when is it too late to put eggs under a broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by brierose3, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our Australorp hen has been broody for about 5-7 days now and she just will not give up. We have put her in a bucket of water a few times a day, put a cold pack under her, taken the eggs away every day, locked her outside in the run with the other chickens for pretty much the whole day and removed the nest boxes. Ebony is still persistent and this morning found her under two more eggs, clucking and puffing up when I go near her. She doesn't peck and bite luckily and will let me pat her and see the eggs under her. We have decided to let her have them and see what happens. Though do you think it is too late to start the 21 days over again? What will happen if it is?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If she has only been broody for a week, she will most likely set another 21 days. I have hatched many a clutch of duck and even goose eggs under chicken hens - 28 days. Now understand, there is a possibility that she may quit early. some hens just will, but the majority are very reluctant to give up their chance at motherhood.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Just like Sour said.

    A lot of us may wait a week or more to collect eggs before giving them to a broody. They almost always stick it out and hatch them.

    A few recommendations. First collect all the eggs you want her to hatch and start them at the same time. Staggered hatches just don’t work under a broody.

    Mark the eggs you want her to hatch and check under her once a day to remove any that are not supposed to be there. I use a black Sharpie and make a circle the long way around and the short way so I can tell at a glance which eggs belong and which don’t. As long as you collect those eggs at the end of every day after they’ve all laid, the eggs are good to use.

    That’s about it. Good luck!
  4. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you. We have decided to move her into the spare bathroom and set up a nice little broody nesting area. She is quite happy there now but I have one question. I think I read somewhere that you could take the hen off at least once a day for a short time to let her poop. Would that disturb her too much?
  5. SIMZ

    SIMZ Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    If she isn't in a cage, and able to leave the nest, then you can just let her take care of it. I give them an area big enough that they can get off the nest, scratch around, and eat and drink. It's better to let them decide when to leave if you can. FYI - broody poop smells horrible and is disgusting.
  6. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's been 21-22 days now and Ebony has hatched her first chick.
    I sat down and gave Ebony some food and water and for the first time saw it crawl out from underneath mumma. I reached down and put my hand flat in front of it and the little cutie raced over and climbed onto my hand.
    Just waiting now for the other four to hatch.

    Here's a photo of the setup we did in the shower.

    We did have a box in there for her to nest in private but she took to brooding her eggs outside of it so I took it out this morning incase the chicks got stuck between the outside of the box and the walls of the container. She seems happy that her weeks of sitting around paid off.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  7. CayuseRanch

    CayuseRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Newalla, Oklahoma
    Congrats! I love broody momma pics!

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