Moving a broody and her clutch help pls


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
Hi I'm a newbie here and to incubating eggs
We have a broody silkie bantam sat on 5 duck eggs, it's day 21.
I read that I should separate her from the rest of our hens, so just tried putting her in a rabbit hutch with her eggs. They were snuggled in their nest but she stressed and didn't sit on them. We left her and them for an hr to settle but it didn't work.
I have now put her back with her eggs in the hen house and she sat straight away. The eggs weren't cold, but obviously they weren't warm after being left for an hour. Will they be ok or is there no hope?
Feeling a bit guilty! :-(
The eggs still have a chance, although it is very likely now that there will be less that hatch. If you haven't already, I'd suggest you remove the other hens instead of moving the broody hen. This can be difficult, but it is far better than allowing the other hens near the babies. If there are no pips (cracks, scratches, or signs of the egg being broken by the inner baby) and no peeps (noise from the baby still in the egg) within the next four or five days, I would call it safe to say that none will hatch. Another sign is if the broody hen moves any of the eggs away from her spot or abandons all of them. A broody hen can often tell which eggs will hatch and which won't, and she won't waste her time or her heat if she thinks an egg is no good- she'll get it away from her spot so it won't soak up any of her heat.
Best of luck!
Thank you for your reply. I have moved the other hens out if the house and left her alone with her eggs. They are due to hatch until next Thursday (28 days) so I shouldn't expect any pips until then should I?
Should there be movement in the eggs? I haven't noticed any yet. I try and check them when she leaves the nest for food.
Usually the pips will start coming on day 21, but I got your eggs mixed with mine in the timing (ours or on day 25). Give it a day or two past day 28. If there hasn't been any movement, pips, or peeps by then, it's bad news. I hope that's not the case though! A broody hen is becoming more and more rare, and if the hen has bad luck, she's less likely to be broody again next year.
Also, movement is something to look for, but not as common. We're hatching our fourth and fifth batch of eggs (we started four years ago, and have two separate batches this year), and we've found that sometimes you might not find movement, or it might be false. We've felt movement in eggs that never made it, and failed to find movement in eggs that do hatch. It can be an indicator, but it's less reliable than peeps and pips.
Your help is really appreciated. When you say pips and peeps you mean sound and taps breaking the shell?
When I shine a torch on them I can see an air bubble and a big dark mass but can't determine any further. I've only tried a few times as nothing seems to alter in what can see it's not defined at all.
Should I find her some chicks or ducklings from else where if the eggs come to nothing?
If you wanted the chicks/ducklings, and the eggs come to nothing, then you should look elsewhere. A feed store is a good place to look, but as it is hatching season, someone might have some babies they don't want.
And, yes, pips are any sign the baby is breaking the shell, and peeps are any noise from the baby inside.
We never candle our eggs, only because the first time we tried the temperature in our incubator fluctuated too much and only two of the twenty five eggs hatched, and we don't mess with our broody hens. We make sure they are alone and have easy to get to food and water. We'll check on her a few times a day, but we never reach for the eggs/chicks.
Many people have success with candling, just not us, so I wouldn't have any experience with what to look for
To give you an idea on the desired temperature, in case you don't know since you're letting a broody hen take the wheel (by the way, I'm happy to see there are still broody hens out there! Many of our hens tried it for a few days and gave up; this year we've got one who stayed dutiful) a still air incubator needs the temperature at about 102 or 103 degrees fahrenheit. If there's a fan (or, in the case of outdoors, wind) circulating the air, the desired temp. is 99.5 degrees fahrenheit.

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