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Author Topic: How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?  (Read 4891 times)

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Elvis and the Girls

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« on: September 10, 2008, 19:33 »
Hi Everyone, I've been reading this forum for a few months now and picked up a lot of good tips and advise, But I now have a question that I don't seem to be able to find the answer to ( deep down I probably do know the answer really).

One of our Buff Orpingtons became broody Bank Holiday weekend, we put eggs from all the girls under her and she has been brilliant, getting off them briefly each morning for food and water and poop but otherwise always in the nesting box.

But today - day 17 by our reckoning we came back from work to find her wandering around the garden with the rest of the hens and and a nest box full of cold eggs!

Is that it? Are they all dead? If they aren't dead yet and if we manage to get her back on them will she look after them? she has already broken one leaving a dead chick inside.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


Vember

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 19:42 »
The maximum time for a hen to be off the eggs is 20 mins so they say, although I have to admitt to shutting the door on one of mine for half an hour  :shock:  they were ok.

It's funny you should say she's a buff Orp I had one do very similar this year with duck eggs 4 days before they were due, it was asif she'd heard them and didn't want to know.

If we're talking more than an hour here well I think they might be gone but at this late stage the babies will be moving therefore generating some heat for themselfs

Get her back on them and keep your fingers crossed.

She might reject once hatched, mine did but with some tin foil, empty container such as a fish tank and a light bulb I can talk you through making a brooder as and when needed

Hope things go ok , My fingers are crossed for you


Sarah :)

Elvis and the Girls

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 20:20 »
Thanks for that Sarah, since posting we have managed to catch her and put her back on but she has broken two furthur eggs now! By our calculation and test the other day that still leaves 7 fertile eggs.

Its just a waiting game now isn't it?

Vember

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 20:34 »
It sure is Elvis :?

Can you candle them tomorrow and see whats what? I wouldn't advise you do it now they need to get warm.

Can you not shut your broody up on the eggs during the day and only let her out suppervised. That's what I'd do.





Sarah :)

agapanthus

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 21:49 »
I remember our Blossom out for about an hour and a half!!!....she managed to bring off 6 chicks????!!!! Dunno how tho'????

pandora

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 16:17 »
Oh gosh, Mrs Partridge got her nests muddle up twice while she was sitting on eggs, and one time we think she was on the wrong nest for about 4 or 5 hours (was in the summer though.) She went on to hatch 7 chicks from the 12 eggs she was sitting on.

On the other hand, my incubator broke on day 17 with 11 fertile eggs in it. It took me about 10 hours to get them into another incubator (I had to ring round friends to find one,) and only 2 of the eggs hatched, the rest dead in shell.

I think if she has only been off for a little while they will be OK. You only have 5 days or so to wait to find out.

muntjac

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 23:52 »
when a chuck lays eggs she will usually lay the full clutch before she " sets 2 down to incubate  as aggy said blossom was a great mom , but it really depends on what the outside temp is whether a clutch will survive  :wink:

Elvis and the Girls

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2008, 14:12 »
Just a quick update for those of you kind enough to reply.
Well we managed to catch the "broody" buff  and put her back on the egss and since then we have kept her boxed in, letting her out for half  an hour morning and evening but only in the shed and run (no free roaming for now), she seems to have gone back into broody mode or "the zone" as I call it and infact this morning refused to get off the eggs, not sure if that is a good sign or not.
Today is D day ...or Tuesday is depending who has the better memory me  or OH !
Fingers crossed  :D

Vember

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2008, 14:25 »
Got everything crossed for you :D

Maybe she's sitting tight because she an hear them cheeping ????




Sarah :)

Kate and her Ducks

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How long can a broody hen leave her eggs unattended?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2008, 16:24 »
Good luck,

Will keep everything crossed for you and the little ones :lol:
Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but always paddling like the dickens underneath.



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