Broody Battle

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stephyg, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. stephyg

    stephyg New Egg

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    May 19, 2013
    Brooksville, Fl
    I have a few issues all rolled into one and I'm very new to this whole chicken owning thing so here it goes.
    The pecking order on my mini farm is as follows:
    Sage- leghorn rooster
    Cogburn- jersey giant rooster
    Rosemary- buff hen
    Basil- jersey giant hen
    Rue- some kind of bantam hen

    Rue has recently become broody and decided to sit on four of her eggs. 2 days into Rue sitting on them Basil decided that they were her eggs now and kicked Rue out of the nesting box. Neither hen is laying eggs now and Rue keeps trying to get her eggs back but Basil won't let her. We are 5 days into the broody battle and neither hen wants to give up. Rue will not get her eggs back unless Basil allows it because Rue is at the bottom of the pecking order and Basil being a jersey giant is about 2 and a half times her size. So...
    1. Will Rue eventually stop trying to get her eggs back?
    2. If she doesn't stop will there be an issue when the babies hatch?
    3. I do not want to separate Basil from the flock because when they finally do hatch the little bantams will have a big momma to help them into the flock. Is this a good idea? The nest box is portable if that helps.
    4. Rosemary is a very aggressive queen and gets whatever she wants from the others ALWAYS. Should I be concerned that Basil won't be able to protect the chicks from her? Don't get me wrong Rosemary is the sweetest hen but if she wants something or she has an issue there is NO stopping her.
    5. This is probably a really silly question. Are the eggs even fertile? Rue's mate is Sage the leghorn but he is not bantam.
    6. If the eggs are fertile will there be an issue with the mom being bantam and the dad being regular? Will the egg be to small?

    Thank you for reading any help and advise is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    Can you put some eggs in another box so both will have eggs to sit on? Split them - give each hen two real eggs and two fake ones (use plastic easter eggs or golf balls). That way both can hatch real babies and wont fight over who is mom when babies are born.
    Yes the eggs are fertile as long as some roo - any roo - fertilized them.
    How can the egg be too small? The bantam hatched out of a small egg, right?
    As an FYI for when Rosemary needs to be taken down a peg, take her out for a week or two. Keep her in a dog crate in the house or garage. No time with the flock. When she is reintroduced, she will start at the bottom of the pecking order.
     
  3. stephyg

    stephyg New Egg

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    May 19, 2013
    Brooksville, Fl
    That is a good idea! I will try that in the morning. I'm sure Rue will be willing to give up her nesting spot as long as she has her eggs. That's my only concern because they both have been laying in the same box since they started laying. As for Rue I'm sure she did...Right?? I got her when I worked in the city and I had just bought the farm. a coworker gave her to me. He said a friend of his found it wondering around his yard. It was just around the time I got the other chicks so she fit in great until she stopped growing like the others and I freaked. Its funny how much you can read about chickens and then when you finally get them and they start doing their own thing a lot of it is just figuring it out for yourself and talking to people.
    If Rue does get half the eggs will she be ok to take care of them since she is so small and at the bottom?
    I really should bring Rosemary down a peg she is getting a little ridiculous. I have a set up I can use for when I have to separate the sick chickens luckily no one has been sick yet so I think ill put her in there maybe after the chicks hatch.
    So the chicks will be ok if I let them hatch? They will not have leg issues as long as the hen is a bantam even though the roo is not. I only ask because I was told buy the person I got the chicks from (not the bantam) that I should not let the first couple of eggs from my hens hatch because they may be to small and they will have leg issues BUT since then hen is bantam (and these are not her first eggs) even though the roo is not it will be fine. Or was that just bad info?
     
  4. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    I haven't heard any of that about the legs. Guess you will just have to find out cause there's nothing you can do about it now, right? :) I read a post from a gal who had a chick with splayed legs. Someone told her to use a bandaid cut in half the long way then made into a loop to hold the legs closer together.
    Your sick area sounds like a great time out space. Better watch out, chickens are addictive. Before you know it you'll start looking at it as extra space!
    I can't tell you if Rue will be ok to take care of them, but there have been chickens for thousands of years and there's always one at the bottom of the pecking order so stop worrying. It will all work out in the end. :)
    Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. Get it. It's excellent.
     

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