What if her eggs NEVER hatch?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewEnglandChick, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is not my first broody hen, but she is the first to NOT get scared off her nest. Today marks 21 days that she's been laying on her eggs. In the beginning I allowed her to have 12. After a week and a half I checked her progress and she had 8 left. I don't know if she accidently broke them, or if she broke them on purpose knowing they were no good, or what. I have not candled anything and have done my best not to bother her - just let her do her thing. But than I got to thinking...what if they don't hatch?

    To be honest, I don't even know how many eggs are left under her. I know there are a few, as I've seen her shift positions and once in awhile an egg can be spotted from beneath her blue & red feathers.

    I have ten laying hens, between the ages of 1 and 3. This is one of my one year old Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. She came with two other chicks - one turned out to be a rooster, and a fantastic one at that. I've seen, on many occasions, his affection for his hens so I'm quite sure that a majority of the eggs she's on have been fertilized. But what if they just don't hatch?

    To make matters worse, better? Not sure yet....her sister decided that being broody looked like so much fun she wanted to give it a go...just three days ago. [​IMG]
    Two hens, isolated from each other and the rest of the flock, and I don't even know if either of them will hatch their brood!

    Will Broody #1 stay on the nest in desperation of her eggs hatching...even if they don't hatch? If Broody #1 hatches her eggs and I bring Broody #2 in with them, will Broody #2 accept those chicks and stop being broody? Or will the chicks be in danger with a "strange" hen around? If Broody #1 doesn't hatch her eggs and stays on her nest for another three weeks and Broody #2 manages to hatch her small brood (she's only been alotted 5 eggs), will Broody #1 break broodiness to help care for #2's chicks?!

    I feel as though I should start a chicken soap opera.

    Meanwhile...Rooster-Roo is not so pleased with me that his two "sisters" are isolated. I think the fact that they're still in the coop and he can see them, but can't get to them makes it worse.

    I yi yi....what to do?! This is the first time I've had a hen go broody and stay there for three weeks. It's also the first time I've had multiple hens broody at the same time. Do you think it's because this spring I resolved that I wasn't going to be doing chicks, cause I was too busy, and instead would get young adults at the end of the summer to add to the flock?! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I've heard that eggs can take up to 24 days to hatch, so don't worry... yet. Broody#2 will most likely stay with her eggs, even with broody#1 running around with chicks. I doubt she'll want to "steal" the chicks.
    Have you had chicks hatch from the new rooster? I had one incident with a roo that was too immature, so I replaced the eggs after 3 weeks and the hen continued sitting. Unfortunately a dog killed her before the eggs hatched. Earlier this year we had freak heatwave and the eggs went off under my broody hens. I replaced them and one hen sat a total of 5 weeks, until she hatched the fresh eggs. The other broody managed to hatch one chick from her original batch of eggs, so I let her raise it.
    Hope you get chicks soon.
     
  3. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    Quote:Nope...this is the first time any of my hens have stayed on the eggs longer than a week. This is my first (hopeful) hatching!
    My roo is a year & half old, so I'm hoping he's old enough for his...er...roosterliness to take effect!

    I'm not worried - yet. Just getting anxious! It's been unseasonably hot here, but I have no idea if that's affecting the eggs at all.

    Guess we'll just wait... and see...[​IMG]
     
  4. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give her a few more days. Just three or four. If they don't hatch, wear a mask and pick them up with tongs. Addled eggs are ghastly. Vicks Vapo Rub under your nose will help, too.

    But hopefully you'll see little fuzzy heads in the morning [​IMG]
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Your roo is old enough to be a daddy:)
    I really hope you get some chicks!
     
  6. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    As of tonight...still no chicks! [​IMG]

    And, just because I know these birds like messing with me....when I opened up the inner coop door, Broody #2 jumped off her nest and ran in to get some food. Apparently the small dish of food I put in the nesting box with her wasn't good enough. She was promptly pecked by the rooster, chased around the coop and had a feather pulled out before jumping up on the roost while everyone else ate. I went in, took her out and put her out of the coop back by her nesting box of eggs. I stood back, watched her and she just stood there. When I opened the coop door again, in she went. Can't we just make up our minds as to whether or not we're broody!??! [​IMG]

    ANYWAY...I put the 5 eggs that #2 had in #1's nesting box and will check tomorrow morning to see if she took them or not. They have been clearly marked very differently than #1's eggs. Since she's been on for 3 weeks +, I KNOW she's broody. My thought is that if her original eggs don't hatch, maybe these 5 backups will?? And even if hers do hatch, these are marked so differently that I can just get rid of them.

    I have today marked as Day 23...perhaps I should sit down with #1 and have a detailed conversation about the actual time and day she felt this broodiness come on. I'm getting VERY anxious and I KNOW she must be itching to get out and enjoy the very short season of summer that we actually have in the NorthEast.

    Silly girl...
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I'm afraid it doesn't sound like the first lot's going to hatch, though they might surprise you... pick up the eggs and shake them very gently. That's what I do if my broodies get up and leave eggs. If you feel the contents sloshing around... Hopefully the second one will pull something off [​IMG]
     
  8. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    I yi yi! So it's been 2 and a half weeks since I took Broody #2's eggs and gave them to Broody #1.

    Since then, #2 has decided that she's still going to sit, and only leave her nest every few days when she hears everyone else getting treats and wants in. Then she goes back to the box and hunkers right down in the corner. I have very little patience for this hen, as she constantly growls at me and pecks my hand when I change her water or give her treats. (#1 barely even fluffs her feathers at me). I honestly don't even know if there are any eggs under #2, but whatever she's sitting on is keeping her happy.

    Broody #1 took the new eggs, as I expected she would, and has been content to sit for the last few weeks. She's in isolation and as far as I can tell, she only gets up every couple of days to use the corner of her enclosure to relieve herself. She's been getting a lot of treats - watermelon, grapes, corn on the cob - and today I decided to clean out the "garbage" when I changed her water dish. To my surprise, there was a foot in her water dish, and when I convered the rest of it, realized it was attached to a chick - which was dead. I have to admit that I never removed the first batch of eggs that #1 was sitting on. I figured I'd give her a few more days, and then after another week didn't know what to do with the old ones - didn't want to bring them in the house, and didn't want to toss them in the woods for fear of attracting animals.

    So I have no idea if this chick was from batch #1 or #2. It was full baby chick size and seemed to be mostly (if not fully) developed. Not sure if she just crushed an old egg, and pushed the baby away from her other eggs, or if it hatched on its own and she just didn't know what to do? I don't know...but when i changed her water, removed the chick and put some grapes down for her she decided that she want to take a bath in a pile of clean shavings in her enclosure. I ended up leaving her and I'll check later to see if she's back on the eggs, or if maybe she's had enough. I know this....I sure have!
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Oh, bad luck:(
    You're not winning with those two hens, hey?
    Hope you have better luck in future [​IMG]
     

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