Why would hens abandon their eggs 5 days before due to hatch?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Anika Bren, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Anika Bren

    Anika Bren Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2010
    I have Dorkings. The reason I went with Dorkings is their strong brooding instinct.

    I have recently had two broody hens abandon their eggs 5 days before the eggs were due to hatch. They are freerange during the day and are locked in at night. They are both nine months old.

    This most recent one was sitting her eggs in the hen house in a good spot, away from the roost. She had been sittting very well, leaving only to quickly to get food and water and then was back on them. The day before yesterday she stopped going back to them during the day, but at night she is on them. They were due to hatch in about 5 days. The weather has not hit above 49 degrees both days so I am guessing the embryos have died.

    Since this is the first time either hen has gone broody, is it an immaturity thing or is this telling me that neither hen will successfully brood and raise chicks.
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Hens often abandon their clutch of eggs the first time they sit, my Silkies for sit for 2 weeks and then leave. Let them get a bit older before you judge them.
  3. PippyChicken

    PippyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009

    Have you candled the eggs to make sure they are fertile or have anything in them? If they are no good then they might abandon them.

    Hope this helps! Best of luck that they hatch! [​IMG]
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Inexperience, mite infestation of the nest, disturbance by a rooster or dominant flock member, disturbance by a predator all can cause a hen to terminate broodiness. Also putting eggs under a hen who has been broody for a couple of weeks and expecting her to go another 21 days can lead to failure.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Not all hens make good broodies, not all broodies make good moms. Give her time and she might get better.
  6. Anika Bren

    Anika Bren Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2010
    I do know that the eggs did have growing embryos.
    Sounds like the concensis is they are immature and inexperianced. I have time and patience for them to mature and learn.
    She was back on them most of the day today and she is still on them at night.
    I guess I'll know in a week.
    Thank you for all your quick responses.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by