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Why don't clutches under broody hens take weeks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Storybook Farm, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Storybook Farm

    Storybook Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I am getting ready to incubate for the first time and have been collecting eggs from our backyard flock, storing at correct temps., turning, and weighing, etc., and I'm just wondering why clutches under broody hens don't take weeks to hatch?

    We had a hen go broody last year. Once she sat down on that nest, she hardly got up. Since we collect eggs daily, I just know that she was both setting and laying for a week or two since she eventually had 10 eggs under her. If the hen's body heat triggers chick development, and a hen lays an egg per day, and lets say she has a ten-egg clutch, then how do they hatch out near each other? Just wondering...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  2. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they usually lay a clutch of eggs then start sitting, not sit and lay at the same time. usually after they start sitting a day or two longer is all they'll lay before stopping.
     
  3. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    The Land of Enchantment
    The Broody eggs do take about 21 days to hatch, same as in an incubator. When a hen lays an egg, it "waits" just like the ones you collect prior to putting them in an incubator. When she decides her clutch is big enough, she'll set tight on them and the eggs will start developing. They'll often steal eggs from other nests to sit on them, too. Once they start, Broodies only get up once a day or so to eat, drink and poop.

    You do need to be careful that other hens don't lay their eggs in the same nest or you will get eggs of different ages and stages of development, and when enough chicks hatch, she'll leave the unhatched eggs. So it's good to mark the clutch and remove any other if you find them.
     
  4. Storybook Farm

    Storybook Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2015
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    My Coop
    I asked because, last summer, when we had a hen go broody it seemed as though she both sat and layed. She also stole eggs from her neighbors. Maybe she stole most of them and wasn't laying as long as I thought? Anyways, thanks for answering!
     

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