Southern Chickens

12 Years
Mar 11, 2007
NorthWest Florida
I had ordered a dozen Buff Orpington eggs and put them under my hen when she went broody. I have had them in the incubator inside until she went broody. I had no other eggs to give her so on day 8, I moved them outside with her. I noticed that she was OFF the nest on Sunday. The eggs were cool to the touch.
I checked on her late Sunday night and before I left for work on Monday morning, she went back to setting on them, or so I thought!

When I got home from work, I checked on her and she is not the same hen. She is a new hen that, I guess found the eggs and took them for her own! I know it's not the same one because she is missing a few back feathers from the rooster, doing his thing. Also, she is MEAN!!!!!
She didn't peck at me, she grabed the littlest bit of skin on my hand and clamped down, hard! It hurt! She is going to be a good mother, I think.
Do you think that the chicks could have died in the time it took the other one to get on the nest?
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I had eggs that have sat alone in a nest with no broody for 2 or more days, and they still hatched, our little banty broody left her nest on day 13 I think for nearly 9 hours, then she went back, and the chick hatched!, it's now almost 3 weeks old, so I'd say the chances of the chicks still being alive is pretty good, I had a duck eggs once that was sitting in the mud for about 4 days, it kept developing when I put it under a broody chicken hen, but died a few days before hatch
My broody got up and left with them pipping yesterday to get her last meal...they seem to go when they have to get natures call answered. I have at least four hens sharing in the ones I have set now. I use the sharing term loosely here. By force or choice there is a rotation. My flock is quite docile. I live by the "No feathers no foul" philosophy I like to check in the middle of the night when it is cool and dark to make sure there is a Mama on the job. Daytime behavior here is sporadic and at times will cause panic in the uprights. I hope your eggs are good and your hens are better!

Two days ago in a rain I had both of my nests of set eggs uncovered for many hours while they grubbed about. Sorting out the newcomers is my biggest headache.
That makes me feel better. I was concerned, because they are eggs that I paid for! I wouldn't worry that much about it, if it were her eggs and not mine!
The new hen, thinks they are HER eggs!

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