Broody with unhatched eggs

johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)September 20, 2007

My buff orpington hen hatched one chick on Monday. She has continued to sit on seven other eggs since then. How long should I let her stay on that nest before I give up on the other eggs?

Thanks for your thoughts!


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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Chicken eggs are supposed to hatch after 21 days of incubation. I always give my eggs 23 days, that way it gives any stragglers a chance to hatch out.

Congrats on the chick! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 8:55PM
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Careful of those unhatched eggs. They're likely to be little sulfur bombs waiting to explode. It's time to boot the hen and chick off the nest so that the chick can eat and drink. By now it has used up the yolk and needs some nourishment. Have fun! They're a lot of fun to watch.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 12:27PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Unfortunately I did not date the eggs under the hen, so I don't know how old the unhatched ones are. I'll know better next time!

The hen and chick are both eating fine -- the hen has made the effort to show the chick "oh, look, here's something really really good" and wait for the chick to show that it knows to eat. And they have their own water in their crate, too. So I'm not really concerned about nourishment.

The other hens seem fascinated by the "peep peeping" -- they even hesitated to go outside this morning when I opened their yard door! (But then they decided to go outside anyway!) I'm hoping that having the hen and chick behind the crate door for a while will make them safer when I let them out into the general population.

Thanks for the help!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 12:42PM
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The mother hen will protect her chick from the others and will usually chase them away before they get too close to it. They bear watching for a little while though to make sure. Cheryl

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 12:53PM
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