Advice needed regarding broody hens.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lassie1982, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. lassie1982

    lassie1982 Hatching

    Sep 10, 2014
    We have a Silkie hen who was broody and sat on her clutch of eggs for 18 days. Unfortunately the clutch was attacked by a rat (the insides of the eggs were eaten out, and the shells remained) and only 4 eggs remained.
    We moved her to a smaller, safer coop in a bid to save the rest of her eggs. But she rejected them and wouldn't sit back on them.
    Looks like she (and another hen) are going broody again.
    What should we do? Leave them, so as not to unsettle them, and hope the rats don't return?
    Or move them, earlier on, i the hope that they won't unsettle?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Crowing

    Sep 5, 2011
    Where are they sitting for the rats to be able to get at them? If they are in the shed then I suggest you get some rat traps or something to kill the rats and leave them be. If they are outside or something, I would give them a few days to get really broody and then move them at night into a broody shed with some fake eggs. If they carry on sitting on these then give them the real hatching eggs
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    Your problem isn't your hen. Your problem is the rats. If you don't get rid of the rats they'll not only eat the eggs, they'll eat any chicks that may hatch and also eat the chicken feed. The rats have discovered a great source of food and they're not going to leave until you make them.

    Catch the existing rats and block whatever entrance the rats are using. Use hardware cloth wire to prevent them from gaining access. Remove any source of chicken feed that the rats may be able to get to. Take up your feeders at night. Don't throw kitchen scraps, chicken treats, any type of food on the ground near your coop. Provide the broody hens with a secure nesting spot without the possibility of rats and she should be able to successfully hatch a clutch of chicks for you. Good luck!
  4. lassie1982

    lassie1982 Hatching

    Sep 10, 2014
    They free range during the day and are locked in a coop with an indoor shed that's raised off the ground.
    I don't know how the rat got to the eggs, must have been in the few minutes when she would hop off to eat and drink.

    Thank you for the suggestion to remove food.
    I'm not sure how to completely rat proof the inside coop because if the chickens can't get in and out, then neither can the chickens?

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