My chickens are about 5 months old and about two weeks ago I started getting one to two eggs a morning. I went away this weekend and had family watch over my chickens. One chicken ran out of the coop and hasnt returned. We found her under the shed with at least 24 eggs! there are about eight pushed out of the nest! I dont see her leave and the food and water a quite a distance away.. should I leave food and water out for her nearby? she didn't leave the nest all day yesterday... is this ok?
chicken has at least 24 eggs she is sitting on!!
The food and water should be far enough away that she has to get out of the nest to get exercise, but close enough that she will feel comfortable leaving the nest, at the very most 10 feet. You do want her to leave the nest a few times a day. What breed is she? You may have to take some eggs away to make sure that some eggs don't roll out of the nest and get cold. Then, when she rolls them back, that will push others out of the nest, so the hatch rate will be greatly reduced. It would be good if you had somewhere safe to put them for predator protection.
- Dogwood Trace Farm
I had a broody hen that sat on 20 eggs - and it was too many. She kicked two eggs out of the nest - and others ended up being buried under the nesting material. Out of the 20 eggs she started with, she hatched out only 8 of them. After that experience, I decided that I would not let a broody sit on more than 12 eggs.
I have three broodies. I see them off the nest only once every couple days. Chickens instinctively know how to incubate eggs correctly. Have food and water available nearby for them. Then don't worry about it. When they need to eat or drink or poop, they'll get up and take care of it. I think the more we stay out of their business, the better they'll do.
obviously this is my first time raising chickens and ducks, wasn't sure what to expect, something did get into the eggs that were outside of the nest. She is under the shed on the outside, you can only see maybe two inches of her under there. the 6-8 eggs were not even under the shed, they were outside and something got to at least three of them. skunk, squirrels??? so I should leave her then? I was thinking of trying to get the eggs and put them in the coop maybe she will stay in the coop? but I will just leave her be. I think she is still laying??? will she stop laying ?? I just started getting eggs for two weeks now. I guess it was longer than that if she has that many under her. I saw her this morning, she came out and ate a ton! then went back. She is being a great mom.. just worried about her at night since she doesn't go into the coop at night.
She won't go into the coop by herself with the eggs outside. It would be best to get her into a safe space or maybe put wire around the bottom of the shed with some kind of gate right in front of her you could open during the day. If you want it to be safe from digging predators also, you can bury the wire 18" and then make an "L" shape. Make sure she comes out at least twice a day. Maybe put some scratch and her favorite treats out. Did she drink? If it is hot, you can add electrolytes to her water. Making sure she drinks is really important. If she doesn't you can put some scratch in the water so she has to peck it out. She is not laying because she is incubating the eggs. Hens lay until they have a clutch, and then they start incubating them at the same time. That is why all the chicks hatch on the same day. She will not lay while she has the eggs.
thanks so much... we put a game camera up to see whats been at the outside eggs.. its squirrels. I think the other chickens are laying beside her because there weren't any eggs outside this morning but my father in law checked later morning and found three eggs outside. could this happen? the other chickens laying their eggs next to her? Went to go close the coop up and am now missing another chicken! So she must be somewhere with a clutch of eggs as well! My goodness.. I didn't realize this would happen.. so soon! I thought maybe after a year or so but they are only five months old! I am not sure the kind they are.. I have three brahmas one of them a rooster and three white chickens but when you look closely they have what looks like "dirty feathers" that are off white/cream with black splatter here and there. two of the three white mystery chickens are the ones brooding.
I now have one missing chicken (white) I can't find her and its been three days. We kept the game camera up and noticed that there is a raccoon trying to get at the one I found under the shed. I had put a chicken run over her and closed both doors on each end. I open it in the morning so she can go out if needed but my other chickens (and ducks) attacked her?? Is this because she hasn't been with them for a week? I want to put her and her nest in the coop but afraid the others will hurt her. I checked on her this morning and noticed her tail feathers were sticking out of the run and it looks like it was chewed! My poor baby.. I feel awful.. should I make another coop to put just her in it?
That would be ideal. The pecking order is disrupted with the other chickens, so it would be best to wait. Be careful of the raccoon. Make sure that it cannot reach her because it could injure her or even kill her through the wire.