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Having trouble moving broody hen - Page 3

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amina View Post
 

Considering this hen is a first-timer, I'm just a little nervous about her. Maybe I am needlessly worrying, but I've heard stories of broody hens killing their chicks when they hatch. I'd like to set about a dozen eggs to hatch, but if there's a chance she may kill them all, then I'd prefer not to risk it with too many chicks right off the bat. That's why I was going to put half the eggs in the incubator, and then add the extra chicks to her the night after I've verified that she's not going to murder her chicks.

 

Now I am not sure which way is riskier. Hmm.


I can not find fault with your logic. Decisions, decisions.

 

I can tell you that of 11 hens that brooded for the first time this year, only two were not good broodies/parents. The odds are good that your hen will do just fine. The two hens, of mine, that failed as broody hens did not kill their chicks, but were poor at brooding eggs.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay, I had no sense at all of how common these mishaps might be. I'm not too worried about her abandoning the eggs mid-incubation. If she does that, I should be able to take her eggs away in time, and move them to the incubator. I guess I'll just give her the full dozen eggs, if she can cover them all! Thanks, everyone!

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amina View Post
 

Okay, I had no sense at all of how common these mishaps might be. I'm not too worried about her abandoning the eggs mid-incubation. If she does that, I should be able to take her eggs away in time, and move them to the incubator. I guess I'll just give her the full dozen eggs, if she can cover them all! Thanks, everyone!


In nature, a hen who does not care for her eggs and chicks is at a genetic end. Her behavior will not be passed on. With our chickens that doesn't happen; eggs are put in incubators or given to a hen that does brood. Thus the incidence of bad motherhood is larger. Many breeds are purposely bred to just lay eggs with no broody instinct. Thinking of this, I'm surprised that more broody attempts aren't  fruitless.

 

My seramas are great broodies (except the size), but broody instinct is prized in the breed.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

We're 4 days into incubation now, and my hen has broken two eggs. Yesterday I came home to find one broken egg outside of the nest, on the ground. Today I found a second egg broken and on the ground like the first. Any thoughts on what could be happening and what I should do about it to prevent further losses? There's a good ~3 inch lip on the nest box, so I don't think she could be accidentally rolling them out. And yesterday there was no eggy mess in the nest when we peeked under her, like you might expect if she accidentally smashed one. I can't figure out what's going on!

post #25 of 26
Do you have a rat problem?

Snakes will eat eggs out from under a broody hen, I’ve had that a couple of times. Yes, that is as creepy as it sounds. But snakes swallow them whole so it is not a snake.

Skunks and possum really like eggs. But they would probably eat all of the eggs, not just one. I don’t think it is a skunk or possum.

Crows or ravens mike grab an egg but I think the hen would fight those. I don’t think they’d be able to get an egg with the hen on the nest.

If the eggs were thin-shelled it’s possible they could break just from her walking on them or turning them, but you’d have a mess in the nest if that were the problem.

Another hen could be an egg eater. But I’d expect her to get other easier eggs, not the broody hen’s eggs. And I’d expect a gooey mess in the nest, not on the floor.

It would be great if you could set up a game camera to see what is going on, but I keep coming back to a rat. Hopefully someone else can come up with an idea.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well I moved my broody hen away from all the other chickens, to a large cage in our enclosed sun room. So it's not another hen doing it. And I'm quite sure no skunks, opossums, or other birds can get to her. I guess maybe a rodent could get to her, possibly... They might be able to squeeze through the bars. I'm not sure. But I've kept chicks where she is now, multiple times, with no problems before.

Whatever is going on, I tend to think she's the one doing it. I just can't figure out what she's doing to break them, and it's happening while we're away at work. I wish I had a game camera so I could spy on her!
Edited by Amina - 4/19/16 at 6:39pm
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