some crazy questions about hatching eggs !

saltandpepper

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 29, 2011
19
0
22
I know I can find out the answers if I ask you all so I just have to take the plunge and forget about seeming totally illiterate. I have been wondering if the eggs get cold after the chickens lay them if it affects them hatching. Our chickens are not in a heated area and it has been quite cold here .I have been saving some of the eggs to try and incubate . Also, if one of the hens is sitting on some and she gets off and they cool down,will that affect them hatching? If a hen has been sitting on some eggs for a day or so and she gets off and moves to another nest ,does that mean those eggs are not fertile or good to try and hatch? I have this little silkie that was sitting on about 6 eggs for a day and a half ,got off then went to another nest box with 2 eggs and is sitting on them. I took the eggs from the other nest out and have them in a basket wondering what to do with them?
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,296
12,569
707
Southeast Louisiana
Something to remember about the recommendations on here. These are only guidelines to improve your odds. There are few hard and fast rules that absolutely have to be followed. Many of us violate some of the guidelines and still do OK. Following the guidelines does not guarantee success and not following them does not guarantee failure. Often the eggs and chicks are pretty tough and people have good success even if they go out of their way to flaunt the guidelines. The guidelines are just a matter of trying to improve your odds of success.

I have been wondering if the eggs get cold after the chickens lay them if it affects them hatching. Our chickens are not in a heated area and it has been quite cold here.

This is certainly one of those gray areas. The colder they get and the longer they stay cold, the more it hurts your odds of a good hatch. The more often you can collect them the better, but I'd expect you will get some to hatch, maybe even several.

Also, if one of the hens is sitting on some and she gets off and they cool down,will that affect them hatching? If a hen has been sitting on some eggs for a day or so and she gets off and moves to another nest ,does that mean those eggs are not fertile or good to try and hatch?

No, that does not mean they are not fertile or that anything is wrong with them. It means your Silkie got confused about which nest was hers. That seems to happen a lot with Silkies. Their broody instinct is so strong, they will brood about anything. It is possible another hen was on her nest when she came back so she decided to take the other eggs, or maybe she just got confused. I usually let a hen incubate her eggs in the coop and check under her daily for any new eggs, but it sounds like you might be better off with this Silkie by locking her in isolation, giving her a nest, food and water, and room to poop, but locked in where she cannot leave this area to get confused about which eggs are hers. That way, the other hens cannot lay in her nest and confuse her about which nest is hers.

Will it affect them hatching? Depends on how much they cool down. Those eggs are pretty dense and they hold heat pretty well. If they get cold on the inside, yes it could affect them hatching. Hens usually judge how much time they can be off the nest to eat, drink and poop by how cold it is. In hot weather, mine spend a long time off the nest. In cooler weather, they are in much more of a hurry for their daily constitutional. Again, there is no guarantee they won't hatch, just the cooler they get the worse the odds.

I have this little silkie that was sitting on about 6 eggs for a day and a half ,got off then went to another nest box with 2 eggs and is sitting on them. I took the eggs from the other nest out and have them in a basket wondering what to do with them?

The eggs probably started to develop. It is not that they are unsafe to eat. In some societies, partially developed eggs are a delicacy. I personally don't live in that society, but I'll mention that just to show that they are safe to eat. I'd suggest you crack them in a separate bowl and look at them. You may see something that makes you not want tot eat them or they may be fine for you. I'd probably cook them, maybe scramble them, and feed them back to the chickens.
 
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saltandpepper

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 29, 2011
19
0
22
thanks so much for the information. I think I am just as confused as the silkie. don't know what to do or which way to go.. i had thought about isolating her though. if i do will she get upset about being away from the others?
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,296
12,569
707
Southeast Louisiana
If you can fix something up in the coop, she won't be away from the others and will still be predator proof. Honestly though, they are in such a trance, I don't think she will know if the others are around or not.

There is always a chance if you move her that she will break from being broody. It normally helps to move her at night with as little light and commotion as possible. It helps if the new nest is kind of dark. It does not have to be pitch black, just not in the direct light if you can manage. Remember these are guidelines, not absolute laws.

Let me give you a link that may help.

Isolate a Broody? Thread
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218
 

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