Broody hen in a 66 mustang. HELP Dirty eggs and first Broody.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henpeck31, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. henpeck31

    henpeck31 In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2012
    So my DH noticed last night that we had one hen missing. So we went out and looked and could not find her. But there was no sign of a struggle or any of the chickens in a up roar thru out the day. So tonight my DH was out again doing the nightly count, he was also doing the checks on the feed and water. well in the quite he hears a pecking noise. But he doesnt think much of it cause we have 15 hens and 2 roos. And they were all roosting. So then every chickens stops pecking and there is still the noise.He follows the noise and he see's one of our Barred rock in his beloved 66 mustang. This poor girl is on the floor board on the driver side, all fluffed out.
    The DH comes straight in from outside. He is giving me a good Stick Eye. Oh boy i am in for it. So he tells me that he has found our lost hen. He gets this look of almost pain across his face. And then tells me that the hen is in the mustang. And that she was fluffed out and would not move. This has me laughing so hard.The Stink Eye is getting worse as I laugh.
    So we go out to the garage. This poor girl has at least 13 to 14 eggs under her. But three are broken, and the others are covered in dirt and egg yoke. I get her to move and I try to wipe the eggs as best as possible. I also put a old rug on the metal floor board and then some wood chips on top of that . then the eggs that are not broken. This is a New adventure of us. we hatch out normally with an incubator. I am really concerned that the eggs are so dirty. And how the heck are the chick suppost to get out of the mustang. the mustang is up on stands. Its about 2 foot off the floor. So please HELP ME. Do I move the hen and chicks after they have hatched? What are the odds of these eggs making it to chick? And any thing else that i might need to know about broody hens.

  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    well once, I had an egg break in a clutch, what a mess. but she had been sitting about 10 days, so I took down warm water, and a wash rag, and washed them. And they hatched.

    But if she had just got started, if she had only been missing for a day, well you can just start over with clean eggs. I would remove some eggs anyway, even if she is a very large hen, a doz is about the max that they can keep warm enough. The hen will move the eggs around, and if there are too many, they ones on the outer edge, get too cold and die. Get moved back to the center, and others out to the edge, and they die. So better, to have a smaller clutch.

    If you don't want her in the mustang, create a nest in a better place, and move her at night. Sometimes this will break a broody, and sometimes, she will leave your nest, and go back to 'her' nest. So if you do that, block any entrance to the mustang. Once you move her, wait a couple of days to see if she sticks, and then stick fresh eggs under her.

    However, every broody hen, that I had, moved the nest, after hatching, soon. The trick is to have a "good place" ready for her, that meets her approval. And I would not worry about the height, chicks can "fall" quite a distance 2-3 feet and be fine. All of mine have hatched in a nest off the ground.

    Good luck, hope this helps. MrsK
  3. henpeck31

    henpeck31 In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2012
    I really don't have to move the hen. The mustang is a safe place in our garage. Our dog goes in and that would probly set her off. Thank you so much Mrs. K. I will probly change a few eggs out and see if the clean ones work a bit better. Its just funny that she decided to set in the mustang. That is my DH first love. The running joke between us is that i am going to sell it while he is at work. lol [​IMG]
    Any thing else that might help us get though this new phase would be great.
    The safe area after the clutch hatches is going to be the hard thing to find. Should i keep her away from the flock or just give her an area that is in a corner that she can just get the chicks away frm the flock?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I agree that it won't hurt them to jump a couple of feet. I've seen a hen get chicks down from a 10 foot high hay loft. Mama says jump and they do. I don't recommend ten feet high just for the fun of it, but I really don't worry about 2 feet.

    When I set eggs, I usually limit it to 12 eggs, but I've seen a hen cover and get a really good hatch with 18 eggs that she laid. If the nest is pretty compact and they are eggs the size she lays, she can probably cover 13 or 14 without trouble, but I like to leave some extra space in case other hens start laying in her nest. They'll sometimes do that. I'd suggest marking the eggs so you can tell which ones are hers. Then check under her daily to see if any fresh ones show up.

    The risk with those dirty eggs is that bacteria could get started inside one. That egg residue on the outside can turn pretty stinky and bacteria can go through that porous shell. Since she has just started, I'd probably trash all those eggs, clean the area up, give her something softer and clean to brood on, and give her fresh eggs to start over. If you don't want to give her fresh eggs, I'd do as Mrs. K suggested and wash the dirty ones. When you wash them you will remove the bloom which helps keep bacteria out, but I'd risk that rather than leave dirty stinking eggs under her.

    You don't want to give her a few new eggs. Start all the eggs you want her to hatch at the same time. Otherwise, the hen will take the hatched chicks off the nest and abandon the unhatched eggs.

    I let my broodies raise the chicks with the flock. I think how much space you have for them is important, but if Mama has some room to work, she will normally take care of her chicks. You don't necessarily have to give her a special space. Just give her space and she'll take them where she wants to.

    One word of warning. Do not set up a space where Mama can't get out but the chicks can. If you set up a special place to lock Mama and the chicks away from the rest of the flock and the chicks can get through the fencing to join the rest of the flock, they can die. Mama has to be able to protect them.

  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    [​IMG] My husband would be sooooooo ticked! His 69 Mach I is his baby - he'd have a coronary if a hen was in it.

    I agree with Ridgerunner. Good luck!
  6. henpeck31

    henpeck31 In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2012
    So last night the DH and I removed the dirty eggs and replaced with all new eggs layed yesterday. I put 10 eggs under her. Momma bird seems to be going good. we see her out about twice a day to drink and eat. I also but a rug down on the floor board and then wood chips so that she can have something soft to lay on. Trust me Happy Chooks I get the Stink eye daily when we go out and check on her. He tryed to have a fit but the mustang is down to bare metal right now so its not like she is ruining anything. I am excited to see if we get more babys. Ridgerunner thank you for the info about the babys being safe from the fall. i think what i will do is let momma find a area that she likes for her new family and just make sure that my dog doesn't disturb that area.
  7. luvinmychickens

    luvinmychickens Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Just curious.... What breed is the mama? And the papa? :D

  8. henpeck31

    henpeck31 In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2012
    The broody momma is a barred rock. the father is our mutt rooster or a jersey giant. But the new new eggs that i put under her are our other chickens. i have one jersey girl, 4 golden laced Wyn, and four rhode Is, and 4 barred rocks. I am just hatching mutts right now. but i have some more jersey pullets that i plan on breeding with just my jersey boy.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by