Please help me sort out a broody mess! ADVICE needed!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TeamChaos, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Georgia, my cochin, went broody around 3/7 (that's when we noticed she was staying in the box all day anyway). Originally, she had a blue and a brown egg under her (2). Two days later, another brown egg had shown up so now she had three under her. There was a day of nest box confusion- Georgia returned to a different box while another chicken laid her egg in Georgia's original nest box; once that chicken cleared the nest, I started to move the eggs over to Georgia, but Georgia opted to return to her original box (which was now +1, I thought I'd remove the warm one but all of them were warm. Oops). So Georgia has a mess of eggs under her, all at different stages. My daughter and I candled today and saw veining in many of the brown eggs- one was totally dark and the blue egg was totally dark. These eggs would be 11 days old at least.
    My questions: what do I do about the different developmental ages? I don't own an incubator.
    Is it normal to have 11 day old eggs be totally dark?


    Thanks!
     
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Without an incubator I can only say to let nature take its course. I would at least try to put wire around her box to prevent others from still laying in her box and to prevent her from moving to another box.
     
  3. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could mark the eggs she has under her now so that any new ones that show up will be easy to identify and remove. We just use a pencil to write dates and breeds on ours.

    She won't be able to stay on and hatch all of the eggs if the hatch dates are staggered more than a day apart, about a day after the first ones hatch she'll start mothering and the others will be abandoned.

    You should be able to see the eye in the eggs that have been incubating 7 days or more. If it is completely blank then it's either too early or not fertile. Either way, you could remove it.

    You could try to isolate her just with the eggs you want her to sit on and make sure she has food and water. But sometimes that isn't practical.

    Good luck with her.
     
  4. Hannah hen

    Hannah hen Out Of The Brooder

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    I had a hen last year that started with about six eggs under her and everyone else kept laying in her box. Before I knew it she was setting on 17 eggs. I went and marked all those eggs with a pencil. Then every evening I would collect the unmarked eggs. She eventually hatched out 15, but I had to move the hatchlings to a brooder after they started moving around good so she wouldn't leave the others or neglect the chicks. If she tries again this year I'm going to move her and eggs to a small hoop house I made and let her do her thing.
     
  5. Hannah hen

    Hannah hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2011
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    Sorry Suechick I didn't mean to repete you.
     
  6. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem Hannah,
    I never thought of using a brooder to keep a hen setting on eggs longer, that's brilliant! I am trying to hatch with a broody for the first time and I think I'm more nervous than my hen. Anyway, no worries. Lots of input is good, right?
     
  7. emjay

    emjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    I had that happen, twice, the first time, I played by the book, I discarded those eggs [​IMG] and gave her a new batch of ones I had collected, so that they were only due the same day. 100% hatch rate.

    the next time, I experimented, and let the hen keep the eggs she had started and I added ones I had collected, about 75% hatch rate. Too staggered, i think there was 3 days difference between them all.

    If I had to do it again, I'd discard the ones that she was on, if she moved nest boxes and had different eggs from different days under her and put her on a fresh nest with all the eggs I want hatched on the same day, but, that's my personal opinion, different things work for different people and different hens
     
  8. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've done the brooder thing (taking babies away after hatched) for babies as much as 4 days apart. Then when everyone is hatched I return all to mom. Because some are younger and smaller than the earlier ones, I keep them penned alone w/mom until are getting around well. Always return or add babies in the dead of night and as quietly as possible. Good luck with your broody!
     
  9. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    re: that blue egg. They are extremely difficult to see through because the color goes all through the shell. My blue eggs I just set and forget. Anything else is just useless! I can candle marans' brown, but not those blue eggs!
     
  10. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Thanks for all the advice, I'm so glad to hear I'm not the first chicken owner to have gotten herself into this mismanaged broody situation!
    So, I need to go ahead and re-candle and mark the eggs so that it's not an ever growing stash. I'd like to separate Georgia out, but as it stands now she'd be at risk of getting flooded by the runoff; I'll at least try to make her a little cubby in the coop.

    they'reHISchickens- I'm glad you commented on the difficulty of blue eggs. I candled some of the blue eggs that haven't been sat on and I could see through them no problem, but the one that's been under a broody butt was impenetrable! One of the older dark brown ones looked the same way. Huh.
     

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