Broody? First time for Me..Confused

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by machoman, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two RIR cross hens from Ideal. They lay their eggs on the floor in one little corner of the coop and I added 12 fertile eggs from a farmer, so we're up to about 18 eggs. One of the hens is spending more time than usual on the nest, but she does come out of the nest. Today she spent about an hour or so sitting on the nest and this was after I opened the coop. No new eggs and no egg song.

    When I checked on her she was puffy and a little flat, not a lot. But she sort of cooed at me, like a very loud and sweet and it sounded like a cat purr noise. She's been doing this on and off for a couple of days when I come around the coop. She sits and makes the noise and later leaves and sometimes comes back. Could she be broody? I thought a broody hen sat on her eggs all the time. She is not, she's just spending more time in there than usual.
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    The cooing and puffing sounds like broody behavior. Maybe she will get more serious about brooding after a few days. But some of my hens will act broody for a few days and then it seems to pass.
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like she's thinking about it. If you want her to go broody and hatch some eggs for you, place a few non-fertiles or golf balls and see if she sits. The sound you are hearing is the broody 'growl'.
     
  4. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Everyone! She is, in fact broody! Yay! She came out of the coop yesterday just a little bit to eat and drink and back in she went. She's somehow managing to sit on 19 eggs. At first I thought she kicked a few out as some were near her, but outside the nest. Check on her later and right on time to see her pull the two back under her and push two more out. I guess she's rotating them.

    So, here's my ultra-stupid question. We've had chickens for a while, but this is my first time having a broody mama. We had a predator problem so never got this far. The farmer I bought the eggs from said that since he washed the eggs and put them in fridge that they would either not hatch or she wouldn't sit...I can't remember which one. He went into his coop and just gave me a dozen fresh fertile eggs and told me to try those. Any experience with this? Should I switch them or give it a go the way it is? She just started really sitting yesterday. :)

    Yay! Yay! Yay!
     
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she 's rotating them with nineteen that's to many. They need to stay at temperature for the optimum hatch. I'd switch them both to lower the number and to try to have the same hatch day far all of them. Mark them to so you know if another hen tries to sneak one in latter, Being started latter the new egg will be abandoned when the broody starts taking care of the ones that have hatched.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Give her the fresh ones if you want a better hatch. I have hatched eggs from the fridge, but I seem to have a higher rate of quitters. Also, you want to mark all the eggs she's sitting on with something stronger than pencil (it will rub off - I use markers) because other hens will add to her nest of eggs and you need to know which ones to remove every day. Otherwise you'll end up with a staggered hatch and the hen could abandon the eggs to raise chicks or abandon the chicks to hatch the rest of the eggs.

    I agree that 19 is too many - how many you give her depends on her size and how many she can cover. Most large fowl hens can cover a dozen eggs. Also take into account that she has to keep these chicks warm until they are fully feathered - so your weather is a factor as well. If it's cold, give her less babies to manage.
     
  7. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Guys!

    She pushed two out yesterday so I took them. Another hen IS adding eggs, so I've created another nest. Great idea on the marking. Think I should try candling the eggs?
     
  8. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Holy Hell. 5 hatched out today, a week earlier than I saw her being broody. Found two dead ones in the coop and she's left all her other eggs.
     

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