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Which eggs to choose for broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This spring one of my EE pullet chicks turned out to be an EE rooster. I decided to keep him, thinking I might purchase an incubator in the spring of 2015 and collect some of the eggs from my 2 Silver Cuckoo Maran hens in hopes of an "olive egger" or two and collect some of the eggs from my 2 EE hens in hopes of a few more blue egg layers. Making a long story short I separate the rooster from the hens a little over 2 weeks ago because one hen had received a nasty head wound and several others were getting really stressed by the roosters constant pursuit. He was is isolated for a week before I put him back with the hens in afternoon while they were out free ranging. Three hens refused to go back in the run and had to be chased and herded back inside. The next morning I discovered that the hen who had the head wound had spent the night outside the coop, something that had never happened before which supported my theory of how she had become wounded. That fact, combined with the fact that my husband got grumpy when I suggested I buy an incubator, led me to scoop the rooster up and separated him from the hens again and that afternoon, I butchered him.

    Now, about 8 days since he was butchered and 2 weeks since he was removed from the flock (except for that one afternoon and night) one of my SIlver Cuckoo Marans has gone broody. I'm tempted to let her hatch out some eggs but wonder what the odds are of any of them being fertile. It's been two weeks since the rooster spent a lot of time with the hens. Would I have a better chance with the eggs layed yesterday and today or can I pull some of the eggs out of the refridgerator that have been there for a week or two? Or should I just say "oh well" and encourage her to not be broody.
     
  2. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    Emmm, you could try setting the eggs and then candle on day 7, then if not fertile/viable then go for the more recent ones!! If the same goes with them, then encourage to stop being broody (which I hate doing :( ) but this could stress her out, but I have done it with my girls!!!

    Others might have different opinions!!??
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, so if I take the eggs from under her and candle them and put them back, she won't...I don't know...abandon the eggs or anything?
     
  4. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    No, she wont!! But you should only candle n day 7 so you don't hurt the embryo if it is developing!! 7 days is also "enough" to make her want to seriously be broody, well 7 days with my broodies is enough!!! Hope all goes well!!
     
  5. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    By seriously I meant like that she wont want to leave the nest if you disturb her!!
     
  6. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    if you have not washed the eggs in the frig they will be ok, eggs have a coating (called bloom) that keeps them from rotting when warmed under a hen.
    the fertility of the hens might last for a month, so I would use some fresh eggs also, fresher eggs have a better chance (less than 10 days old), but you are a special case where the rooster died (freezer camp) and fertility of the hens is on the decline.
     
  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the replies. What is the maximum number of eggs you'd put under a hen, figuring the fertility rate may be low, but wanting the hen to be able to cover them properly?
     
  8. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    depends on the hen size, I gave my silkie bantam 3 this morning, I would have given my brahma 10 or 12. The weather has a lot to do with it also, my silkie will hatch on January 3.
     

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