What happens to broody hen if eggs don't hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PrintedPerfect, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. PrintedPerfect

    PrintedPerfect Chirping

    Mar 19, 2014
    Nunnelly, TN
    I have a Dominique that decided to go broody without as much as a glance from a rooster. Knowing for sure her eggs were duds I slipped some of my duck eggs under her - I'm pretty sure the one duck is a drake (that's a whole other post).

    Anyway, she has sat on these eggs for a good two weeks, and when I candle them there is nothing. From this point I am not sure what to do, will my chicken just get tired of sitting and give up? Will she be mentally screwed up because nothing hatched out of her eggs?

    I would really like to hatch a few ducks and a few more chickens when it's possible, so I don't want to discourage her broodiness or do anything that will prevent her from trying again.

    Btw, I am in the Lyles/Nunnelly area of Tennessee if there is anyone out there with fertile eggs or day old chicks that I could give her.

  2. Orpington Crazy

    Orpington Crazy In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2014
    Kelowna BC Canada
    Hey jeanne
    In my limited experience it depends on the bird. I had a hen who sat on eggs for 16 days until I got around to candling them, they were all duds so I took the eggs away and kept pulling her off the nest anytime I went by. She hatched six babies about four months later.
    I love watching a chicken be mom to ducklings the look they get during the first few swims is hilarious, kinda sad but funny.

    Hope this helps
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you could get some day old chicks, that would be great. It won't damage her psyche if you don't, it's just me. I feel sorry for them and think they should be able to raise babies if they want to. [​IMG] If you don't get any babies for her, you may want to start discouraging her from being broody. Take her off the nest, lock her away from the nest, get a boody-buster cage to put her in.
  4. GypsyChick89

    GypsyChick89 In the Brooder

    Feb 13, 2014
    Instead of starting my own thread I thought I would ask this hear since its the topic of my question any way...I hope you don't mind.

    What exactly dose it mean to have a broody hen and can it make other hens broody? and can they be broody at any age? I think I may have one or two.

    Thank You! :)
  5. PrintedPerfect

    PrintedPerfect Chirping

    Mar 19, 2014
    Nunnelly, TN
    Thank you for the help. My worry is about her psyche. I am incredibly attached to my girls, it breaks my heart to think she will be disappointed or discouraged. And I do want more so if she's willing then I am too!

    I don't know where I can get day old chicks (errrm, affordable day old chicks - I can't spend $70 on shipping), but I can get fertile eggs pretty quickly without a lot of expense.

    Does anyone know if it's too late to slip fertile eggs under her now? How do they know when to get off the eggs - an internal clock or when they feel they gave it a "good go" or til they hatch?

    I had initially estimated that if the eggs were viable they should hatch around Jan 5th. This is an iffy date because she was weird at first, on and off the nest trying to decide what she was doing. I think chicken eggs take around 21 days and duck eggs around 28 days to hatch, which isn't near enough time before the 5th rolls around. How can I tell if she will stick with it or is there a way to tell?

    Thanks again!

    GypsyChick: A broody hen is one that wants to sit on/hatch eggs. They retreat to a nest box or little area they deem secure off the beaten track and just sit. When they get into the groove they only come off the nest (at best) a couple times a day and for very brief periods of time. This is my first go around with a broody girl. I have read that the chickens get a glazed look over their eyes and tend to be ferocious if you reach in or around them. In my case, my girl isn't being mean at all. She still lets me approach and pet her each morning and night, and she even let me reach up under her to swap eggs out - removing her egg and swapping it with the duck eggs. Having said that, we have our chickens extremely tamed. Also, when they get broody they quit laying eggs - think this is why people try to prevent them from going broody, and they don't start laying again til a good bit after the eggs hatch.
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