Broody hen keeps getting off eggs while eggs are hatching

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by emhalloran, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. emhalloran

    emhalloran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi All
    I have a broody Golden Laced Wyandotte hen who has been sitting on her eggs quite well over the past three weeks. Yesterday the eggs began to hatch. Today the hatching is still going on (one chick has pipped and broken through the shell)
    The broody keeps getting of the nest whenever the other chooks or the rooster walk past the coop as though she want to join them again and then she goes back to broody mode when they are gone and settles on her nest again.
    Is this normal? This is her first time sitting on eggs and she is quite a young hen (only just over a year old)
    I just worry she will harm the chicks or that her getting of the eggs will interrupt with hatching. ....
    I'm so stressed out!!!

    I have a broody silkie cross bantam that may take on the eggs/ chicks if the Wyandotte abandons ......
    also how long for a chick to hatch once its started unzipping the shell ? Just worried its taking too long but I know it is best to leave it to nature which I learnt when my silkies hatched chicks

    Any advice/ reassurance would be appreciated :) ....I get way to worried during hatching time
  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Is she isolated or in a coop box? She should be isolated for the first few days at least. That way she can focus on her chicks and bond with them. Since she is so young, I would blame her age. I wouldn't let a hen that young hatch eggs. They don't have quite the maturity or determination that an older hen does. She could be getting up to protect her chicks whenever another chicken walks by; that makes the most sense to me, at least. They should just sit on the eggs all day straight for the last three days, although at this point, temp shouldn't play such a huge roll as it does when they are still developing. Once they're out of the egg, that's when she needs to sit down at let them sleep in the heat. Typically it takes them a long time to hatch; sometimes around 15 hours, but if it takes that long something's wrong.
    Good luck with your broody!
  3. emhalloran

    emhalloran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much for your quick response PeepersMama! :)

    I have three chook coops and she is in the nest box in one of them. The other chickens are in another coop.

    If she abandons or rejects the chicks I can always hand raise them :)
    I know I shouldn't have let her sit until she was older.......I have learnt a lesson now

    It has been about 9 hours since the external pip I think so things should be okay

    Do you think the broody bantam would take on the chicks if I put them under her at night?

    Thankyou....hopefully she takes care of the chicks....if she does I will let her hatch some more when she is more mature :)
  4. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Sometimes a very broody bantam will just lay down and go broody when she sees a chick. Sneeking them under her at night might not nescisarilly cause broodiness. When a hen goes broody, a hormone kicks in that causes her to want to nest really, really bad. Once the chicks are about 8 weeks old, it stops having quite as big an effect, and she begins to loose interest in her chicks.
    If your bantam has a running record of being an awesome mama, then putting them in a pen/kennel together where they can be supervised could work. I have seen it done with silkies and lone chicks before.
    Good luck! [​IMG]
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I agree that her immaturity could well be the cause of her lack of attentiveness. And yes, if she messes up, you can try with your broody bantam (but make sure that you have your brooder set up, in case things go wrong).

    I would like to add that, as with many issues relating to keeping chickens - very few are caste in stone. There are certainly different approaches to managing broodies than the one mentioned by @Peepersmama.
  6. emhalloran

    emhalloran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks PeepersMama and CTKen

    The Wyandotte has been back on her nest for a while now and the chick is chirping in the egg and slowly unzipping the shell. when she hears the chick chirp she puffs herself up and clucks which is a good sign,

    If she decides to abandon the nest I will put the hatching eggs under the broody bantam and keep a close eye on things. I have a brooder box set up in case things go wrong. The bantams seem to be good mothers from experience and the broody has been sitting for a week ..she is very aggressive towards me and her flock mates so she may take on chicks :)

    Thanks again for your advice :)
  7. emhalloran

    emhalloran Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just thought I would give an update on my broody hen and her eggs.
    Her chick hatched yesterday afternoon and she has accepted it well and is sitting on the nest. She is being a very good mother so far and has been showing the chick how to drink water out of the chick water feeder. I have moved her and her chick to a small chook coop away from the rest of the flock (i did this at night). they have settled well in their new coop :)
    The other egg isn't doing much so I think the chick may have died in that one at some point. I tricked the broody bantam hen by putting the egg under her. I will give it a few days just to know for sure it isn't going to hatch.
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy emhalloran

    After reading your comments and before reading the responses my first thought was are you sure she is getting up because she wants to join the others or could she possibly be getting up to prepare a defence against possible intrusion and/or threat to her eggs?

    I also do not think that just over a year old is too young to have a hatch, I have had broodies at 9 months of age cope wonderfully well with raising a first hatch.

    Anyways, I really just wanted to say that I am pleased to read that she has settled and is looking after her bub [​IMG]

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