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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 Online   content
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: 8483
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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#74338 - 02/20/08 10:40 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
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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#74341 - 02/21/08 10:34 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
I asked around and no one have said that there is an incubator where I add water put in eggs and not get back to it until the end of the week. Lol. Thats what I need actually given all the time I have to be @ school throughout the week.

The one closest I think that will suit my need is the Genesis from Hovabator but thats too costly. I am looking for something $100 and below thats dependable to keeping the temp and hum. constant enough with the auto egg turner.

I can find some on eBay but still, the big idea is...if it requires minimal care, like I don't have to check temp and hum. every 4 hours but just once a day. 1 per 24 hours.

Thanks

Anything like that?
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#74342 - 02/21/08 10:43 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Sounds like what you need are some Silkies. They are well known for going broody. I have a few and use them to hatch eggs occasionally. I know several poultry people who keep a few Silkies just for that purpose.
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#74343 - 02/21/08 10:47 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Hi Rhea Dean:

Maybe I am not sure about that breed because I never raised them before, but what do you mean by them "going broody"? Is that even if they didn't lay the eggs, can you just put eggs in their nest and they will just go in and hatch them out?

That's what I was thinking because if they require to lay eggs and all too, then now that brings the hastle or timing the two hens to kind of LAY at the same time so one can hatch another's eggs.

Tommy
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#74344 - 02/22/08 06:59 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Silkies with hatch other eggs besides their own. I had two just recently hatch some Araucana eggs, and I'm getting ready to put some buff Leghorn eggs under another Silkie. Depending on the size of the eggs, you can only put 5-6 large fowl eggs under a Silkie. They make good broodies, and most of them make good mothers. Sometimes they will go broody 3-4 times during the year.
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#74345 - 02/22/08 09:01 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Tommy, Yes, the hen must go broody first, and as mentioned, some (often Silkie bantams) only lay 10-15 eggs before the hormones change to "broody". No, they will not "set" until this hormone change takes place, which does mean laying first.

So for these eggs, you must be patient. Keep the eggs you would like to hatch, even if only 5 or 6 eggs for the week you are away, and check the nest when you return. Save any eggs she may lay during that week (eggs will keep for 2 weeks-one week is BEST) and wait again. If she is on the nest and fluffing up and squealing, when you return again- you are "go" for hatching.

As for the incubator, those who have great hatches are experienced and know their incubator. I have not had good luck, and I am able to check 24/7. It takes a good week with a new incubator to moniter the temp and humidity--if you are not THERE with it, I cannot see how it would be successful to quickly purchase one now. I use hens now, exclusively and keep some hens just for their reliable performances. With a number of "setters", I seldom have to wait long for one to hatch special eggs.

Call around to your poultry friends. Does anyone have a setting hen that you can take eggs to (moving a hen to a strange place while she is setting is not always successful--although moving to a familiar place on her home ground is done regularly, for their privacy!) Or can you locate an experienced incubator hatcher friend, to take your eggs to hatch with theirs?

But as Rhea Dean wrote--YOU CANNOT make a hen set--it is Mother Nature's call!

Good luck, CJR

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#74346 - 02/22/08 11:09 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Sounds great. Then I ought to call someone I know. She lives kind of far from me though, like 30 miles. She has the "SPECIAL" type of incubator, and I only have to make the trip twice.

Tommy
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#74347 - 03/01/08 04:45 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
I have a nice teacher who asked to do it for me. Hehe. Awsome. That means the chicks should hatch March 17ish.
So excited!

By the way, there are new updates on my website (link below). Don't forgot to sign my guestbook and if you have a website, Please link me! Hehe

Thanks

- Tommy
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#74348 - 03/08/08 10:02 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
It has been the 9th day and she have candled. All 24, 100% growth!

Im so happy it turned out so well : )

- Tommy

Keep you all posted as time progresses
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#74349 - 03/08/08 11:06 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Good Show, Tommy--and hope it all turns out SUPER! CJR

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#74350 - 03/09/08 08:28 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Thanks.

Yeah, I wish them good health too! If are are going to make it, I will have 24 jungle fowl and phoenix chicks, I have another 14 eggs now being hatched by my hen and a friend of mine is hatching 8 vietnames jungle fowls for me. They should only be a week apart of each other. Thats roughly 40 chicks for me : )

- Tommy
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#74351 - 03/17/08 10:35 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
I am halfway along with things now : )
Getting chicks this week and next : )

- Tommy
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www.animalsinthecity.webs.com

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#74352 - 03/26/08 04:14 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Its here...just 2 more days! : )

Friday = 20+ chicks

Boy is moma hen gonna be busy. Haha

- Tommy
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www.animalsinthecity.webs.com

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#74353 - 03/26/08 09:23 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Update Update!
News just in today!

Guess what??? End of Day 19 only and a few hatched!!! Omg, you can't imagine how happy and overjoyed I am right now. All the waiting, and now they are here! 2 days earlier than exspected! Haha

Yaaa!!!!

I got 5 Jungle Fowl chicks so far, out of 14 eggs (6 Onagadori & 8 Jungle Fowls). And its barely the end of day 19! Haha. What a great mom huh? Awsome!!! Its now past 10:00PM my time and I just checked. Wow they are so CUTE! I want to take pictures and film and all but its too darn dark!

Tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

So excited! Probably can't sleep tonight. :woot

Haha

Imma keep a constant update here on out. : )

- Tommy
_________________________
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#74354 - 04/05/08 10:29 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
So currently, that moma hen is taking care of 18 chicks. Another batch hatched a few days and today total with 26 chicks. Haha

Wow, how crazy huh?

I have pictures of the chicks @:
http://www.animalsinthecity2.webs.com/

- Tommy
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#74355 - 04/06/08 08:51 AM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
Wyattdogster Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 493
Loc: Virginia
Great pictures...the babies are adorable. I just love the expression on momma's face as she looks at the chick on her back! Sort of 'is this REALLY necessary?' :rolleyes:

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#74356 - 05/03/08 03:11 PM Re: Egg Laying and Sitting
TommyVT05 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 80
Loc: California
Lol!

I would have said...its your family portrait w/o the dad. He's off mating with another hen.

Haha!!!

- Tommy
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