Too many eggs, first chick hatched a week ago

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
80
106
I need help! First chick hatched a week ago, followed by 3 more, what do I do with the other eggs, if I don't know when exactly they were layed?
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The story:
After laying for 6 weeks, my Little Hen went broody - I did not have a heart to break her broodiness.

She started with two eggs, and kept laying, and other hens kept adding eggs into her box, although they had another one at their disposal. I ended up with 12 eggs under her! (I still took some away). In the meantime another hen went broody, and ended up with 6 eggs.

I have four chicks now, hatched 7, 6, and 5 or 4 days ago.

What do I do with the unhatched eggs? Do I wait to give them a chance? I read stories about exploding eggs :eek: But i don't want to kill chicks if they are about to hatch :(

I did some things wrong or potentially wrong:

- I did not mark the eggs with a date (dumb, did not think they will keep laying);
- I never candled them, assuming that the hens know better. I am anxious to touch any of the eggs now;
- I've moved one hen off the eggs every day to let her out - she would not move otherwise. Now i have to move all of them, otherwise they poop in the nest. Did the eggs get cold? The temps were above in the 60ies;
- At some point in the 3rd week I've marked the eggs in the nest with a marker (shame) - did I kill the chicks?
- So many eggs! Was the hen even able to warm them all? I would assume that at least the ones ain the middle of the nest should be fine...

Oh Wise Community, what do I do?

And a dumb question - what do I do with the unhatched eggs? How do you discard of them?
Thank you so much!
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
80
106
The hens are still sitting, this morning they pushed one of the eggs out of the nest.

I have an incubator in case of an emergency, i.e. if the hens abandon the nest.

So I should candle the eggs and return to the hens if they seem 'filled', and wait?
 

Jennc-123

Songster
Jun 18, 2020
242
496
121
I would wait if they're still sitting. But they will need to leave the nest to take care of the hatched chicks so prepare for that.
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
80
106
Thank you 😊 So until the hens feel like leaving, I'll leave them be. I added a little brooder in front of the nesting boxes, and the chicks run around there, eat and drink, with a constant access to the hens.

One more chick just hatched!
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
80
106
Thank you for checking in! Hatched 11 cute chicks so far, they just take several days in between hatches. 5 more eggs to go! :D
 

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