Should I move eggs under broody hen to incubator until lock down?

NNations

Songster
May 1, 2018
183
223
136
Fredericksburg, Texas
Hi there! I currently have 2 peafowl eggs under a broody hen and I am debating on moving them inside and placing them in my incubator until lock down and then moving them back under her for hatch. The reason for this is because I had 3 eggs and one got broken while she was on her daily outing by another hen who laid an egg in her broody box. Now, that egg was not viable and I did notice a small crack at the tip before I placed it under her but I was hopeful because I did purchase these eggs. We were going to candle them tonight because this is day 10 so it would be a perfect opportunity to switch the eggs out. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Thank you for your time.
 

Rooster Runner

In the Brooder
May 15, 2020
63
41
40
I would suggest to NEVER switch eggs. I had an olive egger hen, that had always wanted chicks from day 1. She was always sitting on eggs and acting broody. Once, I let her sit on 4 fertile eggs. She was a dedicated mother, and she never (not once!) got out of that coop. Around day 15 she died. She wasn't eating, and she wasn't getting enough exercise. My other hens tried to sit on the eggs like she did, but they got bored fast. One of them actually stepped on an egg! It was gross! I feel you on that one. So, I put the eggs in an incubator. They were wiggling, moving, and responding to me when I talked. Finally, on day 20, one of them piped. I was so excited! The chick took a few more shots at the egg, and died. My house smelled horrible. But I left the eggs in there for 5 more days, nothing. I lost a good hen, for nothing. If your hen isn't leaving the eggs, you should shoo her out for a few mins every day. If she still won't leave, I would suggest taking the eggs, don't risk it. Eggs can always be reproduced, good hens cannot. Losing a couple unfinished chicks that you don't even know, and you've never met, is better than losing a pet bird that you love. I would leave the eggs, IF she looks healthy. If not, put them in an incubator. My opinion, a hen is the very best incubator there is. If there's one thing I learned (other than what I already told you) eggs do NOT like being moved from a first class fluffy butt, to a third class plastic incubator! As my mother says, "let nature run it's course". If you're worried about your hen, take the eggs, but I've learned that switches rarely work. Others may have different experiences though.
 

NNations

Songster
May 1, 2018
183
223
136
Fredericksburg, Texas
I would suggest to NEVER switch eggs. I had an olive egger hen, that had always wanted chicks from day 1. She was always sitting on eggs and acting broody. Once, I let her sit on 4 fertile eggs. She was a dedicated mother, and she never (not once!) got out of that coop. Around day 15 she died. She wasn't eating, and she wasn't getting enough exercise. My other hens tried to sit on the eggs like she did, but they got bored fast. One of them actually stepped on an egg! It was gross! I feel you on that one. So, I put the eggs in an incubator. They were wiggling, moving, and responding to me when I talked. Finally, on day 20, one of them piped. I was so excited! The chick took a few more shots at the egg, and died. My house smelled horrible. But I left the eggs in there for 5 more days, nothing. I lost a good hen, for nothing. If your hen isn't leaving the eggs, you should shoo her out for a few mins every day. If she still won't leave, I would suggest taking the eggs, don't risk it. Eggs can always be reproduced, good hens cannot. Losing a couple unfinished chicks that you don't even know, and you've never met, is better than losing a pet bird that you love. I would leave the eggs, IF she looks healthy. If not, put them in an incubator. My opinion, a hen is the very best incubator there is. If there's one thing I learned (other than what I already told you) eggs do NOT like being moved from a first class fluffy butt, to a third class plastic incubator! As my mother says, "let nature run it's course". If you're worried about your hen, take the eggs, but I've learned that switches rarely work. Others may have different experiences though.
I am sorry to hear about your hen. That is so sad.

My broody hen is getting off the nest at least once a day to eat, drink, etc. That's how an egg got broken. Another hen went to lay an egg in her nest and when she got off it was broken. I am assuming it was more fragile since it was never viable but still got me thinking about moving them inside for their safety. I am not worried about my broody hen, she is doing great. I already have my incubator set up because we have eggs in it as well so that's why my brain went there. If I leave the eggs with her I'll just have to do a better job at not letting anyone else lay in her box while she is out. I didn't think it would be a big deal until now.
 

Rooster Runner

In the Brooder
May 15, 2020
63
41
40
That's great! I'm glad to hear that she's eating and drinking! Try to give her some sunlight if possible. I would leave the eggs with her. That way she'll protect them when they hatch! If you can, you should definitely try to keep other hens out of the nesting box. If you find fertile eggs, you should try to get them in the incubator, ASAP. But your situation seems pretty good! Good luck, fingers crossed. . .
 

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