Broody Hen Thread! - Page 1215
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Poor girl... She came out of the coop into the yard and was standing under the ramp. She is really weak, I have her isolated and mixed up some feed with warm water but she doesn't want anything to do with it. I'm going to get a eyedropper and see if I can't get her mouth open and feed her some water or Gatorade. I candled her 8 eggs 7 of them were developing so only one was bum...
I'm seriously considering replacing my RIR with buff orpington. I would like a good wintet hardy laying hen who will brood and is not so aggressive. My grand daughter loves chickens and turkeys and I honestly think BOs would be a good choice.
She is about 14 months old and yeah I've read it's not very common for a RIR to go broody but I have 1 more that is also showing signs of going broody also. With any luck she decide to sit too.
I did as you suggested I made a gravy out of some 21% feed and I was able to get about a 1/2 of a eye dropper in her. She had her head under her wing when I went in to try and feed her. I also set out a tray of gravy, water and feed for her. So hopefully she'll decide to eat and drink overnight.
I've never heard of a hen starving themselves sitting on eggs but I guess it can happen because it did to my RIR.
Good you got some food in her! I have hatched 100's of broody hens, never had one to die or even get sick and leave the nest---I think this hen must of had other problems.
To me, your hen's poo indicated being over-heated and/or illness. Broody poo is big, thick, and especially large in content. Thin and runny poo is not a good sign. You had her high in the rafters, is it possible she was too warm in that area?
Also, I keep hearing it repeated that hens can brood themselves to death as if this is a natural occurrence and something that we poultry managers need to regularly protect our brooding hens from. However, It has been my experience that a healthy hen does not starve herself to death while brooding. Hens are designed to brood and withstand brooding. Unless a hen has developed a worm overload, external parasites, or has very poor food/water support during the brood, (all things to manage and maintain during the brood), she will not succumb to the ills of brooding in and of itself.
I agree, I think this hen had other problems-----I too thought about the heat from being up high---It had been some hot days here.
Edited by PD-Riverman - 5/17/16 at 3:36am
She and her chicks were pecking about in the brooder and I just stuck the new one in a pile of chicks. Mama was not having it. She puffed up and began pecking it. I tried again, this time snagging one of her other chicks, then releasing both back to her at the same time. She knew who the "interloper" was and continued to peck it. So,I took it away and put it back in the incubator.
Question -- should I try to put her under the broody tonight after she is asleep with her chicks?
I know you are trying----but 2 warnings is enough for me----I have seen to many chicks die from hens pecking them----that's Why I DO NOT put the chicks with grown chickens. When the chicks grow up to adult size, then I have mixed them, but even rarely then. Good Luck!
A coop for Mom and chicks can be as simple as turning a plastic tote on its side or cutting a hole in the side of a tote for them to get in and out-----put it in the shade.
Over the last forty years I have raised numerous species of birds; chickens being just one. In that time I have had many, beyond count, lay eggs, brood, and raise their young. And, yes, I have had a very few die in the nest; not from brooding but from illness. In that time, not one broody hen has died. I provide good nutrition, water, a safe environment, and candle the eggs on the 7th and 14th day. Other than that no special care is given. I do not feed broody hens on the nest. I keep food and water well away from nest sites to ensure proper exercise and that dropping are not left to foul the nests.
Your broody hens will not die of starvation. Many are sneaky about not getting off the nest while there owner is around, but they will get off to eat, drink, etc. Feeding hens on the nest or close to it will have an adverse effect. Brooding a fouled nest is not healthy and lack of exercise is not healthy either. Lifting broody hens off the nest may also cause problems. If the hen is taking breaks on her own and being lifted off the nest for more breaks that means that the eggs are being left uncovered more than needed. Most likely this doesn't matter as hens rarely stay off the nest for long, but it might.
Do I worry about my nesting birds? Sure. An occasional inspection is all that is needed to allay my worries. If those brooding birds are bright eyed and well fleshed, there's nothing to worry about.
Well I just looked in the brooder. Mama switched where she was sleeping so she was not longer on the eggshell I left with the last foster chick. I see no signs of the foster chick anywhere in the brooder, so I'm assuming she's under Mama. Fingers are crossed.
Now . . . I went down to check the brooder and the final and last egg left in there -- now day 25 -- is pipping. Good grief! If she took this last chick in the dead of the night, maybe she will take one more.
This whole thing has been interesting. I observed that my broody had, on more than one occasion, let her eggs slip off to the side of the nest so they were not fully under her. It's clear it did not kill them, but rather just delayed their finally development a few days.
Thanks for the advice! Now I am anxious to get home and get it done! I knew I shouldn't have disassembled my in-coop brooder area!
Is it safe to candle the eggs at day 8? I really would like to get a better idea of how many are fertile and viable, and get rid of the ones that will rot.
Yes. By day 8 you will be able to candle effectively.