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Bad broody momma? Please help- chicks at stake.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RandomDuck, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. RandomDuck

    RandomDuck Out Of The Brooder

    I have one hen that has been secretly sitting on eggs. I recently found her sitting on 18, and I candled a few. They seem to have not overly pourous shells. They are around on week 1, day 2 as I accidently cracked one open. Now the thing is, she stays off of them for too long. Recently I have noticed that she will stay off of the eggs for 5-7 full hours, then return to them at night, and sporadically through the day. It has been very hot here lately, so they are never cool. I'm just worried. Today she did not return to the nest at all, she was off of them when I returned from school, sitting in my garage. I had to place her back in the box, and she right away sat. Is there any reason she's doing this? I don't want my babies to :/die. Tonight I will mark them with a sharpie, and hopefully I get some answers to why she's doing this.
     
  2. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oregon
    The eggs should be just fine, especially since you say it's hot there. The hens will leave their nests to take "broody breaks" and come back when they need to - which can easily be several hours later if it's hot. It's just as bad for the eggs to be overheated as it is for them to be chilled. Broody hens know what they're doing.

    I recently had a broody leave her nest to take a normal "broody break" and she was unable to find her way back to the nest and was off the eggs for several hours in cold weather. The eggs became quite cool, but ended up hatching and now there are lots of little chicks running around.
     
  3. RandomDuck

    RandomDuck Out Of The Brooder

    That makes me feel a little better about this whole situation :) But I think if at this point she left her nest, she wouldn't return. I'll put some cool water in her box and hopefully this will persuade her into staying. Any more tips?
     
  4. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the box in the coop or a secret nest? If you can you could try making a small pen around her and her existing nest. Something big enough for her to walk around a bit, stretch her wings, and have food and water nearby.

    You can also check out some of the broody hen threads and ask questions in them. You'll probably get a lot more answers and many folks are more experienced with broodies than I am.

    Two of those threads are:

    Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long and Informational Thread
    Broody Hen Thread!
     
  5. RandomDuck

    RandomDuck Out Of The Brooder

    The box is in a secret under turned Tupperware container. It fell over and she managed to squeeze under it and squish herself against the far end and lay eggs there. My only concern is that there are some blue eggs in there too, which means my Easter Eggers were laying in there and know where the nest is. Yesterday I counted 19 eggs instead of the usual 18, I candled them all, and there was one egg that was just laid. I think the other chickens have been scaring her out of there to lay eggs, so I blocked it off. There is another white hen that I hope to have sit on eggs, the nest is under the Tupperware container too, about a foot 1/2 away. Can they sit so close to each other? The white hen doesn't bother the broody one. And when I candled the nest, there seemed to be eggs of different ages in there. Some I could see bigger chicks moving around in, others just had the newly
    developing baby. The blue eggs were hard to tell with (durr), I'll have my bator running in case. Thanks x
     
  6. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some broody hens don't mind other broodies sitting near them and others have a fit. However, if the other hen isn't broody then I wouldn't close her in with the hen that is.

    I would leave the 18 eggs under her. She'll continue to sit on the other eggs for a day or 2 after the first chicks hatch. After that she'll abandon the nest to take the chicks to food and water. When she leaves the nest with her new chicks take the rest of the eggs and put them in your incubator.
     

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