Will a hen sit on and then hatch a fertilized egg that isn't hers?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lalyswishytail, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

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    Since it's winter, my 9 month old hens have slowed down on laying eggs, but the people who pay SIX DOLLARS A DOZEN (!!) for their eggs are still demanding more. Can I buy fertilized eggs and place them in the coop in hopes that the hens will sit on them and hatch them? I know it's a stupid question, but I've been asked to check on the answer.
     
  2. americana-lover

    americana-lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think so. My girls sit on each others eggs all the time
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once a hen goes broody, she'll sit on anything that looks like an egg. :) But you can't make her go broody, though there are things you can do to encourage it. Once you have a broody, though, you can stick whatever you like under her and, if she's good at it, she'll hatch it. :)
     
  4. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    Hens 'sitting on eggs' for the purpose of hatching takes 21 days (and that is around the clock!)... after she gets enough eggs gathered to hatch them she quits laying eggs at that point and commences to the sitting tight. This is great except that many hens are happy to just sit in a nest an hour or two a day, lay their egg and walk away. That is normal behavior. Broody happens much less often!
    Hens 'going broody' is based on hormones and genetics. Some hens 'go broody' frequently, some may never get 'in the mood'. And until a hen decides for herself there isn't a whole lot you can do except wait or use an incubator.
    You can figure a hen is broody when she takes up near constant residence in a nest, only coming out for quick potty, food and dusting breaks once or twice a day, she will often 'talk' excessively while she is out on these breaks also and may strenuously object to humans or other chickens bothering her while on the nest. Once a hen is broody she will hatch out any egg you give her, she doesn't care if it is hers or someone elses, it can even belong to a duck, she probably won't care... she is just programmed to sit by that point!

    If you want to hatch out eggs by using hens instead of incubators then check out the breeds tendancies, because some 'go broody' a lot and some breeds very rarely will ever get that way anymore (many have had the trait bred out of them because people didn't like the drop in production that went along with the broodiness, because broodies quit laying when they start sitting and may not lay again for a 2 or 3 months when they are done being 'mommy' for a while)

    So to answer your question... if one of your hens was broody she would hatch out any fertile eggs, but if none are broody you are out of luck for that.
    Check out this recent article on the subject...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/encouraging-or-discouraging-broodiness-in-your-hens

    Here is a long but informative thread on the subject of broody hens
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ody-hen-hatch-a-long-and-informational-thread

    and another thread with broody question
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/621910/how-can-i-make-my-hen-go-broody
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. ultra red

    ultra red Out Of The Brooder

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    Will a 15 month old RIR sit on a egg that's not fertile
     
  6. Jharper

    Jharper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes and I had an unexpected broody, after two of them, sit on 4 golf balls! LOL!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  7. ultra red

    ultra red Out Of The Brooder

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    Just wondering had to eliminate my bl austrolorp rooster when he went hostile on my wife 3 weeks ago Thanks
     
  8. Jharper

    Jharper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My BA is actually the one who went broody on the 4 golf balls.
     
  9. ultra red

    ultra red Out Of The Brooder

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    My chicks are hatching. Just got started with chickens in oct 2012 the hens are RIR-PBR WELSUMER -AMERUCANA- BCM The rooster was black Australorp.what kind of chicks do I have and how do I tell male or female
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  10. Heidisgran

    Heidisgran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    only when they're broody
     

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