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#75900 - 01/07/05 10:48 AM abandoned egg?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm sorry to bother you all with such a stupid question, but I've scoured the web for two hours now trying to find answers to my question on my two Rhode Island/Bantam chickens.
I got them for pets this year. I let them free range all day, and at night they perch on a tree under my carport. I have never caged them. They are fed daily and have access to fresh water at all times. My yard is fenced in, so the likelyhood of a predator is slim.
But my hen finally laid an egg this morning. She laid it on a sheet that I had on the carport which I used to cover my plants once this winter. I am in Central Florida where we have very mild winters. As soon as she laid, she jumped down and went out into the yard to peck around.
My question is this.......... Is she going to come back later on today and sit on her egg, or has she abandonded it? Should I bring it in and incubate it myself?
I realize that it will be approximately 21 days until hatching, but I don't know what she is going to do. The temp today is around 75 degrees. Is the egg already too cold? She laid it three hours ago and hasn't come back to sit on it yet, although my Banty Rooster actually sat on it for about an hour! I found that rather bizarre!!
Also, will she lay an egg every day or so now? Or should I remove the egg to keep her laying? I feel so stupid.....
Please let me know what you think. These are my first chickens and I really baby them. They are tame and are very loveable. I've evem named them Chick and Noodle. I'd love to see the egg hatch. Someone please help me out???????? eek confused

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#75901 - 01/07/05 11:15 AM Re: abandoned egg?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok, it's been four hours. I went to check on the egg and it's cold. Sadly, I just put in in the fridge. I guess it'll be tomorrows breakfast. But now the question remains, is she going to be an unfit mother? Does this mean that she will not hatch any eggs, only lay them and leave them? Is there anything that I can do to intice her to sit on her eggs? Geez, I do sound like an idiot, don't I...........

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#75902 - 01/07/05 11:19 AM Re: abandoned egg?
Chicken Mama Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 60
Loc: Tennessee
I like the names of your chickens. I'm new to this too but I think I have some answers. Hens will not try to sit on every egg they lay. They have to "go broody" or get in the mood to sit. If you just want to hatch the egg inside your house it is probably fine. I have 7 pullets and 2 roosters. They started laying about 6 weeks ago and I get some eggs every day. From 2 - 6. Some breeds lay better than others and egg production drops off in the winter, although you wouldn't know it from my girls. Congratulations on your first egg; it was exciting when I got my first one. :p
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Chicken Mama

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#75903 - 01/07/05 11:30 AM Re: abandoned egg?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Chicken Momma. I appreciate your feedback! I hope she catches on soon. I really don't have the time nor the resources to hatch eggs indoors. My schedule doesn't permit. Although I'm going to have my first "present" for breakfast tomorrow, I really wasn't wanting to do that, lol. I wanted to see the first few hatch. Chick is the hen, and I am going to get a couple more this week. Noodle needs his "Harem". I was so excited when she laid this one. I got to watch her from the livingroom window. What a blessing to see!! She didn't make a sound except for a low growl. I just noticed her panting and scratching around on the sheet getting it just the way she wanted it. All the sudden, I was a grandmother to my first egg, hehehe. Perhaps the next time she'll realize that she's supposed to take care of them!! laugh

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#75904 - 01/07/05 11:51 AM Re: abandoned egg?
Anonymous
Unregistered


The hen will lay a cluth of eggs before she will begin to want to sit. A clutch varies from hen to hen. so there is no certain number to look for before she will begin to set. If laying her eggs are on the blanket are no problem then continue to let her lay there...But since it is her first egg, I'd leave it down so she can see it to go back to the same sight. It might be best to make her a nice nesting box that she will use and when she goes broody it will be easier to move her and the eggs when the time comes. Being free range, if you don't get her into the mode of laying in the same spot she is subject to lay anywhere and bantams are notorios for laying in the best places that will not be found. If she steals a nest and you are unable to find it, one day she will take missing and you will wonder if something has gotten her. The only way you will know the answer to the question is...you find her remains, her nest, or in 22 days she comes up with 10 bitties (or more)
I suggest you try training her to lay in a nice nest box so you will KNOW!

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#75905 - 01/07/05 12:12 PM Re: abandoned egg?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Harleydeby, Well, you have lots to discover about your bantams! Hens NEVER stay on their eggs, do not even CARE about them UNTIL they have laid a "clutch", which may be as few as 10 eggs or as many as 40 or more, after which the hormones kick in to cause a hen to become "broody" and only then does she STOP laying and SITS on her nest to hatch eggs. Please note I said "nest", as when broody-time comes, it comes--and there does not have to be any eggs in the nest at all--they just SIT! They stay on the nest day and night until either you slip some eggs under them, to hatch, or it finally wears off and they begin to lay again.

So, you might want to place a nice nest box where she is laying, if you have not done so already, just her size, perhaps with straw for a nice cup lining. She will lay an egg there every day or two. If you like fresh eggs for breakfast, do enjoy them. After a week or two, you may save 4 or 5 eggs (date them in pencil) in an egg carton, and exchage the oldest ones (for breakfast) now and then, keeping the freshest ones --up to about two weeks. Then when she does begin to set??you never know about this until it happens--you will have some fresh eggs to place under her--and 21 days later, you can expect CHICKS!
Think about it--if she sat on the egg now, it would hatch in 21 days, then the one that is laid tomorrow, etc. And you must have the chicks hatch all at the same day, as the hen takes them from the nest to feed and water often the next day after they hatch--leaving any unhatched eggs in the nest--cannot wait to get the living to food and water. They are the important ones! Eggs remain "dormant" until the hen begins the incubation "setting".

Now another thing. If you obtain several more hens, you may upset your nice plans, as "Chick" will not appreciate any strange hens about the place--even though your "Noodle" might like it. She may stop laying for a bit, move her nest site--hard to say what you are bringing on?? However, it may go well, hope so! Enjoy your breakfast eggs--and good luck with future hatching.

Here where I live, it has been below zero f and deep snow--hens are all in the houses 24/7, but are hatching chicks this month (3 chicks to date), but the hens do not get to raise them--that is my pleasure, and they are in the house, in shoe boxes, under lights for heat, and growing nicely.

FL?? dreams of sunshine and warmth-but the changing seasons are wonderful, too! Good luck, CJR

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#75906 - 01/07/05 12:15 PM Re: abandoned egg?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Sorry there, R Todd, your post did not come up until after I had posted mine--we were on the "same page"! CJR

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#75907 - 01/07/05 01:32 PM Re: abandoned egg?
Chicken Mama Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 60
Loc: Tennessee
Harleydeby, I saved some of the first eggs my chickens laid. I notice the eggs they are laying now are considerably larger than their first ones. I don't know too much about this but I'm not sure you would want to hatch your first few eggs. Something that constantly amazes me is chickens instinctive wisdom. I got mine as chicks in June 2004. I have taught them nothing, and yet they have done everything right on time, and instinctively know everything they need to know. I hope to have my girls hatch out some eggs this spring. I'm looking forward to seeing my girls be mommas.
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Chicken Mama

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#75908 - 01/07/05 03:19 PM Re: abandoned egg?
Lacey Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 427
Loc: Pennsylvania
Harleydeby,

Sometimes a chicken will go broody without eggs to lay on. Going broody is just something that clicks one day. You cant force a chicken to sit on eggs or do anything to make the chicken set except maybe leaving the eggs in the nest box since that does trigger broody behavior. Not every chicken goes broody. Now 4 hours is not too long for an egg in 75 degree weather. You can store eggs i think for up to 2 weeks in a cool room of the house untill you are ready to put them in an incubator or put under a broody. Good luck!

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#75909 - 01/07/05 04:40 PM Re: abandoned egg?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh my Lord, then I've killed my first baby. I already put the egg in the fridge!!! <<>> If she has another one tomorrow, I'm going to do as you ALL have said and let her and "it" be. I sure didn't know you could save them and they would hatch later on when she gets in the "brood mood". I don't mind the spot she has picked to lay, it's right on the front porch, so that is no problem. I have a large dog who thinks that Chick and Noodle are her babies, so a predator would be very rare. (Or brave & starving.) I will certainly make her a box though. I will have it out there by morning and will put that sheet in it just by chance that she doesn't appreciate my efforts, hehe. Then perhaps in time I can replace it with hay, etc. You all have been a wonderful help! I have so much to learn, and it looks like all my hours online today finally paid off when I found this site! Thanks again, and PLEASE keep the information coming! smile

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