My hen has laid 14 eggs. When will she set? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My Black Australorp hen has laid 14 eggs over the last 14-15 days. It is my understanding from research that Australorps usually are good brooders or go broody. I have been in a few times to check and see if she is setting them and she has been sprawled out over them. However, she spends alot of time outside or hanging around somewhere besides on her eggs when in the coop. My question is this. 1)will the eggs especially the first 1/2 dozen or so still be good when and if she decides to set? 2)how many is she likely to lay before she sets? 3)is she likely to go broody or should she have already done so? 4)how many should I allow her to lay while waiting for her to set before I use them in my kitchen? I don't want them all to rot because she won't brood.

Thanks for the help, PoePoe

-- PoePoe (, January 30, 2002



No problem. Your bird doing OK. 1} Eggs should be OK unless they have been subjected to sub-freezing temps without hen fluttering to protect them. And, that's what she has been doing with the hovering. Hen supplying just enough warmth to protect the eggs from the cold but not enough to begin development of the embryo. Never had your breed but the old Barred Rocks would go broody after about 2 more eggs than their wings could warm. 2) covered with number of expected eggs. 3) Chickens can't count. And they consider their wings as brooding surface. 4) The hen will stop laying when she is of a mind to think that she can cover all that has been laid. 50 years ago, we had naught but "working class" chickens on the farm. Not unusual to find a missed nest and there would be a big rock hen trying to spread her wings to cover 24 or more eggs. Your breed has been around for ages and belong to the working class. They are great brooders, from what I've read, so if she ends up with 2 dozen eggs, start counting your chickens before they hatch! Disapointment if I hear of less than 20 chicks.


-- Martin Longseth (, January 30, 2002.

Oh! If only I had a black austrolorp rooster! Sigh.

I love my B. A. hens though. Can't wait to get a rooster in the spring and see some chicks!

-- Ann Markson (, January 30, 2002.

She is doing just find. Now don't put your hands on that nest everyday, she may get upset, and abandon the nest. Believe me they have the eggs in the nest organized their way. believe it or not. Also is this hen is a first timer, she may get longer time to brood, and some times they don't do it at all. I had one that after 10 eggs in one next she started another next, brood the second one and raise 8 chicken. ??? I guess they have bird brains after all.

-- Ralph Roces (, January 30, 2002.

Hi Poe....My experiences have been that if a hen is broody, when you try to gather eggs from out from under her, she will get mad and peck at you. When this happens, I just put eggs from other hens under her. She will think they are hers. Once she starts setting, she will rarely leave the nest except for a quick drink and maybe a bit of food.

-- Harmony (, January 30, 2002.

I hate to say this, but in my experience, whether or not this hen goes broody, or when, has nothing to do with you leaving all those eggs for her. Better to gather them regularly and eat them, then if she does become broody(it may still be months from now, if at all) you can give her eggs when she is ready.

We had Australorps in Texas. They were wonderful layers, and out of 10 or 12 hens, 2 or 3 would regularly brood eggs for me come spring. They let me know when they were ready. There was no way to push them to do it. Usually, it was late spring, when the days and nights were regularly warm.

-- mary (, January 30, 2002.

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