Broody Hens Driving Me Nuts!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Henny_Penny, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Henny_Penny

    Henny_Penny In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2008
    We have ten hens in a coop with four nest boxes...same size each.. but two on top of the other two. The hens hate to lay in any nest other than the bottom left nest box. They will stand in line till one hen leaves to get to that box.

    Last Tuesday, one of the hens was sitting in the nest box when others had gone to morning still there. She moved, however, and I could see that she was not sitting on any eggs. I put several under her...including blue eggs. She was on the nest all day and night. On Wednesday morning, she was there when we fed but when I checked on her later, she had another hen with her in the same box. The other hen laid her egg and eventually left. The broody hen was on the nest until today. The other hen was sitting on the nest and the broody hen was in the top right box. When the other hen left, the broody hen got back on the lower left nest and all seemed well. However, in the top right box there were two of which was blue and there are NO blue layers in the coop. I had put the blue egg under her in the bottom left box! Two questions: 1) How in the world did that hen move that blue egg to that upper box?? She had to jump on the roost in front of the box to even get in that box. 2) Will the eggs have a chance if she lets "girlfriend" egg-sit? Will the eggs stay the right temp to hatch?

    What an interesting group of individuals these chickens are!
  2. Possumpoint

    Possumpoint Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    LOL, No logical answer for #1. May have to put blue egg back in the original nest and set up a video camera to find out how that happened. [​IMG]

    As far as question #2, So far, I've used one of my bantam hens to hatch out my big chicken eggs as all of my big hens have just started laying and none of them have gone broody yet. Now they will sit on the eggs in the nest for a bit, and they will try to push the other hens out that are sitting on eggs, but none of them stay on the eggs too long.

    I'm thinking that maybe hen #1 got off the nest to maybe eat, drink and stretch a bit, and then hen #2 probably used the warm nest to lay her egg and decided to stay awhile, or maybe both hens are broody now. I have a pen we built just for egg hatching that is seperate from the other chickens. It's big enough for the nest box, water, food and a little exercise for the hen.

    I'm not an expert on this, so maybe someone else can help you, but I know my little bantam does get off the nest when she's hatching eggs a few times a day, so I'm guessing that helps control the temp of the eggs so not sure if having a hen on the eggs all of the time is a good thing or not. May be best if you seperate.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Oh, please let us know if you solve the mystery of the blue egg switch-a-roo, LOL.
  3. Henny_Penny

    Henny_Penny In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2008
    I think the video camera is a great idea! Will do!

    Thanks for your ideas. I will keep you posted!
  4. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    In answer to #1, someone is playing a trick on you. A person moved the egg. #2. The eggs will hatch, many times 2 or 3 hens will share a clutch of eggs for the first 10 days or so. The 1 hen will take over. When that hen goes out to drink, eat and poop another hen may keep the eggs warm. Once the first hen comes back she will run the other off. If you let them all the hens will lay under the broody until she can't cover all them. That is when you will have some of the eggs go bad, because they are not able the maintian the correct temp.
  5. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    One of my Game hens went broody and was great until it was time to eat or take a walk etc, then she got a baby(egg) sitter and all was going great. The babysitter was one of my buffs same one always well after about 6 days I finally said ok maybe this one is not going to break, so I moved her to sperate area and 1 week later the buff op is broody. Maybe they clucked about babies and the buff got chick fever or something but I have 8 babies and a few more eggs 1 with pip under original mom and more under buff due in 1 week.
  6. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I have heard old timers on here say that a really serious broody can actually go quite a long way clutching an egg UNDER her WING! I think that's what you've got!
  7. Henny_Penny

    Henny_Penny In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2008
    I would love for the "old-timers" to speak up about the hen moving the egg under her wing. I don't see anyway that the egg was moved by a human because the hen pecks you if you try to get under her.

    I am really concerned about the addition of new eggs on a daily basis by those hens that get up there when she is off the nest (not often that she is) or that make her move over.

    Would it hurt to move her and the nest? She has been on the nest now for a week.
  8. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Quote:I have a silkie hen that will lay in the same box as my broody silkie hen, I mark all the eggs with a pencil and check everyday for the "new egg" so I can take them out..... Or you could try blocking her off with food and water... Good luck !!!
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    It wouldn't hurt to move her, but it is possible for her to leave the nest. Do you have an incubator? If so, then you could move her, and if she does leave, put the eggs in the bator for the remainder. Also, like swtangel said, you could block her off, so the others can't get in with her. Also marking the eggs that are supposed to be there is a good way to keep track of the new ones. I wouldn't put food and water in with her, if you just block off the nest. She needs to get off the nest at least once a day to poo. You could perhaps, make some sort of cage tho to put in front of the nest, so she would have room to move around, and the others can't bother her. Just make sure that if you do move her, do it at night when she is sleeping, and put her in a small enough area that she really has no choice but to set the nest, for a few days at least. Good luck!!

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