Broody hen off eggs?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

How long can a hen be off of incubating eggs and still have viability? As usual, I found a hen on eggs in a bad place. I was going to try to find a way to cage her in, but it became too unsafe to even try. So, knowing it was probably futile, I tried to move her, and her 16 eggs. Off course, when I went back about 45 minutes later to check, she was on top of the carrier, rather than in it, and the eggs were scattered.I figured we were done. An hour after that, she was back on the eggs, and they seemed to be neatly tucked under her. Any chance they might still have a chance? Temps reached 88 about then.

Why is it that when I want to break a broody hen, she will sit on anything, anywhere, but when I WANT her to stay broody, she's outta there at the slightest provocation??


Richmond, TX

I have no direct experience with hens but I know ducks often leave their eggs for varying periods of time and they hatch okay...? Time will tell.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Yeah, but I hate to keep her cooped up if there's no reason. She's still on them this morning, and we'll let her stay as long as she wants. She's not TOO in the way *G*.

Bessemer, AL(Zone 8b)

until the last 3 days, hens have been know to get off thier eggs for an hour or so, and walk and eat and socalize. the last 3 days she won't move from the eggs.

Bridgewater, ME

I have a first time broody orp hen,she is on 13 shipped eggs,I have her in a cage with food and water,I open the door once a day to give fresh water and every other day she wants out just like clock work,she walks around and poops and screams and cleans herself.Its still cold here so I let her stay off them for about 15 minutes then put her back,I know some of them will come off for a few minutes then go back on,if I didn`t put her back I don`t know how long she would stay off.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

my experience has been the warmer the weather the longer they stay off the eggs when taking a break

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, all. General consensus seems to be that it will be okay. She's been settled again ever since she gathered them back together. She had only been setting between 24-48 hours, as she'd only been missing for one night. Apparently even had it been as much as 2 hours (I don't think it was) should be no issue that early on in almost 90 degree heat. For once, I'm glad summer arrived way before I'm ready for it.

I hope at least some of them hatch, they'll be interesting. In all probability, Phoenix X Polish. Top hats and long tails?


Conroe, TX

I agree, they are probably fine. We have had hens off eggs for a long period of time and they still hatch.

I know what you mean though, you want them to stay broody and they don't, but when you want them not to be broody you just can't shake them out of it.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Yup. Thar's it, exactly. She's still hanging in there (fingers toes paws and whiskers crossed).

I don't really know why I so want to see these hatch, I sure have "enough" chickens. But, I really love seeing the chickens that result from crosses. I know that offends some people, but I keep them for my enjoyment, so there it is :)

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Ive got a temperamental Dark Brahma Bantam Hen that has 13 eggs under her, (well 10 now, after I checked for fertility) She doesnt have a roo her size so I figured her eggs wouldnt be fertile thats why I strted to break them up. I was wrong... 1 out of the three was a good one. I hate that!! So now I am waiting to see what she hatches! The proud Papa will either be a white silkie roo or a large Fowl Dark Brahma, ( that would be a mystery to me!!)
Any way back to discussion.... She has been "socializing" every other day with the others until yesterday. She would leave her eggs for at least an hour at a time. That gave me the incentive to finally follow her around and find her nest. I was really surprised to find them semi warm and still viable. I guess with the temps as warm as they have been here lately it doesnt seem to matter until the last few day of incubation! She hasnt left them alone now for the past 2 days so Im waiting on pipping or peeping any time now!

Bridgewater, ME

I have a orp sitting on 13 lemon cukoo orp eggs,thursday is day 21,did not candle so don`t know how many I have plus they were shipped.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Well well well... got home yesterday to find 2 babies under my bantam Brahma! The rest of the eggs were cold, so I opened them . Sure enough none were fertile! Im pretty sure these little guys are half Silkie! I will be able to get a better look tomorrow!
So now I have a couple of " yard Chickens" too! they are so cute though! Catmad we will have to compare our babies to see who has the most unusual mixed up babies!

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

You're on!! I'll have to see if anything hatches here, tho. And mine will have a much more varied possible parentage :)

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