Broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewToFarming, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just bought two older silkie hens last night. I had an egg within one hour of getting home and another one this morning. The one hen is broody and sitting on the eggs. I am new to all of this but wanted to ask if there is anything in particular to watch for with her? I got her off the nest 3 times today so she could eat and drink which she did and then I put her back on the nest. Is there anything else I should be doing for her?
     
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:She'll get off the nest when she feels the need to eat, drink and poop. My Silkie would only leave the nest once a day. Just keep food and clean water nearby and she'll handle the rest. Silkies are great mamas.
     
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Generally no need to do anything apart from provide her with fertile eggs to hatch (you didn't say if you had a rooster)

    Sandie
     
  4. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do have roos but she also came still fertile from where I had gotten her. I can't wait for the chicks to come!!!! [​IMG] Is it ok to get them off the nest to eat & drink? It was pretty late in the day and she didn't have anything so that is why I had helped her. I wasn't sure if she would get off the nest to eat or drink with being in new surroundings either so I did help her yesterday. I guess I can play it by ear and see how today goes. Should I be giving her and special foods like vitamins or extra protein? I do have the smaller feeder & water right next to her nest.
    I was so happy to see that egg the first night!!! These are my first eggs!!! I have 11 week old pullets and 4 sikie roos! Both of the new girls are laying and only the one is broody.
     
  5. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The broody hen will usually leave her eggs once or twice a day for periods of less than 20 minutes to eat, drink and eliminate. I have had a couple of hens who have had to be lifted as they did not leave the nest at all, but usually you do not need to lift her.
    Your broody hen may lose quite a bit of weight during brooding and will eat much less than usual. Her comb and wattles may go pale.
    Give her a variety of the foods she usually likes, you don't need to do anything else.

    Good Luck,

    sandie
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    If a hen is laying, she is not really broody. Once they go broody they stop laying. Is it possible the other one is laying in her nest? I really don't know what is going on with yours. Silkies can be pretty strange about sitting on nests and going broody. With yours just being moved to a new location, it makes it even harder to know what is gong on. Does she spend the night on the nest instead of roosting?

    It takes an egg about 21 days to develop and hatch once it is incubated. If a broody hen kept laying eggs after she started setting on the nest, then the first eggs would hatch, she would take those chicks off the nest to get food and water, and the other eggs would die. That's why they quit laying when they go broody. Same things happens if other hens are adding eggs to the nest. Also, if new eggs are added to the nest by other hens and you don't remove them, there will soon be too many eggs for the hen to cover so some will be pushed out from under her, cool off, and die. Then those will go back under her and other eggs will be pushed out to die. If she is really broody, you need to collect all the eggs you want her to hatch (Maybe buy a few from the place you got the two hens?) mark them, and put them all under her at one time. Then you need to check under her once a day and remove any eggs that are not marked. Your life will be a lot easier when it comes to hatch time and you will get better hatches if you do this.

    Almost all broodies know when to get off the nest and eat, drink, and go poo. How often they do that and how long they stay off the nest kinda depends on the weather. If it is hot, they will spend longer off the nest. It should not hurt anything if you take her off the nest when you check under her once a day for new eggs and let her go take care of her business. I'd suggest checking to make sure she goes back to the right nest though, especially since she was recently moved ot a new home. Some broodies go back to the wrong nest. Silkies seem to be fairly bad about this, maybe because their broody instinct is so strong they are just as happy setting on their imagination as real eggs.

    Good luck! Enjoy the journey. It can be really exciting.
     
  7. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the info!!!
    I believe both of the new silkies girls each laid an egg at this point. They are both a slightly different color. The original girl laid on the eggs from Friday night through this morning. I did lift her this morning to check if there were additional eggs and offered her some food which she did eat & drink and then her sister went and got onto the nest and has been on ever since. I believe they are taking turns now. The original girl seemed to be OK with this. They are the only two I currently have at the moment that are of laying age so I know it was these two. As of this morning it was still only the two eggs. I will check again later to see if the hen that took over laid another egg.
    They seem to like the covered kitty litter pan for a nest so I will pick up another today. I have a bunch of other type things in there but they both want to use this one. I am sure they feel more secure being covered like that in new surroundings.
     

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