Broody hen : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a Sumatra hen who I just found brooding last night. She also did this in Sept. I don't mind her hatching out eggs, but last time she waited until 4 (of 13) eggs had hatched, then moved the nest. If I take the first chicks and keep them warm, will she stay on the nest until the rest hatch, or will she get discouraged and leave anyway? Will she accept the first ones when I give them back? She is a very good mother, attentive and protective. Also, what is the procedure for substituting eggs from a different hen under this one? Are eggs that have been in the fridge for a couple of days still viable, or should I leave them on the counter while saving up enough for a brood?(I do keep my house quite cool) If she's going to hatch out chicks, I'd just as soon have them from the layers. If she's been on the nest for a week, is it too late for me to switch(assuming that I remove all of her eggs)?

-- Skye Astara (, December 26, 2000


There was a similar post at the top of the forum list. Looks like some good answers there.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, December 26, 2000.

If I remember correctly, a hen won't set (be broody) for much more than 21 days so those that don't hatch in time are outta luck. Yes, eggs that have been in your refrigerator a few days still have the possibility of hatching provided that they were fertilized.

-- Alison in NS (, December 31, 2000.

Hi Skye, very interesting name! According to the book "Raising Poultry the Modern Way", and Carla Emory, any temperature below 40 degrees will kill the embryo that is developing in the egg, so watch your temperatures if you want viable eggs.

You will get the best results if you incubate fertile eggs and brood the chicks yourself, I've done it both ways, and regulating all the variables yourself is the most efficient and productive method of producing healthy chicks. Good luck either way.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, January 02, 2001.

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