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#74331 - 02/18/08 10:17 PM Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Hello,

Lately, my Phoenix hen (standard size) stopped laying. Its about the 3rd day now and no eggs. She have laid 12 already...but here's the catch.

The last egg, for no weird reason, broke or something and it made the nest a MESS! The 4 eggs next to the one broken are all messy and dirty so I took them out, wash them to store because I know THOSE won't hatch now. But, the other 6 are still good, maybe it has a LITTLE of the yellow yolk on it, but VERY little.

After since, the hen havn't shown any sign of broodyness and she have stopped laying...

Now...what should I do?

Thanks

- Tommy
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#74332 - 02/18/08 11:27 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Do I understand from what I have read, that you have left all her eggs in the nest as she layed them? If so, was she actually broody, and already sitting?

In my opinion it is better to take the eggs out, perhaps mark one and leave it, or put a golf ball in there to sit on, then remove that one and put all the other eggs back when you are sure she is sitting hard and fast. That way, incubation will start at the same time and you should have the eggs hatching in a narrow time band.
I know they will build a nest and lay lots of eggs if they are outside, but they rarely sit on them to begin with. If you had a nest with 12 eggs in it, there is a big risk of one breaking as she lays it. They usually stand up quite tall as they deposit the egg, and falling onto another could be enough to break either one. Sometimes too, the last egg in a group of eggs will have a funny shell, and may be more brittle.

Hens will often take a little break in laying and will start up again after a few days. I'd wait and see a bit here. If the egg breakage was accidental, she'll start again.

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#74333 - 02/19/08 11:45 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
I don't mind waiting on when she will sit on the eggs but the eggs do have a time limit on them for hatchability. Some of her eggs are over 2 weeks old so if she don't sit on them soon...im afraid some will go back and not be good, so yeah.
- Tommy
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#74334 - 02/19/08 11:59 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
Age of TWO weeks is most folk's rule of thumb on hatchability. I have hatched some that were a little over two weeks old (never more than 3 weeks old though). Seven (7) days old and younger is BEST. In other words, hatchability sarts to decrease after 7 days.

I collect the hatching eggs almost as soon as they are laid and store them at 60-65 F. If I left them, they'd get dirty (the hens' dirty feet) or worse, broken. Also, though I live in Alabama, it gets below freezing some nights here. I use golf balls in the nests. My hens sometimes will move the golf balls out of the nest though.

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#74335 - 02/19/08 12:07 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
If your hen will be a Sitter, when Mother Nature gives the signal, she will "sit", even if there are NO eggs left in the nest. But to make you happy, you can leave one or two of the oldest ones (remove, date, and save, each new egg) and when she does stay on the nest overnight--at least two nights, to be sure--then at night, remove those two eggs and give her the ones you want her to hatch. Mark on the calendar the day she starts setting, and her "due" date, and the suspense begins! Good luck, CJR

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#74336 - 02/20/08 09:01 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Hello,

Wow, both good recommendations. Thanks. Its getting colder out now...in the 40s and 50s at day and night but I just leave most of her eggs out. Half of them are inside. Just waiting for her to "SIT" soon because if she doesn't by the end of this week, I am selling her because there is no point is keeping a "no-sitting hen". I have limited space and that I don't have time to really INCUBATE eggs on my own so yeah...
- Tommy
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#74337 - 02/20/08 09:12 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Tommy, you can't make a hen "set." It's a hormonal thing, and it happens when it happens. Some breeds of chickens don't go broody and set. Examples include Leghorns and Minorcas. Longtails may fall into that category as well. Therefore, if she's a good hen and an asset to your flock, you might want to rethink about selling her.
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Rhea Dean

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#74338 - 02/20/08 10:40 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
Tommy, Some hens may set after laying only 10 or l5 eggs.(Silkies fall among that grouping.) Others will lay 40 or more eggs before setting. So, as Rhea Dean suggests, unless she is a breed that does not ever "set", you must be patient. Some hens set once a year, some twice, and others even three times a year--depends upon breed and the individual hen!

No hen that lays, even 25 eggs before setting, can cover and hatch that many, if you leave the eggs in the nest! Man has changed the natural order of things for poultry--and we have to
"know" our individual chickens to learn their cycles and habits. They come as individuals, even in a flock.

You must be patient with dear hens-- Good luck, CJR

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#74339 - 02/20/08 02:47 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
I will see. She is of the standard breed, and the only reason why I kept her is because she seems to fit my Jungle Fowl rooster for breeding because she is of the right size. The bantam longtails are too small for my Jungle Fowl. I really prefer her to somehow SIT than having me go buy the incubator and do it. It takes time and that's what I don't have. I am not home all the time to go check the humidity and stuff 3-4 times a day, so my best bet is to have a GREAT broody hen. : )
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#74340 - 02/20/08 04:07 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Hatching eggs in an incubator isn't that difficult or time consuming once you get the temperature and humidity settings correct, and this is something you do BEFORE you start incubating eggs.
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Rhea Dean

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