Why won't my hen sit on her eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3Chicks4Metcalf, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. 3Chicks4Metcalf

    3Chicks4Metcalf New Egg

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    Apr 8, 2013
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    I Have two bantams hens (old eng I think) and a red rock bantum rooster. One of the hens just layed her first eggs (2 eggs on Saturday & 1 on Sunday) but isn't sitting on them. all three birds sleep together in one brood box when there's three to choose from. Is there something wrong with the eggs ? We were hoping the hen would hatch them by herself.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    The hen needs to be broody first. Broodiness is triggered by hormones and it can happen any time, or never. Unfortunately you cannot make a hen go broody, you can only encourage her by leaving some "bait" eggs in the box for her and see if she falls for it. I've had some success with that method myself and I know people who had a lot of success, but it depends on the individual hen and in some cases the breed. For example Silkies are notoriously broody and needs little encouragement, some other breeds seldom, if ever, goes broody. Some hens are also more prone to broodiness than others. I'd suggest collecting the eggs she's laying now and replace them with golf balls or fake eggs if you want to try and encourage her. You should also discourage their sleeping in the boxes. Rather make some perches for them to roost on and encourage them to use those instead. Place them on the perches yourself in the evenings, if needed and block access to the boxes until they learn.
     
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  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep good post above. And if they have only ever laid one or two eggs than even less likely they will go broody yet.

    Collect and eat your eggs then one day you will notice your hen is in there everytime you go to get eggs and that's your clue its time to stop collecting and see if she hatches some.
    Depending on the breed and the hen it could be in a months time it could be never.

    In the meantime do a search for broody hens as there is quite a good thread here devoted to hens hatching chicks.
     
  4. 3Chicks4Metcalf

    3Chicks4Metcalf New Egg

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    Apr 8, 2013
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    Thank you sumi & appps for all the advice I will collect them today. It's no biggy if our hens never go broody. I thought it would be cool for my kids to see a chick hatch but they'll be happy to just collect them. I have perches in their coop but they love to sleep all together in the nesting box. What happens if the eggs are fertilized can you still eat them? It's been 4days since they were layed
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Yes, you can eat fertile eggs. There is very little difference between an infertile and a fertile egg really. But if these eggs were in the nest box for a few days already and they've been sleeping in there and keeping them warm at night I'd discard them just in case they've started something. Make sure you collect any future eggs daily and they'll be fine :)
     
  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah I agree. Chuck these and start fresh. You won't know the difference if they are fertile if you collect each day.

    Just remember Murphy's law of chickens if you decide to hatch at some point. Most will end up roosters, especially the ones the kids fall in love with lol
     
  7. 3Chicks4Metcalf

    3Chicks4Metcalf New Egg

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    Apr 8, 2013
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    Sumi> our chicks don't sleep on their eggs they all sleep together so the eggs have never been warmed.
    Appps> we've already experienced Murphy's law when we bought our three chicks one turned into a roo:( our neighbors aren't happy but my kids love him. Actually We love all 3 they've turned into great pets.
     
  8. Dartanion

    Dartanion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sprinkle paprika in her nest.It's an old wives tale but I think it helps.Let me know if it does.:)
     
  9. Helena van Wyk

    Helena van Wyk New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2015
    My hen have 23 eggs and she is still not sitting on them.
     
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    23 Eggs is way too much for a single hen to try and hatch. If you're trying to encourage her to go broody, mark a few eggs and leave them in the nest and collect the fresh eggs laid daily. If she does go broody, remove the "bait" eggs, mark some fresh ones for her to hatch and place those under her.
     

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