Broody already?

rosawoodsii

Songster
10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
155
2
121
So I've been missing a hen for a few days, but no big deal, my flock seems to go up and down one every so often as one decides it's going to roost elsewhere. However, as I walked over to fill a water bucket tonight, with the incandescent bulb shining brightly where it's normally in shadow during the day, I spied the missing hen--sitting on a clutch of 5 or 6 eggs. I have no idea whether she's been setting for the whole time she's been gone, but it's only the end of February, for goodness sake, and it's sleeting outside as I write. Tomorrow morning I'll check to see if she's still on the eggs or whether this is a fluke.

Here's my question. Isn't it a bit early to have baby chicks hatching and survive well? I'm in midcoast Maine, and we have two more months of cold weather
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(though it's been very mild for the past two weeks and we're even seeing some budding on the trees). I don't mind having broody hens, but I'd rather have them when the survival rates will be greater. In addition, I really want to put some Welsummer or Black Copper Marin eggs under the broody hen. Should I just remove the eggs and break the broodiness, and hope I'll have another broody hen later? Or should I quick get the eggs I want and stick them under her?
 

rosawoodsii

Songster
10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
155
2
121
No, but I'm not interested in hatching these eggs anyway. I want to hatch different eggs. Please see the last sentence in my original post.
 

NanaKat

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Feb 28, 2009
9,118
13,423
937
Meeker, Ok 20+chicken years
When Nellie was going broody on me, I kept taking the eggs, then felt pity on her and let her have a clutch.
Could be you could move your hen to a crate with her nest and eggs.
Then the next evening replace her eggs with the same number of the ones you want her to hatch when she gets off the nest to eat. You could slip in an extra egg or two but no more. If she is determined to sit, she will take the changes in stride.
 

muddyhorse

Songster
10 Years
Aug 11, 2009
2,447
25
181
Bloomsdale, MO
I would put her in a crate with the eggs you want her to brood. and put them in the chicken house. the odds of her making it outside in winter for 21 days are not good. what kind is she. some brood better than others.
 

cthrash1

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
3,046
7
221
Somerset, KY
Too start with, I don't have a roo yet... and I have 8 girls(6 of which are a broody breed)
I have a bantam Cochin that is broody right now... Her eggs are due to hatch Mar. 17th. When I realized she was broody she was sitting on the ceramic Cracker Barrel nest eggs(in the girls fav nest box of course) and I just didn't have the heart to disappoint her in 3 weeks so bought some eggs from a fellow BYC member(Blue and BLK Copper Marans) and another person that was selling some hatching eggs on Eggbid last Summer(really pretty Cochins). Ended up with a total of 14 eggs between the two folks, BYC Member sent 8 and the other guy sent 6. So she is laying pretty flat right now... It was funny seeing her flatten out more and more as I added eggs... It was almost too many for her so I bought some Timothy hay to wrap around her for added insulation... Usually only have shavings in the nest boxes and a friend said I needed something else for insulation. I will be happy if she only has one baby to hatch just so she can raise one.

Last year in my original flock I used to have, I had a Silkie go broody in Dec of 2008 her babies hatched in January of 2009, right in the middle of the winter and she raised them just fine with no help from me. So I figured this Cochin bantam will be fine...
 

rosawoodsii

Songster
10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
155
2
121
When I got back to the barn this morning, the hen, a Golden Comet, was walking about. No big deal there, as they do get off and eat, but the eggs were ice cold. So much for that. I'll still keep an eye on my hens. I have a few broody breeds, and last year I had two RR's go broody. One of them had never laid an egg, she was an older hen, but I put her in with some 2 week old chicks and she became an instant mother--with all the fiestiness you expect to see in a hen with chicks. She raised two broods for me, and the other hatched out a clutch of eggs and raised them all. What with RR's that go broody unexpectedly and more broody breeds like Buff Orpingtons, EE's, and Australorpes, I'll probably have a hen ready when I can get the eggs I want.

Unfortunately, I lost my never-laid-an-egg-but-what-a-great-mother hen when dogs came in the yard and ravaged my little flock.
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