Broody Hen won't get back on nest. It's Day 19! What can I do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by deborah, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    What can I do? We don't have an incubator to fall back on. She's moving about in the brood box, scratching and clucking. It's very hot in the hen house right now. We can't move the brood box out of there. It's attached to the wall. I've done everything I can to keep it cool in there, but it's difficult with the heat wave we are experiencing. I've made sure she has food and fresh water frequently. I guess the only good thing is the egg is staying pretty warm. Any ideas?
     
  2. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    She is just probably gettin up to try to cool down. The eggs may be to hot as well. Nature is pretty amazing and chickens are pretty smart and they know when they need to get up and how much time they can stay off the eggs before anything can happen to them. Do you have another broody as a back up that may have just started to sit on some eggs? Dont give up on her though she may just be trying to keep the eggs cool and herself.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    She got back on the nest. And got back off again. On again and off again, multiple times. One time when I checked, she was on the nest, but holding herself up. She's very restless. I let her out a total of 3 times today. My husband thinks that was a mistake; that it may weaken her broodiness. The weather forecast tomorow is worse than today. They say we have 2 more days of this heatwave. My husband and I discussed moving the brood box into the basement tomorrow morning. It will be day 20. Is it likely the hen will settle in if we move the box, or are we asking for trouble this late in the process? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I think your broody is just trying to get cool. I have 5 broody hens as we speak. Unfortunately, the coop I purchased for using as my broody coop is occupied with injured hens from the roosters spurs. Well I have had 2 chickens die since last Friday. It is such a sad time but yesterday one of my broodies hatched out a baby chick and it was day 18 so I think the heat may speed things up. The heat index has been over 100 since Monday again. We had a break end of last week with the humidity thankfully but it didn't last that long. I am so afraid that I may lose one of my broody hens from this heat.
    I moved my broody with the baby chick into my garage last evening and so far so good. I was afraid she would get up and not go back. She had one more egg she was sitting on but she acted like she wasnt' going to sit on it anymore so I stuck it under another hen. She is still hunkered down on that little baby.

    My last broody stayed on the additional eggs until they all hatched out and was still able to be a good momma to the little chick. But what I did was put golf balls in a basket and put the eggs under her and kept the golfballs under her to make sure she was gonna stay. Maybe try that but sounds like she is pretty persistant and I would move her because I like to keep my Mommas and babies seperated until the babies are pretty good sized.

    Good Luck and I am keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  5. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    I went out to the hen house around 5:30 AM this morning and she was off the nest. I opened the brood box and she quickly jumped out. I checked the remaining egg and it was cool. How long? I don't know. I immediately rounded her up, put her back in and added 3 fake eggs. It took a few minutes, but she settled back in. I don't know if the egg is still viable.
    Because there was only 1 egg left, I ordered some chicks I was going to give her. They should come tomorrow. I just don't know how this is going to work out. She's been a very good and attentive mother, to both the eggs and chicks, the last 2 years. Is it just heat?
     
  6. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    We moved the brood box to the basement around noon today. Out in the henhouse, she was panting heavily and holding herself above the eggs. I didn't want a repeat of yesterday. It's gone very well. The AC is running in the house and the basement is very cool. She's been tenaciously sitting on the egg(s).

    But the egg got cooled this morning. Today is Day 20. It hasn't pipped yet. How long do I wait? Do I need to wait an extra day or 2 because the egg cooled?

    The extra chicks I ordered came today. The plan is to put them under the mother hen when the egg hatches. (Hopefully she takes them on.) I'm anxious to do that; MaMa hen can raise those chicks so much easier than we can! But my big question is how long do I wait for the egg she is sitting on to pip/hatch?
     
  7. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Minnesota
    Try misting her with water dont drench her
     
  8. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    She seems to be doing very well in the basement. Storms are supposed to come through later today and the weatherman says the heatwave should break by late tomorrow afternoon. Once that happens, I think we will move the brood box back into the hen house.

    I ordered chicks because she only had 1 egg by the end. I planned for them to come today, but they came yesterday. I wanted to put them under her the night after the egg hatched. Boy did that plan go awry! The way I've been counting it, today is day 21. But I counted the day she started sitting as day 1; should that have been day 0? And the egg cooled down yesterday morning. I thinking I should give it until Saturday. Any thoughts??

    I wanted to wait until it hatched to give her the 5 chicks we got in the mail. I got up at 4AM, when it was stil dark, but the egg hadn't pipped yet, so I didn't put the chicks under her. About 5:15 was was reading Storey's chicken book and it cautioned not to add chicks over 1 day old to make sure THEY bonded to the mother hen. I hadn't thought about that! If the egg doesn't hatch until Saturday, they would be 4 days old! So I pulled all the blinds in the basement (it's a walkout), to darken it as much as possible and put the chicks under her. She seems to have taken to them :)! She's still sitting on the egg (I took out the fake ones when I put in the chicks.) Hopefully the chicks take to her. They keep going into the nest with her; she lifts up for them, but I'm not sure then understand to go under her. They climb on top of her instead. I've pushed them under her a couple of times. Hopefully they get the idea soon.

    So at this point, I think I've done all I can and have to just let nature takes its course. I knew she was a good mother hen from previous experiences. It's just that her actions during the heat wave starting giving me doubts.
     
  9. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Aww that sounds so sweet:)) I just did the same thing with one of my broody hens except my WJG didn't take to the new chicks. So I tried on several different occasions to see if it would work and she never took them. So I just set up a brooder in the garage and the chick that she hatched was like a week older and I had to wait til the BO came in so almost a week later and that didn't work for me (and she still had a couple eggs under her but she wouldn't take the new chicks) thats ok my hen has since moved out and she went back with the rest of the flock. I got the baby and put it with the BO so it wouldn't be alone.

    I so love my chickens so very much. I just never knew how smart they were and how much they would teach me, but I have never been happier. I just wish they would only go broody one at a time. SIGH.

    Congratulations on your new chicks.

    Have you candled the egg she is sitting on to see if it is still viable? If not then I would take it away from her cause she already has some babies.
     
  10. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Yeah, it sounds like she was just too hot. My broody who is currently hatching out in the garage as we speak, was out in the coop doing the same thing as yours......kinda hovering over the eggs rather than sitting on them. I ended up moving her into the garage where its 74 in there.

    So glad she took to those babies!
     

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