broody hen let eggs coolgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
One of my Australorp hens went broody April 20, today is the 28th. Yesterday morning I noticed a broken egg in the nest and took the opportunity last night after dark to remove the shell and soiled nest bedding and wash the other eggs. This morning about 6:30 she was still on the nest but when I went to collect eggs about 12:30 she was off the nest. They weren't particularly warm but they were no where near as cool as the newly laid eggs. I have no idea how long she was off the nest and I know she has to get off daily to eat, drink and eliminate. But...How long is too long and how soon will I know if I can still expect chicks in a few weeks? This is my first flock and the books I have available don't address this problem. I really appreciate any advice. Thanks!
-- marillyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 28, 2000
Now let me get this straight, you washed the soiled eggs that she was setting? You probaly ended any chance of having a sucsesful hatch right then. The hen will take care of any bad eggs in the nest herself, they often push eggs out of the nest somehow they know when an egg is hatchable or not and will discard the bad ones. Just let mother nature take its course don't go poking around the nest you are sure to run the hen off then. She will add fresh bedding if she thinks they need it.
-- Mark (email@example.com), April 28, 2000.
Mark is right. Once the hen starts setting, it's best to leave well enough alone. Hens will leave the nests for longer periods of time until she gets a nice clutch of eggs to set on, then you will find her on them most of the time. Don't touch the eggs, she will do all that is needed to tend to her nest. Good luck. - Kathy
-- Kathy (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 28, 2000.
We had an unsuccessful broody hen about a month and a half ago. We finally removed the eggs from the nest and she just joined right in with the rest of the hens in the daily activities. Now she is broody again. We moved her into a seperate little pen and added a few more eggs. She setted right down and means business this time. We give her clean water and food daily but can tell she definitely wants to be left alone. So... don't lost hope. You can try again soon.
-- melissa (email@example.com), May 01, 2000.
Marilyn, Okay, I have raised chickens for more years than most of you have lived and you can wash the eggs, carefully with plain water, the yolk on the eggs will coat the shell and the chicks will die for sure. My little Cochin hen just hatched out her 6 chicks and I washed all the eggs since a big hen had gotten into her nest and broke an egg all over the rest of the batch. I put a wire screen or whatever I can find that fits over the opening to the nest box, and I leave a small opening at one side so the hen can get off the nest or will go throw them off while I am feeding. the eggs don't really feel hot until the last week or so. It takes 21 days more or less to hatch out the chicks, the hen and chicks need to be in a protected area, cage or small pen to make sure the chicks are eating and drinking and to protect them from any aggressive chickens. Oh another thought, the hen might not be in full brood/set state yet. It takes a week or so before the hen gets down to serious setting. She will usually not stay on the nest very long until she reaches this point, so you could just put some new eggs under her when you notice she is clucking at you and will not get off the nest. Good luck, it is so much fun to watch the hens and chicks running around the pen. karen
-- Karen Mauk (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2000.