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Broody chicken in an impossible place

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mix3dbreed, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. mix3dbreed

    mix3dbreed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure if this would be the correct place to post so bare with me.

    This chicken is not mine. Its my cousin. He told me she was broody on top of a wall or mound. So he went to check again and there she was. He counted 18 eggs.

    We know chicks will pick theyre spot as they see if its safe or not. But that place has no safety for the chicks.

    My dad doesnt think shell hatch a single egg, due to weather conditions.

    I was wondering what he should or can do. Take her down? Leave here there?





    I think shes been there for 5-6 days now.

    Any sugestions????
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I would remove the eggs, if you are interested in her hatching them I would move them elsewhere and see if she will go back to setting. Otherwise I would just get rid of the eggs and try to discourage her from returning to that spot.
     
  3. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    *2

    CT
     
  4. mix3dbreed

    mix3dbreed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well both he and i dont have much experience in this area yet. So im not sure what he wants to do.

    Some sugest ( like both of you ) to remove eggs and hen to safer place and see if she continues.

    Another is to let the htacing start and then take away the htaced ones and the rest because it would be almost time.

    But yes, he needs to discourage that one and all others to go upthere. Its not even safe for people.

    But its his fault. He knew that some chicks were laying eggs all over the place.


    Ill keep this thread open until thay hatch.


    Thank you.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I’ve seen a broody hen get chicks down form a 10 feet high hay loft. Mama flies down, says jump, and they do, then pop up and run to her. The height doesn’t bother me. I’ve seen hens hide nests in all sorts of places, including outside where rain can hit the nest. Often they have very good hatches, just like wild songbirds. I don’t know what your risk of predators is but that is a well-hidden nest. I’m not as pessimistic about her chances up there as many people are.

    There are a couple of concerns though. How big is the nest? How close to the edge is it? I’ve seen chicks climb up on Mama’s back while she is hatching the late ones. If she is too close to the edge they might miss the nest entirely and fall all the way to the ground or get stuck in that growth. If the nest is positioned where they will just fall back in the nest I would not worry.

    Back when I was a kid we had a hen hide a nest and just show up one day with 18 chicks. I never did find her nest so I don’t know how many eggs she started with. But I’ve also had hens that had trouble covering 10 eggs. If the hen can’t cover all the eggs some will get pushed out and cool off, maybe dying. Then that dead egg goes back under and a new egg gets pushed out to die. Hens that can’t cover all the eggs usually don’t have good hatches. You might need to remove a few of those eggs.

    I cannot argue against trying to move her though. If you do, build a small pen, just big enough for a nest, food, water and a very small space for her to come off the nest and poop. She should keep the nest clean but you might wind up changing food and water regularly. Lock that pen so she cannot go back to the old nest. Try to make the pen and especially the nest fairly dark, at least not bright. That seems to help calm them. It’s normally best to move her at night but that may not be safe. If you move her during the day make that nest very dark and leave her locked in a dark nest until the following morning. She’ll be OK, that’s not cruel. She’s used to staying on the nest for long periods of time. The risk, other than falling when you are doing this, is that she does not accept he move and she breaks from being broody.

    Be careful and good luck.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I've had them hatch in nestboxes 2 feet off the ground, and have had some jump out and die because mom stays on the nest, that's the real danger.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I had chicks fall out of the nest when they climbed up on Mama’s back and fell off. She was in a 7-1/2” x 11-1/2” nest, a cat litter bucket and was sitting right on the edge. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen anything like that but I have no doubt you saw what you saw. My nests normally are larger and have a fairly high lip. Do you think your nest configuration may have contributed to them getting out?
     
  8. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Ha, that nest is just fine. As long as the nest doesn't get flooded, they are good.

    The only thing I would do is collect the eggs, candle them, remove the infertiles, mark them- in case other hens are also laying in the same nest- those will NOT hatch along and in fact can contribute to a lower hatch rate and then put back 10 eggs in nest.

    The only real concerns are that's too many eggs for a hen to adequately cover. Some of the eggs do need to be removed.. candling might be the solution, if there are 8 infertiles then simply removing those is the solution.

    The other concern is if other hens are laying in that nest, those need to be removed otherwise the nest will get too many eggs again.

    Either let the hen take care of the babies when they hatch, or go up there and collect the chicks after they have hatched but have not yet left the nest... put on ground or wherever the owner wants them to be.

    Removing/stopping the nest due to location is just worrying too much.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm guessing you're asking me, hope so, yes, the nestboxes only have an inch high lip on them, how the chicks fall out I'm not sure, but it's happened a couple of time, most times I found them not quite dead on the floor and saved them. These are bantams, and sometimes they are hatching clumsy turkeys.

    I now try to move the whole nest to the floor when I see they are hatching, some give me troubles, and some don't mind.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Yes, I should have quoted your post OHLD. I see different posts on here about chicks falling out. I think most posts are from people that have never seen it, just worry that it might happen. With yours I had no doubt you had seen it, not just the way you said it but because it was you. I thought you’d give an honest answer so I asked. Thank you.

    I think nest configuration has a lot to do with it, either a small tight nest or a nest with a low lip. With living animals anything can happen but I consider it extremely rare with a larger nest and a decent sized lip. With low lips like yours I’ve had hens scratch bedding and fake eggs out. Sounds like you don’t have that problem. Funny how our experiences can differ.
     

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