broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 44 lee 19, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. 44 lee 19

    44 lee 19 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2014
    Morning all, My hen has been sitting on eggs for 7 days now, she seems not to get up to eat or drink or go to the toilet . On the 2nd day we found one egg away from the nest and cold so I removed it, yesterday day 6 I found another egg away from her nest cold. Is there a reason for this or is she just being careless when she moves them around. She originally was sitting on 6 and now i'm down to four. Any help or advice please as this is the first time I have had a hen go broody and am compleatly in the dark
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Usually a broody gets off the nest once a day to eat, drink, poop, and maybe ge t a little exercise or dust bath. If you're not finding poop in the nest, she probably is. If you have other hens, one of them could be moving the egg. Sometimes another hen will lay her egg in the broody's nest, either while she is gone or right on top of her. Sometimes other hens will move eggs out of or into the nest. And sometimes a broody will remove an egg herself; this could be because she senses the egg is bad.

    Many people let their broodies set and hatch right i with the flock, as chickens have always done, and others prefer to separate them into their own little area for the setting. If you leave the broody with the flock, its a good idea to mark the eggs with a Sharpie so you know which is which. After the eggs hatch, you can al do it either way. I prefer to let my broody set in a separate room, then raise her chicks in with the flock (they will want to join the flock at a day or two of age.) If you do this, feed the whole flock the chick feed as layer feed will harm them, and chick feed will be fine for the adults for a few weeks, even if medicated with amprolium. The broody usually gives up her motherly ways around 4 to 6 weeks, goes back to roosting, and resumes laying eggs. If the chicks grow up with their mama in the flock, she should protect them from any bothersome hens, and by the time she is through mothering, they should be an accepted part of the flock.

    Here are a few links in case you want to read further. There are many threads on here about people's experience with broodies -- and many ways to manage them. Good luck!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/guide-to-letting-broody-hens-hatch-and-raise-chicks (post 5)

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/693407/broody-bird-what-to-do/0_20#post_9400530
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    x2 Judy has covered it all, and very well!
     
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went against my better judgment and allowed a 6 month old Maran go broody.. I gave her 8 eggs and removed her to the broody pen next to the main coop... On day 11 I noticed two eggs sitting outside her box, One had been pecked, upon closer inspection it was a clear (non fertile) the other one was cold, Upon opening it, there was an embryo and I thought perhaps it was a quitter and she discarded it... Fast forward to yesterday (day 18 for her eggs) all was well in the morning, I had errands to run and when I came home I noticed another egg out of the nest, from where I was standing it looked like a zipped shell so I decided to remove it, thinking the chicks were hatching! yay I thought, she did so good they are a few days early... Much to my dismay as I got closer I realized there was still a chick in the egg... she had pecked to open the shell and upon doing that of course the chick died.. I don't believe it was a quitter, there was too much blood. I took it out and opened it up thinking maybe she instinctively knew there was something wrong.. Nothing that I could see makes me believe this, it was a perfectly formed chick with an almost absorbed yolk sack... I believe the moving egg caused her to get confused and not wanting her to systematically kill each chick I quickly removed the remaining 5 eggs to the incubator and this morning we have two internal pips.. I thought about letting the Momma sit on fake eggs and once the chicks hatch trying to graft them back to her but I have changed my mind and put her in the breaking the broody cage. I have 12 other eggs in the incubator on day 17 and will just raise them all myself.

    I have had broodys hatch out 3 separate clutches this year and haven't had a problem with them, they all were over a year old.. We tagged the Maran so if she goes broody again I will know not to allow it this year, I will give her another shot if she chooses next year.
     

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