candled the eggs (4 of them), and we have had issues with lice so I am just worried they are not developing due to the movement, the cleaning, and the amount of time my broody spends dusting each day.
     
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  2. PalmRoyal

    PalmRoyal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody Royal Palm turkey hen had a nest a few months ago, but unfortunately she did not hatch any babies (my tom was not producing correctly at the time, I do not believe). She then sat on a second nest (infertile chicken eggs that my chicken tried to hide and we could not find) and none hatched from that nest. Everything I did would not break her from her broody behavior. Even daily cool water dippings on her breast and constant agitation when she would try to nest. So now she has a fertile turkey egg and a fertile Muscovy egg that she can sit on and hopefully have babies. I feel so bad for her because you can really tell that she is taking the toll of wanting to hatch babies. So, every day, I lock out all of the other poultry from their night time yard and let her out and let her eat some high protein feed, get some water and just about 10-15 min of exercise is all she wants. I also add some food and water in her nesting area near where she is to help her stay healthier.
    I am not sure if this works for chickens as well, but for turkeys if you feel around their crop and it is very saggy and not spongy at all, it means that they are starting to use their fat reserves and break down tissues. A healthy turkey that is in good condition will have a nice spongy feeling around their crop.
     
  3. sahmhomesteader

    sahmhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your answer. She is being such a good broody so I really think she wants to be a mommy, but we have had to spray every other day with Poultry Protector . I know that has been stressing her out. Plus I have moved her nest several times to clean, and some times she has been away from it for an hour. I have no idea the maximum amount of time a hen can be away from the eggs. I just went out to her away from the nest again, and she was desperately searching for it. 2 of the eggs felt cold and 2 felt warm...
     
  4. PalmRoyal

    PalmRoyal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are very worried about the eggs, then I would just go outside and candle them. You will know then if you need to take some eggs away or not. My first mistake with my hen was not candling the eggs and the eggs came down with bacteria infections and turned a very dark green liquid inside (almost like water) and they would just explode. I figured that it was not good for the hen or any possibly developing eggs. So, immediately, I took out all of the bad eggs (which was all of them). Then two other hens started laying there and she then took over their nests and brooded their eggs. Their eggs, of course, were not fertile because my tom was having problems (I believe he was overweight and it was especially hot so it just wasn't his time). So, I nipped that problem in the butt and got rid of all of those eggs when they candled as being bad eggs. Now, she is sitting on one fertile turkey egg and one fertile Muscovy egg (tried to time it so they would hatch the same time) and they are both fertile. It was hard to get everything correct, but so far, it is working. Poor girl, she has been through a lot, but it is worth it

    If you were wondering if they will make another nest, lay more eggs, then go broody again, then I would say yes. My turkeys are on their third sets of eggs this year (I thought they would only have two if you were lucky- spring and then summer). I'm not sure if this would be common among chickens, but it might be.
     
  5. sahmhomesteader

    sahmhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oooo so exciting. You will have to let me know how it goes :)

    Okay well I took your advice. I went out and candled them. 3 out of 4 of the eggs had blood vessels and air sacs (is that what they are called?). Yay! I obviously don't know much about what I am looking at, but I am hoping they are alive and developing fine. I would prefer not to bother them more than I have to. Do I need to candle again at a later date or just leave them?

    I found a post online about what the eggs look like each day when candled. I am thinking that mine look about 12 to 13 days along when compared to those pictures.
     
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  6. PalmRoyal

    PalmRoyal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am still very new to this as well. Although new, I still see a lot of benefits for the babies to be incubated naturally. I would say that if they are all good, then you should not need to candle them again. They should be able to incubate and hatch perfectly fine. My ducks go off of their eggs for about 2-3 hours in the morning and about an hour at night and their eggs are developing perfectly (I have about a 90% of my eggs laid developing on time). All of the times I candle mine and they look like they are developing, I would say 49 out of 50 times, they hatch perfectly fine. After my first mistake of leaving the eggs in there and then them exploding all over the mother and other eggs, I have decided that is a mistake I never want to make again. Some people say that it is not necessary, but I beg to differ.
    Some good advice is, some hens will push out the rotten eggs themselves and some will not. I have one turkey that will take the rotten eggs far away (she will peck the egg shell (not the membrane) and carry it away from her nest and just leave it there (not eat it) and another will literally just push it out of the nest and not carry it off. My other hen will sit on it, determined for it to hatch, and will let it rot and explode (she even gets worried if I take the rotten eggs away).
    Here is some first hand experience that I hope you never have to go through. [​IMG] If you go too long to candle correctly (I tried to candle at 21 days when the turkeys hatched at 28 days- I just learned to candle eggs right after I had exploding eggs) and are not sure if the eggs are good and it is around the time to hatch, smell them. It sounds like bad information, but you will not be able to accurately tell that the eggs are developed or if the rot is not letting light shine through correctly. Your nose will be able to tell you what eggs are rotting and what eggs are still good. When I smell mine, I take a good hard wiff (I want to be extra sure there isn't a baby in it) and about gag each time, but that one smell beats having to move the entire nest, try to clean up the area with the rotten egg (when it breaks) all the while having to smell it constantly baking in the sun. Not a pleasant experience. Not one at all.
     
  7. sahmhomesteader

    sahmhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds awful! I am glad I listened to you and candled. Hopefully I won't have to deal with a nasty eggplosion! I love doing things naturally as well, and I really think my hen will be a good mama. I can't wait to see her in the act! Now to decide if I keep her separate from the flock with her new chicks for a few days after hatching or if I keep them altogether...
     

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