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Let the hen sit or take the remaining eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dhansen, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. dhansen

    dhansen In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2007
    So my momma hen has been on her nest for an extra week from the time the first chick hatched. 6 more have hatched, mostly one each day for the last week. There are still 12 eggs in the nest. ( Our other hens laid new eggs in the nest for at least a week after she first began to sit). She really doesn't like the new chicks that hatch and has pecked at a few, which we have taken and put in a brooder. I keep thinking she will leave the nest soon, but until she does, I don't want to mess with the eggs. We have the incubator set up and ready when/if she does. Should I just let her keep sitting or take the eggs to the incubator now? I check on her often because I don't want her to hurt any of her chicks. Has anyone out there ever experienced anything like this?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    So you've been taking the chicks and she has none right? Usually after the first few chicks she waits a day or three and then ups and leaves with her babies. She'll probably keep sitting if you keep taking chicks from her. It is up to you when you take her eggs and let her have chicks. If she does kill some chicks though she may be only good as a setter and not as a mom. I have a terrible sitting hen but does a great job as a mom. Loses all her eggs every time! I say leave the eggs as long as she sits. She will continue to sit if you continue to take chicks. Up to you really. Good luck!
  3. Hi! It just depends on whether you want to take a chance on the hen hurting the chicks.
    I had an ornery broody kill almost her whole clutch as they hatched (and was flinging them out of the nestbox) a few weeks ago.
    With the eggs staggered like that, they'll probably hatch better under the hen.
    If you know when the last egg was laid, then you can count days and see when the last ones are due.
    Have you candled to see if the 12 still in the nest are viable?
    Good luck!

  4. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

    Feb 17, 2007
    My mama brahma is an excellent mom to her chicks. I had the same problem as you. The other hens would lay their eggs in her nest. She hatched 3 chicks and after 3 days, I took the rest of the eggs and put them under another hen. I made her get out and take care of her three little ones. I have learned to mark the eggs with a pencil. Each day I check and take out any unmarked eggs from the broodies. That way they will all hatch at the same time. With 36 cochins and brahmas, I always have a new broody willing to take eggs. GEEESH, I just got my 97 chickens down to 44 and now the girls are all going broody. But I am a very happy chicky grandma.[​IMG]
    Chi lady in Michigan
  5. dhansen

    dhansen In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2007
    The mom has her first two that hatched with her. She protects those two, but the new little ones she sometimes pecks. We take those away soon after they hatch. She continues to sit on the remaining eggs, though and her first two chicks are a week old. I might try to candle the white eggs, but the green and brown eggs are tough to see through. We did mark the eggs after reading that in this forum, but there are still many not marked. What a busy rooster! Wish me luck. Either way, the incubator is ready. Thanks for your responses. It makes me not so feel alone and dingy about chicken stuff!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007

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