Will eggs still hatch??

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by araminta37, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. araminta37

    araminta37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2014
    I had two moms sitting eggs, one of thems started hatching this week, now the second has decided to help with the first mom's babies, I put her eggs down with her and she seems to be keeping them warm since she is by the other babies. Is there anyway to tell if the eggs are still alive? or if she was off of them to long?[​IMG]

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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Yeah, this kind of stuff occasionally happens when you have two broodies on separate nests. At least yours didn’t fight over the eggs as they were hatching and destroy some eggs. I had that happen once.

    How long had the second hen been on those eggs? If they have developed enough you can candle them to see if the chicks are developing as they should. You might or might not see movement. Even if you don’t see movement, candle them again in a few days and see if they have continued to develop. I had a broody leave the eggs and go to the wrong nest. The eggs were ice cold to the touch when I found her, yet when I put her back on the right nest she hatched 11 out of 11 eggs. The eggs can normally go a long time without heat and be fine.

    You can try water candling if they are pretty far along in development. Put some water in a container and float the eggs in the calm water. If there is a chick far enough along in development and still alive you will see the egg wiggle on its own. I don’t like to use this until the hatch is over and I’m getting ready to toss the unhatched eggs. I’ve only done this a couple of times and those were “emergency” situations.

    What I expect to happen at some point is that both broodies will leave the unhatched eggs when it’s time to take the chicks that have hatched off the nest to get food and water. You might want to prepare an incubator to finish the hatch yourself.

    Another option, though this gets pretty complicated and may not work, would be to separate the broody hens far enough apart that they cannot hear the chicks. Put the chicks as they hatch and dry off with one hen while leaving the other hen on the nest to continue the hatch. It’s very possible both broody hens will switch from hatching eggs mode to taking care of the chicks mode and abandon the nest, but if you don’t have an incubator this may be your best bet. Some people do something like this regularly when they have a staggered hatch.

    Good luck. You have a bit of a mess but it may work out.
     

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