Broody Hen is going to go 0/7 - need advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DigitalEd, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. DigitalEd

    DigitalEd Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2010
    Upstate SC
    Hey all,
    I have a bummer type situation. One of my hens went broody around the first of the year. She's been sitting on seven eggs but is now down to 2. The first two didn't form chicks. Two others couldn't break out of the shells/membrane. I suspect the other two aren't going to fair any better and I've lost track of what happened to the seventh egg. I suspect the super freezing cold in the South East compared to normal is partly to blame. I've had to keep a heat lamp pointed directly at the waterer to keep it from freezing.

    Assuming the remaining two eggs don't hatch, I'm not sure what to do with the still broody hen. The local farm supply won't get their chicks until the end of next month so buying local and sneaking some in isn't an option.

    I was thinking I could better insulate the nest box in my brooder and try to put another set of eggs under her.

    Will she stay broody to go another month?

    I could put her on golf balls and put the eggs in my incubator and then sneak the chicks in? That doesn't seem best.

    Another challenge with the cold is getting the eggs soon after they are laid so they aren't dead on arrival to the broody hen.

    Thoughts?

    ----- Ed
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Has this hen been broody before, do you know how well she sets? If you put new eggs under her I would worry she will quit and the eggs will die, if you don't care if that happens no reason not to let her keep trying. Some hens will stay broody almost indefinitely, but unless you know if she is one of those, I think with this weather I would either just go ahead and break her if the two chicks don't hatch, or let her sit on golf balls and either hatch eggs in the incubator or get some from the farm store next month if she keeps sitting and you want chicks one way or another... this is Jan 29th so even if you set her on new eggs in the next couple of days they wouldn't hatch until the end of next month anyhow. It usually isn't that hard to get broodys to accept chicks at night.
     
  3. DigitalEd

    DigitalEd Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jun 8, 2010
    Upstate SC
    She hasn't been broody before. She surprised me that she went broody in the first place. I've only had one other broody hen in three years and that one went broody only once. She show no signs of quitting - not that I'd recognize them if she did. Good point on the end of next month being when a 2nd set would hatch since I could do a night time introduction of local chicks if it doesn't work out.

    It's supposed to be warmer this weekend so if the two remaining don't hatch, I should be able to introduce some new eggs. I got plenty.


    Thanks.

    ----- Ed




     

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