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Is my pullet trying to go broody? Weird behaviours, newbie question! - Page 3

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yeah I thought of that. As an Orpington, Little Star is pretty heavy. When we candle the eggs to check for development I'll be watching that one carefully. We won't know anything for another week yet, but fingers crossed it all goes well! And of course, if that one hatches, and it's a pullet, I may just have a new favourite on my hands, haha. A lucky, plucky little clucky xD
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
The cracked egg seems to be holding up fine, Little Star is being incredibly dedicated and gentle. We will be doing our first candling in a couple of days... Exciting! It's amazing to watch her doing her thing, such a great experience =) I love watching her shuffle herself back onto the eggs after I've moved her to grab Chai's daily egg - She gently nudges them with her beak and wings, wiggling her large feathery body so so carefully into place, fluffing up then back down, looking content. I'm really glad we have her some eggs, hopefully we get a good hatch out of all her efforts!
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Egg update! Okay so we candled at 8 and 14 days, definite development in 7 out of 8 eggs. The one with no development we cracked open at day 14 and there was just nothing in there... Just a busted yolk, and weirdly enough, a couple of ants =\ My partner cracked the egg, and she assured me that the bowl was completely clean before doing so, so the two ants were definitely inside the egg. Is that... A normal thing that can happen? The egg was quite porous, so maybe they somehow made their way in as microscopic eggs themselves... We just don't know. But nonetheless, Little Star is one egg down.

The cracked egg seems to be doing okay, though it's certainly developing more slowly than the others... There's an obvious and huge difference between our first candling (day 8) and our most recent (day 14), so something has been growing... But it seems about 5-8 days behind the others just in terms of what we can see, so I'm not hugely hopeful. It did seem to move though, so maybe it'll beat the odds and come through - Who knows?

There was one egg in particular that had a *lot* of movement, and we watched it's little feet, completely mesmerised, for a minute or so. That was certainly the biggest and most active. It's pretty amazing to watch these little babies grow inside their shells all this time, and especially cool to see our young girl being so dedicated to bringing about these new lives.

Her sister, Chai, has been caught sitting on the eggs herself while Little Star comes down for a feed. Started out quite cute, until yesterday when Chai didn't want to give the eggs back, and they were both screeching, flapping, and pecking at each other until I intervened and picked Chai up off the eggs and put her back in the run. Little Star has a few scratches on her face, and had some blood around her earlobe and eye, so I wiped it off for her, made sure she was okay, and let her back to it.

I'm certain Little Star will see this through to the end, and I'm mainly worried she'll stay broody even after they hatch! Hahaha. She's really taken a shine to it. She doesn't let my partner touch her at all these days, preferring to fluff up, screech like a banshee, and strike like a cobra. But she doesn't seem to mind my touch at all, even seemingly finding it soothing when I pet her and tell her how well she's doing. I think she thinks I'm the rooster, and the babies are mine! Hahaha xD She will let my partner touch her if I'm petting her at the same time, and talking to her, but as soon as I move my hand away - *CHOMP!* It's really quite funny, and I can't help but take it as a compliment, because I'm The Chicken Whisperer =P

Any hints or tips on helping maximise survival rate and healthy chicks under a broody from 14 days onwards are greatly appreciated - It is the first time for every single one of us, and I am a nervous daddy as it is! I can't imagine having children of my own - Such a rollercoaster! But for now I will be the capable and helpful baby-daddy Little Star seems to think I am =P So, y'know, any experienced hatchers out there, we would all value your input.

Cheers!
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh! Here's a lovely shot of our mum-to-be taken by my darling girlfriend just a few days ago. I think it really captures the feel of the moment, and is quite a special thing to be able to look back on, given that we generally give her privacy and quiet as she desires while she's busy growing these chicks up ^_^

post #25 of 26

I'd just leave her be and let her finish up the job, she'll know what to do.

Some broodies can freak out and attack the babies when they hatch, it's very rare but good to be around and keep an eye(not hands) on things on hatch day.

And watch that the other birds do get toooo interested in the chicks,

You can lift her up a tiny bit to look after they hatch, but don't go overboard.

 

Is the nest even with the ground, or close to it, so when she brings the babies out of the nest(after a day or three) they can get back in?

You'll need a low feeder and waterer for the chicks.

 

Candling is amazing, but I'd not go overboard with that and a broody.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Okay, wow wow wow! So I got everything to make a brooder/grow out box for mum and bubs but I got taken down by a nasty flu and had to have a few days off work, then catch up quickly. As such, I didn't get her private secure space finished on time... We decided to barricade off the the 'sleep space' on the top level of the coop, containing the nesting box, until I can finish it up. Well... This morning we saw an external pip... And saw a little beak opening and closing in this egg just rocking and rolling around! Cheep cheep cheeps all around! A few hours later and the very first chick was out. Last we checked, Little Star was having breakfast and a beak was poking out of the egg, the next time, there was a sodden, sticky, doofy little baby under her wing just singing away, and Little Star was cooing back... It was amazing.

We have three more external pips, one hasn't externally pipped yet but is rocking around, and one hasn't shown much movement at all (worried). It's about 4am now, and I'm certain I'll wake up tomorrow to see at least two more chicks under those giant, gentle, angelic, white wings. She's doing so well, we're so proud of her! She became super defensive today - Even fully pecking at me in a way she hasn't done through this whole process. It started once the pipping eggs were making audible cheeps. We watched the first hatched trying to run all over the place, falling over it's own legs and generally not knowing how to own a body yet, and Little Star would fluff up, call to it, gently nudge it under her fluffed up chest feathers and slowly wriggle it into place under her wing. It's all so amazing - I can't even describe! Such an amazing experience to watch her instincts just know what to do, and to see tiny chicks appear, and watch her take care of them, it's so completely amazing. I couldn't be happier with the way things have gone =D
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