Interrupted Incubation with Broody Hen

hypnozze

Songster
Apr 11, 2018
54
71
102
Latvia, Europe
Hello everyone,

I am a first time broody hen caretaker therefore I didn't know I had to remove all unwanted eggs after noticing a broody hen sitting on eggs. In my case, she was sitting on one egg for approx. 12 hours, no more.

I took the egg in order to be able to add a few more (I will have to wait for until tomorrow for my other two hens to lay some more because we just used all of the eggs). If I understood correctly, all eggs must hatch at the same time, so that is why I took the one egg out. So it won't hatch before the other eggs do. I put a few plastic eggs under the broody hen.

My question is - will the first egg still be viable after being sat on for 12 hours and then being in room temperature for one maybe two days until I can put a few more eggs together with it?
 
Yes, it should be fine still. Some broodies will sit on rocks, or nothing and still be broody! But some plastic eggs or golf balls will work too.

When you put the eggs back under her, make sure you mark the eggs so you know which are the ones you want her to hatch. Is she away from the other hens or is she still in with them? if she is in with the others it can cause a few issues, I had other hens sitting on her, laying on her, sometimes pushing her out of the nest area. I also ended up with eggs getting kicked out of the nest, getting broken and actually only ended up with a 1/6 hatch rate. Just something for you to be aware of.
 
Yes, it should be fine still. Some broodies will sit on rocks, or nothing and still be broody! But some plastic eggs or golf balls will work too.

When you put the eggs back under her, make sure you mark the eggs so you know which are the ones you want her to hatch. Is she away from the other hens or is she still in with them? if she is in with the others it can cause a few issues, I had other hens sitting on her, laying on her, sometimes pushing her out of the nest area. I also ended up with eggs getting kicked out of the nest, getting broken and actually only ended up with a 1/6 hatch rate. Just something for you to be aware of.

Thank You for Your reply! Reassuring news :) She is together with others at the moment however I am thinking about ways on how to separate her so others won't bother her.
 
If you are going to move her, do it before you give her the eggs you want her to hatch. I've tried moving broodies mid-brood and we ended up with broken eggs.

She needs somewhere to comfortably nest, access to food and water and somewhere away from the nest for her to broody poop!

You don't absolutely have to move her, some people on here have had great hatch rates from their broodies in with the general population. I think it depends on your coop set up, if there is plenty of room where shes unlikely to be disturbed, leave her, but if it's a smaller set up with hens all sharing the one nesting space it's probably best to get her her own space.

Best of luck
 
Just my luck - I have only two eggs in total including the one laid 10 days ago. Other hens have laid one deformed egg and one was a little broken in the nesting box.

Can someone please share advice on how long can I let my broody chicken wait for shipped eggs? I will receive those eggs only next Wednesday or Thursday so that would be 2 weeks of my hen already sitting in the nesting box without any eggs.

My question is - can I wait that long and will the hen sit on eggs for those 2 weeks+21 days or is it too long for her?

She takes a few short strolls during the day - she drinks and eats and now I have her separated from the others by a piece of mesh type fabric in the same coop. She did switch those two existing nesting boxes from time to time so therefore I moved the other box to the general area for the other two hens.
 
2 weeks of already sitting + 21 days is achievable, but certainly no more, 5 weeks is a long time for a broody hen to be broody and it really takes its toll on them. She will start looking a real state towards the end, You will have to keep a close eye on her and make sure she continues to eat and drink.

Some broodys will sit for months, I've even heard stories of broodys dying on the nest, they were so committed that they forgot to look after themselves. But on the other side there are some that won't even sit for a full 21 days, and they abandon eggs half way through a brood. It's all based on the individual hens hormones and there's not much us lowly humans can do about it.

Have you considered buying her day old chicks and putting them under her at night? She wakes up in the morning a happy and fulfilled mumma and then she wouldn't have to sit for a further 21 days, just an idea.
 
2 weeks of already sitting + 21 days is achievable, but certainly no more, 5 weeks is a long time for a broody hen to be broody and it really takes its toll on them. She will start looking a real state towards the end, You will have to keep a close eye on her and make sure she continues to eat and drink.

Some broodys will sit for months, I've even heard stories of broodys dying on the nest, they were so committed that they forgot to look after themselves. But on the other side there are some that won't even sit for a full 21 days, and they abandon eggs half way through a brood. It's all based on the individual hens hormones and there's not much us lowly humans can do about it.

Have you considered buying her day old chicks and putting them under her at night? She wakes up in the morning a happy and fulfilled mumma and then she wouldn't have to sit for a further 21 days, just an idea.

Thank You for Your reply! Hopefully all will be well and she will successfully hatch some babies. Too bad I did not foresee that I will be out of my own eggs.
I have not considered buying baby chicks because where I am from practically nobody sells such small chicks. The youngest that are being sold are two weeks old. I don't really know why, but that's the way it is here.
At the moment, she eats well and drinks water. I will try hand feeding her some live mealworms later. That should keep her healthy :)
 
An update: I decided not to wait on the shipped eggs and, upon receiving a 3rd egg from my other hens, I put the three eggs under my broody. The first egg was the one which was sat on for approx. 12 hours and was 8 or 9 days old when I put it under my hen. It will be 9 days extra + 21days needed for incubation. Yesterday I candled the eggs on day 8 and it seems that only the oldest egg is developing. The other two look empty. Should I wait a little longer before discarding the other two? And should I put two decoy eggs under her if I remove the non-developing eggs?
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You're right, those other 2 look completely empty, if they are on day 8 they are unfertilised. I guess your only option now is to keep the 1 developing egg under her. If it hatches she'll be just as happy with 1 than 3.

Good luck and keep us updated.
 
Hello!

Two eggs were infertile but the one left which was the egg that was initially sat on for 12 hours, has hatched! I have my first baby chick :) Well, the broody hen has him to be exact. Thank You L1sa for your advice all along :)
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