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#87322 - 07/21/05 02:42 PM Broody Hen Help!!

I do not know if this counts as an emergency, but I am worried I am going to loose my hatching eggs. I have a dozen silkie/frizzle eggs. How long can be between when they are laid and when they are given to a broody without them becoming stale?
Second question, my broody insists that she is going to go broody in the goat shed, which is not completely safe for the eggs, despite the fact that I have set a separate space up for her and even moved her there at night. She can still hear the other hens, and this makes her freak out, and when I open the door, she throws herself out and back into the goat shed. There is more than one box in the goat shed, and there is another broody hen in there. (She is too spacey to give eggs to.) I am worried that my broody will get mixed up with the other hen, and the other hen will leave the eggs for her long breaks. Is there any other way to get the broody hen to move or am I stuck with her being in the goat shed?
Third question, I have trouble with the issue of another hen getting on the nest and confusing my broody and then leaving. How many times does a broody leave the eggs to eat, drink etc.? How long can the eggs be left with worry of damaging the embryos?
That's it. I would appreciate any help. Again, I'm sorry if this is not an emergency, but it seemed a small emergency to me.
Thanks, Xelli

#87323 - 07/21/05 03:25 PM Re: Broody Hen Help!!
Rack Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 384
Loc: Virginia
Can maybe help with part. When I moved my broody hen to a safer area she stopped sitting on her eggs. So I would suggest covering her. Also put food and water within reach this will stop to much wandering. Mine became broody after laying about 10 in a clutch. So it took days for her to stay on them.
Approximately 21 days to hatch. Can take longer.
I had mine cooled for 2 weeks before trying to hatch in an incubator since she stopped being broody. So far I'm about 2 weeks away. I hope everything goes well with yours. Let me know how it comes out.

#87324 - 07/21/05 06:51 PM Re: Broody Hen Help!!
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
You can keep eggs for up to 2 weeks, if they are gathered and kept in a cool place (not in the nest) until you are ready to give them to the hen and count the days until hatch.

Hens can be off the nest for as long as a half hour or so without harm to the incubating eggs. She will not be gone so long most of the time. Some hens get off several times a day, most not more than twice, and many hens just get off once a day--and stay on the nest the last few days before hatch. When she is truly broody and ready to stay on her eggs, can you cage her in the Goat Shed with food and water--near the place she wants to be? After she has been sitting on the eggs for a week, she will be more apt to stay with them if you move her (at night) to her own quarters where you want her to hatch--MAYBE. You just have to work it out. But try not to fluster the hens. Let them signal their comfort level. Good luck, CJR


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