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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by FarmerBoy24, May 1, 2011.
Harmony hatched a chick back on the 12 and another today! 1 more egg to go!!!
I have a question. I've got my first broody. She's been on the eggs 3 days now. However the other hens keep getting in there and laying. I have no idea which are new or old. Do I mark them and let them continue to get in there? Do I try to move her? Try to come up with a way to build a temporary area around here that the others can't get in? Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Mother Hen and her three day old babies!!! Out and about in the garden.
Taking a dust bath with mom
The one little guy has crooked toes so I have made him a little duck foot with plaster. Hopefully it works....
Cute, cute, cute little fluffy beaks. Congratulations to momma.
Lady of McCamley
You may need to move her or block off access to her to prevent additional eggs from being added... moving her is certainly an option, and maybe the best one if she is prone to being pushed around by other flock members or she is in a very busy coop which you fear may cause a risk to the chicks when hatched.
If you don't know which eggs are which, and they are only on day 3 it may be better to collect a new clutch for her, mark them and replace her current eggs. Doing so will remove the problems associated with a staggered hatch. If you are going to give her new eggs and want to move her... then move her first and give her 'fake eggs' to set on for a day or so to make sure she is going to remain on the nest in the new location. If she is in a place that can be partitioned off from the other birds then my preference would be to simply do that with chicken wire or hardware cloth so she remains within sight and sound of rest of flock (makes it easier to place her and babies back into the flock)
Good luck and let us know how she does!
Yes, mark the eggs she is sitting on, otherwise you'll never know which are about to hatch and which have days to go...staggered hatches cause problems as mom will abandon either hatched chicks to incubate unhatched eggs, or abandon unhatched eggs to care for growing chicks. Having food and water at a beak's distance for the hen helps her stay on the nest and the little ones get nourishment and thereby can buy you a few more days, maybe even up to a week...but at some point mom simply gets up and begins to teach the youngin's how to be a chicken leaving whatever hasn't hatched or too small to keep up.
I have had trouble with communal brooding in general flock conditions...so much so that I built a separate designated broody hutch and run. Before I built my separate hutch, I did subdivide around the hen to keep the others out, which worked in pinch, and if you can't move the hen due to lack of space or lack of hen's willingness.
As you've noted, the others keep laying fresh eggs and tumbling the set eggs about...and the hen doesn't know the difference between the eggs she has sat on for days or one just laid...so she will move eggs around until eventually one of the set eggs gets pushed out into the cold....or kicked and crushed by the laying birds.
If you think you can do it...try moving the hen to a designated nest box away from or separated from the others...doing this at night works best.
Lady of McCamley
Thank you for the input. She is in the feed room of the barn. They free range during the day and rarely lay in their nesting boxes in the coop. They have certain places in nooks of stacked hay that they generally lay. She is in one of these nooks. I think I can easily build an area around here with hay and chicken wire, large enough for food/water and her nest. So, I think I'll go do that now. I got the hen out this morning that was laying and counted the same as were there yesterday morning. Do I still need to remove?