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Will a broody know that she's sitting on fake eggs?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm in a bit of a dilemma.  I've got two hens that just went broody and no place to put them.  My brooding area is both a little small to house two broodys and also is currently occupied by a group of overflow chicks, from my last broody hen. 

 

The hens are first time brooders and currently in nesting boxes.  They don't want to commit to a single box and keep moving around, swapping boxes in quest of newly laid eggs.  Rather then trying to mark eggs and keep up with their antics, I was thinking of just putting a few golf balls in each nest box, letting the broodies sit wherever they wanted, and removing any real eggs at the end of each day.  At the same time, I would start a batch of eggs in the incubator and plan on handing them chicks come hatch day.

 

My concern is that they will eventually sense that golf balls are not real eggs and quit, leaving me with a group of incubator chicks to raise up (which I can do, but would really rather not).   It that a valid concern?    Or, would it be better to leave a marked "sacrificial" egg in a couple of boxes, hope they manage to hatch them, but at a minimum, hope that it keeps them more interested in brooding until I can get chicks hatched out in the incubator.    

 

For years I lamented not having more broodies.  Now I've got my hands full!

 

And yes, I need a bigger coop.  

 

Why didn't anyone tell me about chicken math?

post #2 of 6
My silkie sat on a tennis ball for 3 months so I don't think yours would move
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

A tennis ball?

 

Those silkies must be tougher than they look.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post

A tennis ball?

Those silkies must be tougher than they look.
Yes.. And another had a plastic ball. I had them in their as fake eggs but the silkies decided to sit on them
post #5 of 6

Our javas have their favorite rock they've been trying to hatch for over 2 years (not continuously).  I throw it out, and they drag it back in and sit on it like a chick is going to pop out of it someday....

 

It looks nothing like an egg, or at least any egg I've ever seen.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

It's day 2 and she is still sitting on golf balls.  She will switch nests, however, to sit on a newly laid egg.  When I take the egg away, she goes back to the golf balls.  On some level, I think, she knows what a real egg looks like and would prefer that, but will take what she can get.  I wish I had the brooder open and could put her in there with the real eggs.  

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