Oops, moved eggs too late?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AlbionWood, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    We had a couple of first-years go broody, so we let them sit on some eggs. Unfortunately we are first-years at this as well, so we made some rookie mistakes... like forgetting to write down the day they started! So we aren't sure just how many days they've been incubating, but it's been at least two weeks and maybe closer to three. One of the girls proved unreliable, so we moved six eggs under the other (a Speckled Sussex), and last night we candled. All six appear to have something going on inside: big dark area, with some feathering and some movement visible. Hard to see anything else, mostly just a big darkness.

    Because the other hens keep jumping in whenever the one broody gets up, we moved her and the eggs into a new box in a separate pen after candling last night. Now I'm worried it may have been after day 18 and we might have damaged them. What exactly is the risk with that? How much longer should we wait? If nothing hatches we're thinking of getting some chicks from the feed store and putting them under her at night.
     
  2. SarahIrl

    SarahIrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    West Cork, Ireland
    If she is happily sitting, leave her to it. If they won't hatch she'll get up and abandon them, but they sound fine to me. Give them another three days before checking them again.
     
  3. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    One thing to listen for is for the hen to get real clucky. My broodies get real noisy when the chicks are about to hatch. Usually they'll sit there and growl at me or whatever, but when I get back they'll start chattin' as if to say "Come on out...mommy's here". (that's broody talk [​IMG] )

    If you're not sure whether it's 2-3 weeks, I would just leave her be. Odds are you'll hear that first chick making all kinds of peeps. Since you've seen life in those eggs from candling, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I wouldn't worry about picking them up either. You did it, it's done, and they're fine. You just really don't want to roll the eggs or anything like that...just leave them the way that they are when she's laying on them.

    The eggs that you moved to the other broody, were they on the same incubation day as the other eggs? If not, you may need to remove the babies until all those eggs hatch. My Valentine's brood took 4 days (under a mama) to hatch and after the first 24 hours, I removed the chicks until the last one hatched...I didn't want her abandoning the other eggs. And it's a good thing that I did, because the hatch started on a Friday and didn't end until a Monday night. I'm pretty sure she would have gotten up off of her nest.

    Good luck!
     
  4. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    Update: Found a broken egg in front of the hen on Friday, yolk all over - apparently a dud. So we got four chicks, supposedly about a week old, from the feed store on Saturday and put them under her in the afternoon. At first she looked really confused, but then settled down on them.

    Then we went back to check on her just before evening, and found an empty eggshell sitting right in front of her. Oh no, we though, maybe we flustered her so much she's eating her eggs... but no, there was a little wet chick under her!

    This morning there were 2 more empty shells kicked out... and a total of 7 little fluffballs! All looking healthy so far. One egg still under her; we'll give it another day. So far she has not shown any sign of wanting to get up.

    Easter chicks, entirely by accident! This is fun!
     
  5. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    That's fantastic news! I bet you're glad you didn't throw those eggs out [​IMG]
     

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