Another goes broody days before hatch...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Laurel Marie, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Laurel Marie

    Laurel Marie In the Brooder

    22
    7
    29
    Jun 20, 2017
    Pacifica, CA
    My head girl has decide to go broody just 6 days before my lowest hens are due! What should I do??? Do I split the eggs between them?

    We have no rooster in the coop. I bought these eggs for my low, broody girl because the poor things was so dedicated ( she sat for two whole months before I got her the fertile ones!!) but I didn't buy many (just 6) because it's her first time. We lost one early on due to an eating box scuffle so I'm down to 5
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

    5,219
    1,867
    367
    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    You can try it, but sometimes they won't take them that soon. Is it her first time going broody?
     
  3. Laurel Marie

    Laurel Marie In the Brooder

    22
    7
    29
    Jun 20, 2017
    Pacifica, CA
    Yes, I do worry she doesn't have the staying power for me to get another batch of fertile eggs and I'm also worried she will overpower my lower girl (golden laced Wyandotte) when her chicks hatch, is that likely?? A few days ago she booted the wyandotte off her eggs and I had to physically remove her and put her on some non fertile eggs in another box. Maybe I'm reading too much in to this but I'm thinking there is some picking order stuff going on. This is my first hatch with any of my girls and I don't want her to lose chicks because of a scuffle Can you tell my a newb?!
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

    5,219
    1,867
    367
    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    Well, I will not say you are overreacting, but most of the time (IME) things play out smoothly. Occasionally you do end up with a hen that kills other hens chicks, or doesn't accept them if she hasn't sat long enough, or abandons them after only a week. I think what I might do in your situation is let the first mama hatch her babies and then see if I could find some local eggs to give to the other hen. That will keep her on the nest a few weeks longer and let the other hen and chicks do their thing without two unpredictable mamas trying to raise babies side by side.

    What is your coop and run setup like?
     
    WVduckchick likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    22,202
    7,285
    627
    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    A majority of the time these things do work out but I have had a bad experience with this. A second hen went broody a couple of days before another was ready to hatch. When the eggs internal pip the chicks start peeping inside the shell to tell the broody they are on the way. The second broody heard them and fought the first broody for possession of the eggs before any hatched. They destroyed about half the eggs in that fight.

    If I were you I would either lock the first broody and her eggs up where the second cannot get to her or lock the second broody up so she can't get to the nest. You can break the second broody if you wish or give her eggs, but I would not give her eggs until I was sure she was not going to abandon the nest trying to get to the other chicks. The vast majority of the time she is not trying to get o the chicks to hurt them, though that can happen. Usually she is trying to get to the chicks so she can raise them.

    Broodiness is caused by hormones. When those girls get hyped up on hormones you just don't know what might happen.
     
    SunHwaKwon likes this.
  6. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    41,853
    69,349
    1,402
    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I agree with both @SunHwaKwon and @Ridgerunner
    Blocking the others away would be the most ideal thing, and let the first one keep her eggs (since its only 5). Look for some local eggs for the other girl if she seems serious. Or even give her some from your flock, even if infertile, she won't know that!

    Broodiness is contagious is a major way. :rolleyes: Depending on how many girls you have, it could even wave through them all. A place to separate momma and eggs usually works best.
     
    Laurel Marie likes this.
  7. Laurel Marie

    Laurel Marie In the Brooder

    22
    7
    29
    Jun 20, 2017
    Pacifica, CA
    Thanks so much for the advise!!! We have a Raised roost/ nesting box, an enclosure and an open run. Both girls are nesting in the nesting boxes in the main part of the coop. I tried to move my Wyandotte after one of the eggs broke but she refused to sit so I moved her back to her spot after about 20 minutes of heavy protest from her. I've been letting her stay there ever since.I don't want to move her now as we are about 5 days from hatch. I just set up two nesting boxes in animal cages inside the enclosure, but on the ground, because I was hoping to move her and her chicks after the hatch as her current location isn't an ideal spot for chicks. I went to my local feed n fuel this morning and got the other girl some eggs, so I will try and move her tonight! Fingers crossed
     

    Attached Files:

    WVduckchick and Whittni like this.
  8. Laurel Marie

    Laurel Marie In the Brooder

    22
    7
    29
    Jun 20, 2017
    Pacifica, CA
    Thanks for sharing your experience!! I'm going To move my Sussex tonight. I did get her some eggs today but they were just a few dollars so I'm not too invested if she decides to give up! This way my momma can hopefully hatch in some peace!!

    I really wish I could move my Wyandotte but she protested heavily when I tried early on. I didn't want her to break her brood so I just have her what she wanted. I have a spot set up for her and the chicks when they arrive because where she is isn't good for the chicks. Do you think it's worth trying again tonight to move her? I've read a few threads on here that say they've had luck later in on their sit because momma knows they're coming? Any experience with that?
     
  9. Laurel Marie

    Laurel Marie In the Brooder

    22
    7
    29
    Jun 20, 2017
    Pacifica, CA
    Thanks for sharing! I have 5 laying hens and just picked up a couple peeps and some hatching eggs for my Wyandotte because she was so determined and I didn't have success breaking her of it. The girl had been broody for two months! Some of the other girls would spend a few days but then snap out of it. I hope the Sussex will be the end of it!! Fingers crossed!!!
     
  10. Laurel Marie

    Laurel Marie In the Brooder

    22
    7
    29
    Jun 20, 2017
    Pacifica, CA
    A couple pics of the set up...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: