Broody hen~LOTS of questions!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SunnyDayz, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. SunnyDayz

    SunnyDayz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Sunny FL
    Hi all :)
    I've had a broody hen sneak up on me! We've had chickens for several years now and this is our 1st broody (since I was a kid living on a farm anyway, and I don't remember much from back then). She is a 1 year old japanese bantam. She has been sitting for 14 days now. She set up 'shop' under the floor of the coop, which has plenty of room and ventilation, but access to her is not possible, so I fenced off her area last week. I can't see how many eggs she has, but there are at least 12 under her.

    Before I fenced her area off my other hens were sneaking in there and laying their eggs in her nest. So that means the eggs under her are different 'ages'... what will happen to the younger eggs, will they die? Could/should I incubate them? Will she continue to sit if some hatch and some don't?

    Also, she has bantam eggs and full sized eggs under her. We have 3 bantam roosters and our hens are a mixture of bantams and full sized breeds. I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but can the bantam roos fertilize the full-sized hens' eggs? I do see them mating but wondered what will hatch from those eggs? Just curious :)

    Yikes, so I hope I didn't mess up this whole experience by not fencing her off sooner. I am hoping some of her eggs hatch. If not, we have a few chicks on hold at a friends farm to give her to raise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Some of her eggs should hatch. In my experience, she will probably stay on the nest for a day or so after they start hatching. The younger eggs will die unless you have an incubator and are willing to keep incubating them after she leaves the nest. Yes, your bantam roosters are able to fertilize your full-sized hens. You should have an interesting mix of babies! [​IMG] One thing - if you do continue to hatch after your hen leaves the nest, it probably won't work to give them to her after they've hatched. She will already have her family and most likely won't accept any newcomers. Good luck! It will be fun to hear how it all works out for you.
     
  3. SunnyDayz

    SunnyDayz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
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    Thank you for the info! I do not have an incubator, but I can certainly borrow one... I wonder how that would work, given that I am not sure what days which eggs were laid. I'll have to consider that. I would feel terrible leaving the chicks to die if only a few hatch out at first.

    It is going to be a problem for me to get in there and remove the eggs that don't hatch. The proximity of the area she is in is very hard to get to... I'll have to use a long rake to 'fish' out the remaining eggs. Will she and her chicks get off of the unhatched eggs long enough for me to retrieve the other eggs? Next time I have a broody, I will try to move her early on (if she does it under the floor like this one did) to avoid this problem again.

    Ok, so the bantams can fertilize the full sized hens' eggs. So if I have a silkie roo and a PR, what would the baby be? Full sized, right? Her eggs are huge! Hm... I'll have to get some pics for you all when they hatch :) It will be interesting!
     

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