Sunday, May 1, 2011

Olive's eggs

Olive seems depressed.  She has been sitting on her eggs for exactly 21 days today and none have hatched.  I wrote about Olive, my Polish Hen about three weeks ago.  She had become broody, which in the world of chickens means she had started sitting on her eggs determined to hatch them.  We had been gone for a few days and had not gathered her eggs so she decided to sit them.  The only problem is that we don't have a rooster her size so her eggs are not fertile.  Olive is a very aloof bird, and she won't have anything to do with the two bantam roosters we have.  As a matter of fact, Olive doesn't like any of the other chickens and the feeling is mutual.  She thinks that she is the Queen and they are far beneath her.  I should have taken her off the nest and got rid of the eggs, but there were a couple of bantam eggs also in the nest and I hoped that at least one of those would hatch to satisfy her maternal yearnings.  Polish hens rarely go broody.  If it weren't for hatcheries incubating them, they would indeed be rare birds. 

Now, what do I do?  She has sat on those eggs faithfully, only getting up about every fourth day to eat, drink and poop - and then right back to the eggs she goes  She is actually very obsessed with the whole business of sitting on the eggs - it's like she's in a trance.  Poor Olive.  Will she just give up if they don't hatch?  Or will she sit on them forever thinking they will?  I suppose I need to find a hen that has been sitting on her eggs about the same amount of time as Olive and steal some of her eggs.  Got any ideas???


  1. Oh, poor Olive - that is just SO sad!! :( You're going to have to try to get some fertile eggs from somewhere for the poor little thing! Do let us know the outcome of this sad little story.

  2. I'm working on getting her some fertilized eggs. The only problem is, the ones I have found so far are fresh out of the chicken so she may have to sit for another 21 days. I've got another contact - hopefully he can spare one or two from his broody hens.

  3. Hi Glenda,
    I've had hens that would keep sitting on infertile eggs and some hens would give up about a week after the hatching date.
    I know it sounds cruel, but after 28 days and no biddies, you need to take the eggs when she gets off the nest for drink of water.
    She needs time to get up and about before starting another 3 weeks of sitting.
    She will start laying eggs again soon after getting off the nest with no babies.
    On the rooster part, we haven't had problems with roosters of different sizes mating with hens of different sizes. They will mix and match!
    Good luck to Olive! Maybe there is a fertile egg in the bunch!

  4. Thanks for the comments and advice. If I can't get any eggs in the next day or two that are ready to hatch from a friend of ours, I will definitely confiscate her eggs when she gets up. She has never mated with any of the roosters we've had except when we had one of her kind in a fenced in area with her about two years ago. We had to give him away because he was too aggressive with the grandchildren and he was also a bad boy to Olive as he would peck her nearly to death. Maybe since she had such an 'abusive spouse', she's turned off to the boys altogether. I wouldn't blame her for that.


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