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tanya 08-24-2011 08:42 PM

Laying hen question
 
We have around 12 hens and two roosters that we share with our friends next door. These chickens are free range and always lay eggs in the same spot in the barn which they come and go and are never caged. Well I have a hen laying on a nest right now that has around 8 eggs in it. I used a flashligh to look at all the eggs so I can toss the ones that are bad. Well I found one egg that had no baby and all the others seem to be different stages. Some look like they will be ready any day now and some look like another week or so. My question is will she sit on them to hatch them all or will she get up when the older eggs hatch? I know they cant all be hers cause there are at least 8 eggs under her.

NorthernMama 08-24-2011 08:45 PM

Typically a hen will hatch them all.

tanya 08-24-2011 08:48 PM

I hope she will. Thanks for the quick reply.

tanya 08-24-2011 09:32 PM

What are the chances all the eggs are hers? I looked at them all and some are really close to hatching and some are just starting to develope. They are all alive and moving inside.

Day Mares 08-25-2011 07:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I only have two hens and they both lay their eggs in the same nest. We don't have a rooster (OH is a conscientious objector to crowing). :oops:

In spring last year one of the hens started brooding on the nest (she sat on it 24/7 whether there were eggs under her or not) so I got 6 fertilised eggs from a friend's farm and popped them under her, 21 days later two chicks hatched, but one only lived for 48 hours. :-( The other 4 eggs were broken in argy bargy of sharing a nest, typically when a new egg was laid by other hen on same nest. :-x

My hen sat on her hatched chick for at least a month after he hatched and was a very proud and protective mother throughout. The chick grew into a gorgeous rooster who went back to the farm he came from as the only rooster with a harem of 22 hens.

So the point of this looong story is that if a hen is sitting on a clutch of eggs she will do all she can to hatch them all. As far as she is concerned they are all HER eggs.

Will these be your first chicks? It is an amazing experience.

tanya 08-25-2011 10:55 AM

We got chicks a month ago and some last summer, but this is the first time they have been where we can see the laying hen. The others have hatched them elsewhere where we didnt even know where they were till the hen and chicks came back to the barn. We just had three chicks a little over a month ago and a skunk got one the night before last so I went to check them all last night and there was the bandit under a shed. I had my phone so I called my husband who was in the house and told him to bring the 22 so we can get rid of our egg and chick theif. I stood there waiting for him to bring it and that skunk came out from under the shed walked over to me sniffed my shoe and walked off. I was scared out of my mind I didnt want to get sprayed. We trapped on a few months ago and my husband shot him in the cage and that is a smell like no other. The skunks have been bad this year and they are stealing alot of our eggs. I try to get them all collected, but they beat me to them sometimes and now they are picking off our babies. Afriend of ours who lives three houses down has trapped 4 this summer and he is still seeing signs of more. He has chickens and ducks and his eggs are being eaten also and he has a pen for his birds. These skunks just dig their way in if they want something bad enough.

Bearkiller 08-26-2011 01:36 PM

Tanya, I have 6 hounds right next to my chickens so no predator problems here.

Trap the skunk then cover the cage with a heavy towel or sheet. Then find a deep spot of water to drown it. It sounds mean but it's effective for not getting sprayed.

tanya 08-26-2011 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bearkiller (Post 1151071)
Tanya, I have 6 hounds right next to my chickens so no predator problems here.

Trap the skunk then cover the cage with a heavy towel or sheet. Then find a deep spot of water to drown it. It sounds mean but it's effective for not getting sprayed.

That sounds like a good idea thanks for the tip. I love all animals, but there does come a time when we have to rid a problem so I will try it. We dont have a shortage of skunks so I have no problem doing this. Last night it struck again and got some of the eggs that my hen is sitting on. It broke my heart cause you can see the small feathers stuck to the egg still. So far this skunk has got 1 baby chick, one not even hatched yet and I still have some hens missing. This means war.


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