Broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by harleyjo, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    0
    141
    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    I am working with my first broody. I have had chicks and have incubated 2 batches. Here is my question. She had 2 eggs. I really didn't need anymore chicks but she wouldn't quit. So I was going to let her hatch a few. She wouldn't let me move her from her nest box, I tried and tried and tried. The other hens, bslinks, kept going in her box, she is an orpington. So this morning I noticed 1 egg was pipping. So I decided to get a brooder ready in the garage for her and the chick. I wasn't gone 10 minutes and I got back and the chick was hatched and dead. I don't know whether the other hens killed it or what. It was also covered in the wood shavings in the nest box.

    So I have her in the garage now with her other egg. Will the new chicks suffocate in those wood shavings or do they fluff up? Should I take the wood shavings out? I also have 6 chicks coming either today or tomorrow. Should I see if she would accept them? I am going to be gone most of the next 6 days just checking in every other day or so. If she is going to accept the chicks will I know right away or not?

    I just want to get her over being broody.
     
  2. cat1994

    cat1994 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Southeast MO
    Well I'm sorry to hear about your first chick dying, perhaps it was due to the wood shavings. I would probably get rid of the wood shavings and replace it with...... maybe paper towels or something that won't stick to them. You could try to see if the broody hen will accept the 6 chicks coming soon. I would put them under her at night, quietly. But be sure to check on them often that morning and during the day to see if she has accepted them, if not you will have to take them away fast or she may kill them. With any luck she will wake up thinking all the chicks hatched out over night and take care of them just like a good momma.
     
  3. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    811
    0
    136
    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I'm so sorry about your first chick! [​IMG] I had that happen, too, and took the rest of the eggs away from my new broody. I should have let her try again, but I was so dismayed. I think mine "helped" it hatch. There was no shell or anything...just a dead chicky. Maybe yours did, too(?)

    I don't think the shavings would be an issue - mine hatch in pine shavings all the time. If it was covered in them, maybe the hen did a lot of scratching around...which may have squashed the little guy. They are very fragile! Hard to say. Is your broody also a BSL? Being not a broody breed, maybe she had less instinct to know what to do(?)

    I have been very successful in giving chicks to my broodies. My Wheaten Ameraucana took them right away in daylight and was pleased as punch to do it. I would recommend doing it at night though. Amazing what darkness does to help out with chicken-manipulation! My recommendation is to start with just one and see how she reacts. I just tuck the baby under her wing and hang back for @ 5 min or so to make sure the mama is quiet and happy. If so, then add the others. Then I check back first sign of daylight to see if they are still happy.

    I hope it works out for you!! [​IMG]
     
  4. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    0
    141
    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    The broody is a Buff Orpington. This is part of my problem... I am going on a camping trip starting tomorrow. I suspect as late in the day that it is getting that my chicks may not be getting here until tomorrow. So has soon as the chicks come we are leaving. I was going to set up the brooder and I hadn't decided if I was going to take the chicks with me or leave them home. I will be coming back every day or every other day. My chickens in the coop will be fine. They have plenty of room, fan, food and water. So I didn't know if I saw after 5 or 10 minutes if she was going to accept them if she would then turn on them later or not. Would she accept them if they were a week old or so? She only has 1 egg left under her so I didn't know if she would take all 6.
     
  5. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    811
    0
    136
    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I think if she accepts them for 5-10 minutes, you're good. Especially with a BO. I definitely understand your anxiety about being gone...I'm in the same boat for this weekend, but my chicks will have had a couple of days before I go.

    I believe you would be better off giving them to her right away than after a week. I have only done the day-olds, so I don't have any experience with doing an older chick.

    She would definitely take all 6 of them, if she is willing to accept them. I have just placed a total of 9 under my broody and she didn't blink an eye (maybe because her eye was busy glaring at me(?) [​IMG] ). I don't think they can put it together that there are more chickies there than there were eggs. [​IMG]

    Best of luck!!! I know how stressful this can be...I hope you enjoy your camping trip! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by