Which hen/ which eggs. ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Crista, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have barred rocks and buff orp. When one does her broody thing, I d like it to be w the orps but I don't know which eggs are which. There seem to be light ones and a bit darker ones.
     
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    try to catch them in the nest box, put up a trail cam or something to see them, both breeds lay a light brown color, but the darker one may be from your barcode and the light one may be the orp.
     
  3. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    337/chicklover-1998.
    Well. It will just be a party this time. I have no idea what's under her but I would guess both. Ha ha. I m so excited! Thankyou for the input
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I assume you have an Orp cockbird?
    It's best keep track of the eggs under the broody, so any newly laid eggs can be removed daily to avoid a staggered hatch and half developed eggs that may get abandoned.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Has one gone broody and sitting on eggs? If so, I suggest you do one of two things. Either get down there as soon as reasonable, like real soon, and mark each egg so you can tell which eggs belong. I use a black Sharpie but others like to use a soft-leaded pencil. Then check under her after all the others have laid to remove any that don’t belong.

    The alternative is to collect all the eggs you want her to hatch, mark them, then swap them out for any eggs under her. Then check for any new eggs daily like above. I’d toss the ones already under her or cook them and feed them back to the chickens. You might find a partially developed chick in them if it has been a couple of days. Any new eggs can be used as normal as long as you collect them once a day.

    If you are worried about upsetting the hen, don’t. She may not like you messing around under her but she will immediately get over it. If you are worried about her hurting you, wear gloves and long sleeves. If you don’t want to reach under her and search, you can pick her up and sit her on the coop floor. Just be careful to grab her and not any eggs.

    There are two reasons you need to do this. Unless you remove any new eggs you will have a staggered hatch. The ones she started with will hatch and she will take them off the nest when they need to eat and drink. It may be two or three days after the first one hatches, but she will abandon living eggs to take care of her first hatched. It can be very upsetting to know that those eggs are dying.

    The other reason is that a hen needs to be able to cover all the eggs and keep them warm. If she gets too many eggs to cover, some will get pushed out, cool off, and die. Then when she turns them these will go back under her, others will get pushed out and die. You usually don’t get a good hatch if the hen can’t cover all the eggs.

    Another alternative is to try to isolate the hen, fence her off from the rest of the flock so they cannot lay in her nest. The big risk in this is that she might break from being broody if you move her, but many people take this approach.

    As far as which hen laid which egg, don’t get too hung up on breed. I’ve had a pretty wide range of shades of brown from the same breed with hatchery birds. Often if you can determine which hen laid which egg you can recognize her eggs if you don’t have very many hens. They may have a certain shape and/or markings on them. There can be differences in size, but if they are pullets the eggs will get bigger as time passes. Normally they lay the same shade of brown or green, but the longer they lay the lighter that shade becomes. It’s also possible that a hen lays an “oops” egg, the shade may be off pretty badly on an egg. For some reason it may not spend enough time in the shell gland to get its final coating of brown so it is lighter than usual.

    Good luck and let us know what is going on.
     
  6. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thankyou for your input aart . Yes Merl is an orp. This is my first exp with a hatch that I can see. I had barn Banties years ago but never saw the nest. The hens would just show up wth the babies in tow. I ll mark the eggs next time. [​IMG]
     
  7. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thankyou for the advice. Wish I had realized what was happening so I could have taken action when it started. One 7 mo old hen started a set and was undecided, so a few days later another hen took over. I marked the eggs on March 6 and they were a few days old. That's where my smarts stopped. She has a bunch under her. I candled and most have air pocket on the big end and look very similar in size. It's hard to know what I m seeing or not seeing. It could be they are all within a couple days of each other. Am I correct in thinking no air pocket means no chick? So I could throw those out? Thanks for your help. I have been reading these threads till my eyes are buggy[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  9. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks aart
     
  10. Crista

    Crista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I read some more and the more I read I decided to just leave her alone this time. She is in a safe place for her and her babies and can stay there for awhile. I ll let you know what happens. There is so much great info here and such a nice bunch of people.
     

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