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A seemingly very confused broody hen

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Thequast, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Thequast

    Thequast Out Of The Brooder

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    Never mind...I see that you already addressed this earlier. Thanks again
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I continue to collect eggs every other day, she will eventually go broody, she will become aggressive and you will have trouble getting her off the nest, right now she's not sure yet, you will know.
     
  3. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can give the nest box/site back immediately if you can put it in a new location. If the exact site is to be used again wait a week. She should go through the process of making a brand new nest.
     
  4. Thequast

    Thequast Out Of The Brooder

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    Thought I'd give a little update on how it's going. On day one of this experiment I took the nest away in the morning...she was sitting on two eggs. I blocked off the entrance to her nesting area. On day two she paced back and forth all day before almost at dusk she figured out how to break in and promptly laid an egg. I took her and the egg out and blocked off the entrance better. Day three and four she paced back and forth chirping the entire time. She'd sit down in a new spot and act like she was going to lay, only to jump up and run back over to her blocked nest entrance chirping again. Day five and today she hasn't acted like she needs to lay an egg or go into the nest.

    Tomorrow's day 7 and I'll give the nest back the morning off day 8...Wednesday.

    Interestingly, ever since she's been completely denied her nest, she hasn't laid an egg, nor has she mated with our Tom that I've seen. They were mating seemingly a couple times a day. The Tom has been really intent on her and hasn't seemed interested in mating with our other hen.

    I'll update after I give the nest back.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    When mine are determined to lay somewhere they will pace until the egg falls out of their butts, then they will be fine until they need to lay again, turkeys make up their minds about something and it's very hard to change it, I would let her back to the nest, and just pick up eggs daily or let her clutch up, not sure if I agree with removing the nest, a turkey will go broody when it's ready, trying to change her mind about such things will only frustrate you and the turkey.
     
  6. Thequast

    Thequast Out Of The Brooder

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    Thought I'd give another update. This morning was day 8, so I unblocked the nest area. She immediately ran in and sat down for about an hour. Then she went and tried out the other nest box (that she always had access to but has never tried) for the rest of the morning. Then she went back to her preferred nest and is still there just sitting. I checked a minute ago and there's no egg yet.

    So, that's where we are at. I'll update when she's laying eggs again to see if she holds off sitting this time until she's serious about sitting.
     
  7. Tayten B

    Tayten B Chillin' With My Peeps

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    goo luck keep us posted
     
  8. Thequast

    Thequast Out Of The Brooder

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    So another update. I gave the nest back yesterday. She seemed interested, but then tried out another prime nest spot, and kept switching back and forth...but no egg. This afternoon she crawled into the other nest spot (not her original preferred spot), laid an egg and sat. I waited for a few hours to see if she would get up, but she looked pretty intent. I had an old egg of hers that a swapped out for her new one. It's now dark here and she's still sitting on that one egg on the nest.

    What I find interesting (and perplexing) is that she didn't lay an egg through the whole experiment of blocking her nest access. How can she be laying about 3 eggs every 4 days and then just "hold them in" when I deny nest access for a week? To top it off, the day after I give access back, she lays a new egg...but this time in a new nest that she had access to the entire time anyway but wasn't interested in.

    But it seems like the habit isn't broken yet. She's now spending the night on a 1-egg nest. Fortunately this time I have an egg to use as a dummy should she decide tomorrow that she's done sitting. I'll keep this new egg in a nice place and hopefully add to it and give them back at some point soon. Hopefully she'll show me when she's ready to stop doing one-night stands and sit for real.

    One new development is my second hen spent a few hours sitting on the first hens old nest. She's never spent anytime in a nest area before, and still hasn't laid her first egg. That's neither here nor there...I'm just excited to think that she might start laying soon as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  9. Thequast

    Thequast Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought I'd once again update yall.

    So like I mentioned before, my hen laid one egg and immediately sat overnight. I substituted that egg for a dummy one while I waited to see how serious she was about sitting. Well on day 3 my second hen threw me a curve ball by deciding to lay her first egg in the same nest, which was promptly taken by the sitting hen and added to the dummy. I tried to take it, but she wasn't enjoying it, and then I just decided to roll with it. I decided to stop fighting my hen to do it the "right way" and just roll with the punches. So I gave her back her original egg. I got to thinking about how that dummy egg might actually be good -- it was only 8 days old when she started sitting -- so I left it in there too. Day five hen #2 laid her 2nd egg and has continued laying. My sitting hen now has a total of 7 eggs -- 2 of her own, and 5 of hen #2. Yes, I realized that they'll all be at different stages.

    My plan is I'll let her hatch out as many as she will. Once I see that she's given up on some of the later eggs I'll candle them and move the good ones to my incubator (I'm currently building one).

    So here's the strangest thing of all. Today is day ten, and my turkey still has yet to leave the nest once. No dust bath. No poop break. Nothing.

    On day five I started to get worried, but didn't want to move her from her nest, so I took her some food and water in little tupperwares and let her eat and drink. She loved it -- especially the water. I kept expecting nature to call, but she just wouldn't get up. I figured just wait since she can't physically hold it forever and sitting hens won't poop in their nest right? Well, if anyone is wondering, it appears hens can hold it 8 days, at which point she pooped in her nest. She did it again today and it was rank let me tell you. I've been cleaning up after her and replaces the hay in there. It doesn't seem to phase her as she never really moves much while I'm doing it.

    Ha, man everything that they say a turkey hen won't do, mine is doing. But like I said, I'm done fighting it. If she's going to do it her way or no way, I guess I'll just work with it and help her out. But hopefully I can get my incubator up and running soon. Hen #2 is laying very consistently, and not wanting to sit right away. She nests for like an hour, lays an egg, and gets up. So looks like she'll be a good source for a batch of incubator eggs, after which I'll give her a chance to hatch out her own clutch.

    Never a dull moment.
     
  10. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm still new to turkeys...so forgive me if I sound like an idiot...but I thought they only brooded in the spring. Is it warm where you are?
     

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