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Hen doesn't know how to incubate???

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

From my own experience and from hearing about others experience with hens, once a hen goes broody, she innately knows what to do and doesn't need any help. And when they do go broody, it's almost impossible to get them out of it. However, I have a two year old Booted Bantam hen that decided to go broody for the first time a few days ago, and she doesn't seem to know what to do. She decided to start sitting on her eggs right before dusk a few days ago, and she constantly sat on them for the next two days. I know she is definitely broody. Besides not leaving the nest, she got upset with me a day after she first started sitting when I had to take away some eggs, since she was sitting on way too many eggs and two golf balls. But then, for no particular reason, she hopped out of the nest after two days of sitting while I was outside feeding the other animals and stayed off of the nest for the rest of that day, the night, then the next day too. Then, earlier today, I found her sitting on the nest again, and she's still sitting on them now.

 

I don't understand why this is happening. Booted Bantams are suppose to be a breed that easily goes broody, which she didn't, but now I'm finding that she doesn't know how to incubate eggs? I didn't even know it was possible for a hen to go broody, randomly decide she doesn't want to be broody anymore, then go back to sitting on eggs again.

post #2 of 4

 I've found mine can do that  once in while, especially first timers. Some broodies are just much more diligent than others though.. Early in February this year I had a couple of silkies go broody. They are pretty reliable. They were at it about a week or 10 days and then #3, the younger girl,  decided to join them. She lasted about 3 days and got bored and left the coop. She didn't really have any eggs just trying to share with the other girls so it wasn't a problem. She decided to go at it again about 10 days ago and this time she seems to be sticking. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas humbert View Post
 

 I've found mine can do that  once in while, especially first timers. Some broodies are just much more diligent than others though.. Early in February this year I had a couple of silkies go broody. They are pretty reliable. They were at it about a week or 10 days and then #3, the younger girl,  decided to join them. She lasted about 3 days and got bored and left the coop. She didn't really have any eggs just trying to share with the other girls so it wasn't a problem. She decided to go at it again about 10 days ago and this time she seems to be sticking. 


Yeah my Silkie girls have always been great moms, even with their first batch. In fact, my Austrolorps and Gamebird hens have never done anything like this either, not even when they had their first batches. Unfortunately she had her own eggs by herself, so that batch is probably ruined, but I didn't want to give her more eggs if she was just going to ruin those too. But at least now I know her behavior is kinda normal for a new mom, I just wish I knew before I gave her my last batch of good eggs!

post #4 of 4

I hear you. I learned that the hard way a few years ago. Now I usually don't add eggs until they've been broody for a good week or more. My girl that quit last time was given shipped eggs three days ago. She's been broody for about 10-11 days so I'm hoping it sticks this time but I've got another experienced hen who is broody too so if the young one, Primrose, acts up again, Petunia who  is brooding in the nest next to hers will probably steal her eggs anyway. At least I hope so.  I split the shipped eggs between the two of  them with a few more for the experienced broody but they steal back and forth all the time and every day each hen has a different number of eggs. I move eggs around sometimes to be sure they all stay covered, but the girls do pretty well. I'm expecting they will co-parent (the older silkie has done that before) and hopefully  the older one will make up for any lack on the younger mom's part. 

 

I love silkies. Except for cold winter, someone is always broody and I have one hen that will take any chick she is offered, broody or not. She has a one week old and a three week old now, neither of which are hers and she is a fantastic mother. 

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