Nest of 12...out in the weeds (????)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by billyroo, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. billyroo

    billyroo In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2007
    New to this so here goes.

    My son found our RIR in the bushes sitting on a nest of 12 eggs. Now what?

    The eggs were cold but set in a deep hole. I was gone so my wife put the eggs in the refig (seperate from the rest) so leting her brood to hatching them is most likey out of the question....right?

    1. Could the eggs still be good?

    2. How long does it take an egg to go bad?

    3. Could they all be her's and if so how long did it take her to lay the clutch?

    4. Why now? ...chicks in November sounds like a bad idea.

    5. What to do with these eggs...through out..????candel ??

    6. suggestions for the future.

    Bill (one of the new guys) [​IMG]
  2. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    how long have they been in the fridge? and are you sure she was setting on them, rather than just laying another egg? if they were cold, it doesnt seem like your RIR was being a very good broody. most likely, you will have to throw them out, or eat them. to see if they are still fresh, put the eggs in a bowl of warm water. If the eggs float - they're bad, if they sink, they are still good to eat. obviously if they were cold, she couldn't be trying to hatch them, either that or she just isnt a good broody, candle them if you must, but it isnt necessary, their chances have probably already been blown.

    I don't know much about this kind of stuff, someone correct me if I am wrong on any of these.
  3. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    If she is truly broody, I would get those eggs out of the fridge (maybe too late now) and put them in a nest for her. I had the same experience and all four hatched last week.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to the forum.

    Hens lay 1 egg per day, so unless you have other hens laying in her spot those eggs have been there and at least one of them is about 12 days old.

    If they have been in the fridge overnight I would have to advise that you throw them all out. They have most likely gotten too cold to try to hatch. I personally would not crack nor think about eating an egg that I had no real idea of how long it had been since they were laid. There are ways of testing them by floating them in water, etc. I don't bother with those tests - when in doubt throw them out.

    Do you have a rooster? If not those eggs where not fertile and wouldn't hatch to begin with. If they were fertile and she had been sitting on them they could have started to develop and cracking them open to see can put some people off eating eggs for a long time.

    If you want eggs to eat, lock her in the hen house for a week and train her to lay in there where you can collect the eggs every day.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  5. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Wow--possibly a broody RIR! That doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. If she was broody, she probably would have growled when she was removed from the nest, and her feathers would have been ruffled.

    It's possible, too, that the nest was simply her secret depository for eggs, and you found her on it just before or just after she laid. Maybe she wasn't broody at all.

    In any case, check the eggs for freshness as advised by Rosyposyosy. Hens usually lay an egg every 25 hours or so, but that can vary. If they are all hers--and they may not be, hens often like to lay eggs together in the same "safe" spot--it would have taken her a couple weeks to lay them all.

    As I said, RIRs don't often go broody, and you're right, chicks in November probably aren't the best idea, but a hen's broody cycle is usually a hormonal thing. If your RIR was broody, doubtless, she didn't actually "think it out." It was more like a fluke. Broodiness has mostly been bred out of RIRs, at least the production strains. Still, it does happen. Neat!

    Good luck with your hen, and I hope most of the eggs will be good enough to eat. The water/floating test is a good one. [​IMG]
  6. billyroo

    billyroo In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2007
    Well thanks folks........action plan

    1. Warm water bath..... Floaters get pitched
    Sinkers will get fried one at a time
    The yolks tend to "stand up" on our fresh eggs.

    1a (might) also do an embryo test on the eggs with my biology class at school

    2. she'll (RIR) get locked in the coop..She had been laying in there before but she must have gotten bored.

    3. We will build a brooder pen for the spring summer just in case it happens again.

    4. I kept track of egg production since we got our flock of 10 in August but the weather has made it spotty...I'll keep a closer watch.

    5. Daily egg hunts

    Yes I have a roo and he is "on the job" a lot so I'm sure the eggs are fertile.

    Thanks again
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007

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