What to do with a broody hen when the eggs do not hatch

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shahann, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Shahann

    Shahann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a nice brood hen. She sat on the eggs consistently for 25 days. After 25 days I decided to do the float test. All eight eggs floated but did not move, chirp, or pipe. I decided to take the eggs from her and break them one by one. They were all yellow yolks and one that started to go black. No chicks.

    My question is, what do I do with the broody hen now? I gave her some golf balls to sit on until I found an answer. Do I worry that she does not feel successful? Do I go get her some chicks? Do I do a better job of checking eggs that I give her next time and make sure they are fertilized (now that I know how to look for the air pocket with a flashlight?)

    I know chickens have personalities. Do they seem to have feelings?

    I'm a rookie! But I LOVE my chickens!!! I got them Memorial Day weekend this year (2014). I have a lot to learn.

    I am also concerned that my rooster is too young to fertilize the eggs. I purchased 10 hens and a rooster from a friend that moved. She had a coyote massacre right before she sold them to me and replaced the original rooster with a "young" rooster. I have only seen him "working" once. He does protect the flock and alert them of things. He does not crow yet.

    I can see the white spot on the yolks when I crack them open for breakfast. The majority of them have it. I am assuming they are fertilized.

    Any tips are welcome!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    All eggs have a white spot. Fertile eggs will have more of a white bulls eye, while with an infertile egg, it looks more dense... kind of like a granular nugget on the yolk. Sometimes, you have to crack the egg open in a plate, and roll it over to see the white spot, as it will be on the "bottom" of the yolk.

    Re: your broody: Do you want chicks? If so, can you find a few day olds that you can sneak under her at night? Some folks say they have luck fostering chicks up to a week old. I've never had the opportunity to do it, but have had broodies with chicks before. What a fun experience if you have the room!!
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Setting can be debilitating to a hen - I would lock her away from the nest until she stops being broody. All eggs have a white spot on the yolk it is the nucleus. If fertilized the nucleus goes through several cellular changes resulting in the 'bullseye' appearance of a fertile egg. Good luck with your next broody hen.
     
  4. Shahann

    Shahann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the super fast response. I will take her golf balls away from her tonight and let her in the brooder until she is no longer broody. I don't think I can get day old chicks quickly.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    She may very likely continue setting even without the golf balls. If so just lock her away from the nest site.
     
  6. Shahann

    Shahann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's no longer sitting. She is mixed back in with her flock already. She likes to pick fights now and then. I'm not sure why. I think she is just trying to get back into the pecking order of the group.
     

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