overdue....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Rorie, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We dont really know when our hen started sitting, but i am quite sure 21 days would have passed on Saturday. Though not 100% sure. I am thinking by Wednesday the 21 days will DEFENETLY be over.

    last week i made an attempt at candling them and all 9 of them looked fertilised, with a large dark mass and only a small air bubble.

    This is the first time the hen has ever sat on eggs, but she has been really committed and only left them once a day.

    So, can eggs hatch if passed 21 day?
    Will she leave them on her own if they dont hatch within a set period of time?
    What could have happened if they were developing and then just never hatched?
    It is pretty cold here just now, would that have anything to do with it even though she is sitting and the eggs have always been warm?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I think since you are not 100% sure how far along they are leave her for a few more days and see what happens. 21 days is the average incubation time for chicken eggs and most of them start hatching after 21 days, but I've had eggs under broody hens hatch on day 18 to 23 and one on day 25! I've heard of chicken eggs hatching on day 30 even, but that's unusual. If the hen got up for long periods and the eggs got cold it may have slowed them down a bit too.

    The hen would eventually get up and abandon the nest, but if by say Thursday or Friday there's no sign of life I think you should consider breaking her broodiness or getting her some chicks from somewhere (feedstore?) to raise. Being broody and sitting on eggs is hard on a hen's body, so it's better not too drag it out for too long if you can.

    Sometimes the embryos will develop and never hatch. Reasons for this could be anything from the age of the eggs pre-incubation (eggs too old), incorrect storage of eggs pre-incubation, insufficient nutrients in the hen's diet, resulting in an inferior quality hatching egg and handicapped or dead embryos, malpositioned embryos (wrong position in the shell and unable to pip) or it could be as simple as the chick losing it's egg tooth when trying to pip through the shell.

    I'm hoping you will update later today or tomorrow and tell us she hatched out some chicks for you [​IMG]
     
  3. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!

    Saturday was my "this is the latest they should hatch" time, but i will be waiting until Thur/Friday at least.

    On Saturday there is a massive special breeds sale where we will buy some more hens if these dont hatch. I thought about getting chicks and brooding them, but do you think its better to let the hen raise them if she is still broody? We were unsure how well she would manage as its so cold (-8C last night). She is still in with the others just now.

    I am really hopeful that we get some baby chicks :)
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I hope she will hatch her eggs before the weekend, but if she doesn't you can leave her on the eggs and get a few day-old chicks for her to raise. Wait until it's dark and the hen is sleepy then slip the chicks under her, removing the eggs at the same time.
     
  5. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :) One wee chick, another almost out the shell.....hopefully tomorrow morning will bring me many eggs!

    My plan is, in the morning, move her and the chicks into a pen which i have set up in the garage. It is very cold at night so this will give the chicks a chance and also best way to get them eating and drinking.

    I have been told my some to remove them from the hen....others say leave them with her....any thoughts?
     
  6. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    she knows what she's doing,and her warmth is perfect for them in your garage. As long as she doesn't attack them .......
     
  7. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    why would she do that?! is that a common problem?
     
  8. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't call it a common problem, but nor would I say its unheard of. I had an australorp that took an intense hatred towards brown chicks.. she even skinned one (just the skin on its back was gone) before I evicted her from the broody pen. There's another poster on here that had a hen that took an inexplicable hatred towards blue chicks. There's no cause aside from being unable to fathom the mysteries of the chicken mind.

    Hopefully your hen will be like my wyandotte who is willing and eager to mother any chicks she's given or hatches (she actually attacked the australorp to beat her off the hurt chick and then huddled protectively over it even though she hadn't hatched it herself.).
     
  9. jbolt

    jbolt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im sorry I didn't mean to alarm you, I just have heard that that's about all you need to worry about if she's enclosed well with them.
     

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