Setting hen can't quite cover all the eggs...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LocoPollo, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    573
    1
    151
    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    I noticed today that my setting hen cannot always cover all her eggs. I saw one today that was half exposed. Does that mean prolly they wont all hatch, or does nature have a way of somehow taking care of that? What is y'alls experience?
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We have noticed that our Jersey Black Giant pushes any eggs she can't keep covered out of the nest eventually.
     
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Make her an insulated apron. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,517
    658
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Any exposed eggs is a clear sign of too many eggs for her to adequately cover. Exposed eggs can and do get killed and can end up giving a lower hatch rate. For example the hen rotates the eggs around.. so the eggs possibly could take turns getting exposed and weakened/killed. However hens don't equally rotate all of the eggs around so usually only a few eggs get exposed and killed.

    Sometimes brooding is awkward due to the nest not being conductive to making a decent depression or a raised circle of material around her. Such on a hard surface with only shavings available etc.

    If she has been setting for more than a few days, you should candle all of the eggs, discard any that don't show any growth.. if it turns out several of them needed to be tossed, you probably can return rest of the good eggs without any further adjustments necessary.
     
  5. mark3208

    mark3208 Out Of The Brooder

    63
    1
    31
    Aug 22, 2008
    ohio
    when hens make their own nest ,there is usually somewhat of a depression underneath,i usually place straw or similar nesting material areound the outside to make the nest deeper and easier for the hen to cover the eggs.
     
  6. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    573
    1
    151
    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    Yea I don't think her nest is very deep, and I did give her 16 eggs, and she is a game hen, so I feared it may be an issue.
     
  7. mamato3

    mamato3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    414
    1
    141
    Aug 4, 2008
    SWMissouri
    i to have a oegbxrosecomb hen i gave her twelve she is down to 9 now the other were ice cold and setting beside her. i hope i did not mess up the others because the nest is not very deep. well she is keeping the others under her so far rookie mess ups got to learn by doing
     
  8. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    35
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I had one that had problems with her eggs not being completely covered, and she hatched them just fine. The only ones that didn't hatch weren't fertile anyway.
     
  9. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,517
    658
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Shelley- how do you know they were infertile rather than killed though? Not hatching or developing does not automatically make them infertile.

    Yeah, 16 is too many. Many hens will attempt to sit on a clutch way too large for them to cover adequately. Even so, many game hens are exceptional and are very good at keeping too many eggs under her pretty well compared to other hens. However, the rule still holds- if the nest is good and any eggs are visible while she is completely settled in, there is too many eggs.
     
  10. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    573
    1
    151
    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    Today when I checked on her, she was all spread out over those eggs, and I couldn't see a one. Amazing how she does it, but they are all cozy under her today. I am kinda thinking she may be ok with them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by