Abnormal egg sitting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WannaFarm, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. WannaFarm

    WannaFarm Hatching

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Helena, Montana
    Hi, I'm new here and also a newbie at raising chickens. Any help would be appreciated.

    I currently only have three chickens; one black australorp and two golden sex links. All have been laying for about one year and I usually get two or three eggs a day. The australorp's eggs have always been smaller and less frequent than the other birds, although they are thick-shelled and appear healthy. Up until recently her eggs have been spotted, but the spots wash off easily. About three days ago, she started sitting on, not only her egg but, the eggs of the other chickens too. She rarely comes out of her nesting box, only just to eat and drink, then right back on the eggs. I have to take her off the eggs physically to remove the eggs daily.

    I don't have any roosters. Yet, she appears to be sitting on the eggs as though expecting them to hatch.

    Is it normal for chickens to sit on other chicken's eggs? Is it normal for them to sit on the eggs for days, even if there is no rooster around?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    From your description I'd say she's broody, i.e. she wants to hatch some eggs. Doesn't matter who's eggs it is, they honestly don't care. I've seen broody (chicken) hens hatch duck eggs too. Broodiness is hormonal and can happen anytime, regardless of whether or not the hen have a rooster around. Your options with your hen is to either let her expand your flock and find her some fertile eggs to hatch for you, or "break" her broodiness. One way to do this is by placing the hen in a wire cage with only food and water, no nesting materials. This method takes on average 3-4 days to work. It's advisable not to leave her be and hope she snaps out of it by herself. Broodiness is hard on hens and some really determined hens will stay broody for months. So if you cannot, or choose not to let her hatch eggs, it will be better to break her as soon as possible.
     
  3. WannaFarm

    WannaFarm Hatching

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Helena, Montana
    Thank you Sumi. I have a cage that will do the trick.

    I also have coworkers who I could probaby talk out of a couple of fertilized eggs. If I go that route, will it become a routine for her until I have my own rooster?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    It's impossible to say with hens. Some breeds and individuals are more prone to broodiness than others. I've had hens go broody once in 3 years and I've had hens go broody 4 times in a year. And everything in-between. The presence or absence of a rooster doesn't seem to have much of an effect, but it does help to have fertile eggs handy if your hens decide to go broody.
     
  5. WannaFarm

    WannaFarm Hatching

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Helena, Montana
    Great information. Thank you very much.
     

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