broody hen for almost 3 months now - no chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueskylen, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    hi all

    first broody hen, and she has been very dilligent in her duties - i think. every time i enter the coop, she is right there in the same nest. this has been going on for nearly 3 months now. i have removed 2 batches of eggs so far when the weather was below freezing and she let them get cold, but didnot check to see if they had chicks in them- just threw them out ( yeah, i know, duh ).
    but now am getting tired of looking in there and seeing her stare out at me. this morning I did go out, and as i had spread treats in the run- she wasnt on the nest, and the eggs were still warm - what started out as 2 eggs miraculusly is now 8 - but no chicks.

    what should I do? break them all to see if there are chicks in there? kick her skinny behind? wait a few more days?
     
  2. destorieswind

    destorieswind Out Of The Brooder

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    Well if you break one of the eggs and a half formed chicken plops out your going to feel guilty. I would try to get a really bright light and see if you can shine it through. If you google how to see through an egg you can get some ideas.
    If you want more chickens then let her brood.
    If not, then take her eggs/kick her out.
     
  3. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2007
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    Where are you located? I would be inclined not to let her sit if you have cold winters. If she were to have more than one it would be very hard to keep them warm through the day in below freezing temps. And it is odd that she is so broody this time of year (I should say if it's cold). If it's warmer where you are then try "candling" the eggs. I use a flashlight in a really dark area (inside the nesting box at night works for me). Hold the top portion of the light around the rim with your hand forming a ring at the top with your thumb and pointer finger, and if comfortable, your second finger also. Then set the egg down on that ring formed with your fingers and thumb. Use your other hand to gently turn the egg looking for the development inside. Early on you will the veins forming, then you will start to see the actual chick forming (looks like a large mass), and most times you see it kind of jump (moving around). Later on you will see portions of the egg becoming "dark" as the chick starts filling in the space.
    One other thing to consider. Are you feeding your chickens a lot of corn? If I feed mine too much corn, the ones that tend to be broody at normal times get even broodier and will become broody at not so normal times for most chickens. I've read that the corn raises their body temps making them stop laying and become "broody".
    Good Luck!
     
  4. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    thanks - I'll go out tonight and try to candle them with the flashlight.

    it has been below freezing or just above almost every day for a month now - she may get off some during the day, and i don't know how long they can be cold without ruining the egg. I haven't seen her off more than a couple of times.

    she gets the same feed/corn/sunflower seeds as the rest of the girls, and she is the only one broody. Maybe she's just a lazy loafer.

    I'll let you know what I find tomorrow.
     
  5. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With those kind of temps the eggs will be no good I'd say within 15 minutes or so. In the first week or so the eggs can go down in temp and "reset" themselves (kind of start over). But after that they just die. Very unusual behavior for this time of year. We've had some extremely broody hens (setting and hatching 3-4 times in one summer)! And we had one hatch 1 baby, what I consider, late this year (late October). And she has had a hard time keeping him warm during some of the weather. Let us know!
     
  6. farmnut

    farmnut Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2008
    what kind of hen is she? I'm looking for a broody hen and don't know which one to buy.
     
  7. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have read and heard Silkies are good broodys
     
  8. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would suggest if you are gonna let her sit, to issolate her from the rest of the flock, so you dont mirraculously gain 6 more eggs, obviuosly if she is broody then OTHERS are getting into the box with her/ pushing her out etc... I just had a broody hatch 7 started with 12 the other 5 never started. We had freezing temps for 1/2 of the time she was sitting.
     
  9. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You would be surprised how cold an egg can get and not die. I posted a thread a while ago about how I had a hen leave behind one unhatched egg. I was 99% sure it was dead, but I decided to warm it up anyway, and now I have a purty little hen running around the coop.

    I do agree with the others though, if you're in a cold climate, you don't want her setting, unless you can somehow bring her inside or something.
     
  10. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, i checked the eggs last night with a flashlight - i had to lift her out and she just sat there beside me like "what??" - i really didn't see anything in any of the eggs except for a couple of yolks. definitely no big chicks in there. I am going to do it again tonight, as I don't think that i turned the eggs enough to get a really good look if there were small chicks in there, as all of the other chickens were climbing on me and I couldn't keep them away. I'll give them a treat on the other side of the coop while I look tonight.

    i have been keeping a red heat lamp on most days that are below 45 or so degrees. it shines down pretty close to the nest she is in, and I don't believe that if she is sitting on them most of the time that they would have time to freeze, but the may have.

    if I don't see anything in them with the second look, i think that I'll remove them and try to get her to break out of the broody mood.

    she's a black austrolorp and the other 2 BA's have not turned broody. the other 8 are Buff orps, ee's, and a barred rock - no other broody's . they are all laying great for now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008

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