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Letting the hens hatch the eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SparrowsHouse, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. SparrowsHouse

    SparrowsHouse New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Redding, Ca
    We came back from a week's vacation to find 51 eggs from our 16 chickens. I have 3 hens that love to sit so I decided to let them sit on the eggs. I've marked all the eggs so that we can collect fresh eggs. I have lots of questions!
    1. How soon will they begin to stay on the eggs (there's about 15-18 eggs in each 'nest')?
    2. When can I candle & see the fertile eggs?
    3. Should I reduce the amount of eggs or will the hens take care of that?
    Any other advice would be wonderful!
     
  2. TheChickInn

    TheChickInn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Hmmm.....are you sure you have broody hens? Usually if they see a pile that size, they would already be setting. I have chickens that will start setting with 10-12 eggs on a pile ( except for my silkies- they would readily sit on any single egg they can). I don't like more than 10-12 eggs under a standard breed chicken, and usually about 5-7 for a bantam breed. You can candle eggs effectively after 1 week from the hen's first day of setting on them.
     
  3. SparrowsHouse

    SparrowsHouse New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Redding, Ca
    I have 3 hens that seem to sit on the eggs most of the day. Since we have been gathering the eggs up until now I may be assuming that these ladies will sit.[​IMG] I had read that they won't stay on the nest until there is around 25+ eggs. One thing is for sure, they do not like me to mess when them when they are sitting LOL So, I assume from your post, that I have to wait for them to sit all the time before candeling them.
     
  4. TheChickInn

    TheChickInn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Yes, usually when a hen is truly broody, they will only leave the nest for a few minutes once or twice a day to drink, grab a snack and take a potty break. I have had hens so broody, that I would have to physically remove them from the nest.
     
  5. magpiesing

    magpiesing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi
    I too am a new egg and thank you for asking some of the same questions I had. I didn't know there would need to be so many eggs in the clutch for them to stay on them, i thought even one would be enough.
     
  6. SparrowsHouse

    SparrowsHouse New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Redding, Ca
    I think we are all learning. That's why this is my go-to site![​IMG]
     
  7. chicalicious

    chicalicious New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2014
    ontario canada
    I think 25 may be excessive. I too am using a broody to raise chicks and she sets on 4 eggs
     
  8. magpiesing

    magpiesing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine too. I now spend a lot of time here just reading what others have said. I can hardly wait for winter to be done with. Right now it's raining and cold and my gang is pitching fits because i wouldn't let them out this morning. I'm so delighted because my husband is so taken with our flock. He does most of the hard work for me and checks on them every night, gathers the eggs and has built them a really nice house and yard. I hope it's ok to carry on chicken related conversations and stories here that are not topic specific. Please let me know if I should post else where so I'm not a bad egg.
     
  9. SparrowsHouse

    SparrowsHouse New Egg

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Redding, Ca
    Is there a way to find out which ones are fertile? I hate to waste so many. I have 16 hens, is there a chance that if I spread them out in different nest boxes that more ens will sit?
     
  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    No you cannot tell which are fertile without breaking them open. 25 is far too many to set under 1 hen in my opinion. Are your hens sitting on they eggs 24 hours a day or do they go to the roost at night if they don't stay on the eggs all night I doubt they're broody nor will your eggs hatch
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014

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