Broody BCM or Lazy Layer?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kmpcfp, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. kmpcfp

    kmpcfp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2014
    My two year old Black Copper Marans was laying pretty consistently last year, dropped off in the fall as expected and picked up in the spring. Since May she has been sporadic in laying, only once every week two then maybe 2-3 a week. Lately she has been spending a lot of time on the nest on eggs that aren't even hers.

    That means she is going broody, right?

    3 days ago we decided to let her sit on the eggs. She is sitting on 8, one is hers.

    Will she continue to lay? She is on the nest frequently, but not as much as I would expect a broody to be. She is normally very skittish, but she has to be physically lifted off the nest to get the eggs. She isn't mean about being moved either. I thought they don't spend a lot of time on the nest box until they are done laying a clutch.

    The 5 hens share a "double wide" partition-less next box, I haven't had any issues with laying outside the box, but I think Big Mama is grabbing eggs off the other side to sit on. What's the best way to mark the eggs that she is sitting on?

    I am totally new to the whole broody thing. I have only used an incubator in the past.

    The flock is at my mom's house, so a lot of observations are second hand.

    Help!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    That's pretty common for breeds like her, those bred for egg color. Some lay fairly well, some are sporadic, and many become half heartedly broody. Production always drops in the second season. You may have to break her to get her to start laying again, but it is getting late in the season and molting is a month or so away for some, so it may not do much good.

    I wouldn't allow her to sit as if she's not consistent about setting, as all you will get is stinky eggs. If you wish to let her continue you can use a Sharpe marker to mark the eggs. Be careful, not all broodies are good moms, and about half if they hatch will be roosters.
     
  3. kmpcfp

    kmpcfp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2014
    Thanks for the insight. I popped in on them today and she was off the nest dust-bathing but one of my consistent mutt-layers was sitting and growled at me when I picked her up.

    I will give it another few days and see how often she is on the nest...

    Most likely I will probably end up candling/incubating.

    I just didn't want her to kill herself trying to nest.
     

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