My hen sat on the wrong eggs!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by conklinator, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. conklinator

    conklinator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Fair Hill, MD
    I've got a hen that went broody last week. I felt bad stealing eggs from her every night, so on Friday, I went and got her a half dozen fertile eggs to hatch out. She took right to them, and got to work. Sunday morning, I went out to check on her before leaving for church at about 9:15, and she was on the eggs, and the other 2 nesting boxes were empty. We went to church, then to my mom's for Easter dinner, and came home around 8:00. At some point during the day, she must have gone out to eat, and came back and sat in one of the other nesting boxes on the wrong eggs! It was about 55° outside, and the fertile eggs felt cool. I immediately shooed her off of the eggs, and got her settled back in on the fertile eggs. I have no idea how long they went uncovered, but it was no longer than 11 hours. There were 4 un-fertilized eggs under her, so there was enough time for 4 other hens to lay before she switched. Are the eggs bad, or should I let her keep sitting on them? I'm planning to switch her to her own private suite as soon as I have time to put one together.


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  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Let her keep setting - the eggs should be fine if they were viable to begin with.
     
  3. Hirad

    Hirad Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Embryos are resilient, I'd let her keep the eggs. Is she a first timer?
     
  4. conklinator

    conklinator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Fair Hill, MD

    Yes... We both are! Haha

    I'm going to turn my old brooder box into a separate nesting box away from the rest of the flock with her own run and feeding area. In the meantime, I'm having my wife check several times a day to make sure there aren't eggs in the other boxes to confuse her.
     
  5. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should be fine.
    I use banty hens to brood my eggs and I am always amazed at the time they spend off the eggs and then how successful hatch is.
    So, I learned a while back to just let them do the broody thing their way, not my way.
    Good luck with the hatch.
    Broody hens are awesome.
     
  6. conklinator

    conklinator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Fair Hill, MD
    As it turns out, my broody hen was getting bullied off of her eggs by some of my other chickens. Not only were they forcing her out of her box, but they plucked a big bald spot in her back. She is so docile and friendly, that she doesn't even complain when I push her off the wrong eggs, and move her to the other box.

    In an effort to stop the brutality on my poor broody girl, I scrounged together some scraps out of my leftover lumber pile, and built a chicken "maternity ward" as I like to call it. It's got a hinged roof so I can feed and water her, a separate nesting box inside, and plenty of room for chicks to run around and feed after they're hatched. It will also have its own private outdoor run that shares a fence wall with the main coop so all the girls can get used to seeing each other before they are integrated. For right now, I sealed up the outside door, so the run will come later.

    Hopefully this makes for happy, successful brooding of my new black copper Maran chicks.

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  7. conklinator

    conklinator Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Fair Hill, MD
    Looks like the few hours spent cooling didn't do any damage. As of this afternoon, 4 of my 6 black copper/blue/splash marans have hatched, and are doing well! Hoping the other 2 hatch by tomorrow. Glad my broody girl is getting to fulfill her motherly instincts!

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  8. BlessedCountry6

    BlessedCountry6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I am glad to read that the hens off the eggs for a bit doesn't hurt them. I had the same issue. Only I have 3 broody hens. I throw them out of the box in the morning and night so they eat when I feed the others. They all three lay in the box together or sometimes one at a time.
    I really like your maternity house for her. I have a brooder I've made and I might put one of the hens and babies in there before they hatch. The eggs have only been out there for 3 days and I'm also trying to see if 1 or two of the hens will stop being broody as that happened the first time I tried two yrs ago.
    Your chicks are beautiful! Congrats!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  9. Hirad

    Hirad Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Glad everything worked out. Did any more hatch?
     

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