broody hen on fertilized eggs... not hatching!

jgreggholdSeptember 9, 2007

I believe it is time to give up on this batch of eggs... No one has yet answered my question about whether to just replace these eggs with another batch of fertilized eggs (keeping her broody) or should I break her of the broodiness and give her a break for a while before having her set on another batch? Physically it seems kinder to give her the break, but mentally, I'm afraid she'll be devastated if I take away her eggs she's been sitting on so diligently... Help! What to do?

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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Those eggs are not going to hatch. Chicken eggs typically take 21 days so you were right giving her until day 23... but it is obvious at this point that something went wrong and the eggs are not viable.

I suggest you remove them and whatever nesting materials she was using. She may fuss and complain, but she will soon forget. If she persists in sitting in that same spot with no eggs, try putting a dozen ice cubes under her. Surprising how fast that will cool her enthusisasm.

I have no idea what Carmen meant about the eggs being wet. I've never seen that in any of the clutches my broodies have hatched out.

If you have the stomach for it, you can "autopsy" the eggs to see what went wrong. Do it outside, away from the house, because they are going to be rotten. If there is no development at all, just a disgusting thick yellowish mass, then the eggs never started to develop. If there are formed chicks or partly formed, you will know that something happened during incubation that killed them. If the eggs were shipped, lack of any development could have been due to the handling during shipment or the age of the eggs.

I'd say give your hen a rest. It is late in the season for hatching - not to say that it is impossible - and if you can wait until spring, chances are you will have happier results.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 7:08PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I agree with maggie 100%...

You know your hen best. If you feel that brooding again will be too much of a strain, or that it is too late in the year where you are, don't place more eggs under her.

Sorry it didn't work out. :(

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 9:01PM
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My broody hen sat on her clutch for 19 days, very well, on day 20 she stopped setting but nothing is hatching. I found her in the yard with the rest of the flock, continued to check on her and I don't think she sat on the eggs at all. I went in at night and she was perched with the rest of the flock and not on her eggs. Day 21 no hatching, any suggestions on what went wrong?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:12AM
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