Broody Hens with too many eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SunnySoleil, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. SunnySoleil

    SunnySoleil Out Of The Brooder

    Help! We have 12 hens and one rooster. 10 of the hens are game hens, feisty, one is a Silkie and the other is a regular big red hen.The games were given to us. AND they're sitting on too many eggs.

    Two of our hens have gone broody. One of the game hens and the Silkie. True to form, the hens have been laying eggs in the same two boxes, despite having a variety of options. So once the broody's started, the hens continued to lay in the same boxes and the clutch under the two keeps expanding. he Silkie iwho has raised two sets of chicks and is in her second year, is sitting on 7 eggs and the other on 10. We don't want 17 chicks. We can't cope and the coop isn't big enough. The Silkie is docile and used to me feeding her when she's sitting on her eggs.. the other won't take anything by hand but does get down and eat grain from the ground.

    We hvae them in a coop next to the house, and they are let out to free range during the day.

    I am afraid that these hens won't have the space to bring up all those chicks, should they hatch and they've been sitting on them for different times.. so it could be a long process if they want to wait for them all to come out... and then how are they gonna take care of the chicks. The one rooster was with the Silkie first off and now he runs with different game hens.. The flock seems separated.. although they all return to the coop at night.

    I thought of removing the eggs and how do I know which are fertilized and not, which are newer or older.. I've gotten into a mess.. and all I know is that we don't have room in that coop for 14 chickens and a bunch of chicks to boot.

    Can anyone give me some suggestions. I don't want to upset the chickens or spoil the hens broodiness. My husband wants us to hatch some chicks, so I can't remove them all.

    Meanwhile, we haven't had any eggs for a week!

    We cannot build another coop as we have limited resources.The last one was built from discard and we've used it all up. It was built for me and I was allowed no time to plan it...And we can't afford to feed all those chicks and we have chicken hawks.. we live rurally...AND our snotty neighbor on one side is a rich man who complained about our chickens going on his land. We can't build a fence because, once again, we'd have to fence in a lot of land. I am alone here most of the time and I'm 60 and getting tired and I don't want tour chickens to stress from this situation and potential overcrowding.

    I'm desperate and don't know where to turn...

    Any ideas really welcome.. PLEASE..
     
  2. Reurra

    Reurra Overrun With Chickens

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    Let the chicks hatch and sell the chicks? I would place adds on Craigslist and even post up signs on feed store bulletins. Give a due date and sell them. Im sure someone in the area will want some.

    The only other option I could suggest is to terminate some of the eggs. But thats kinda drastic in my book.
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most likely they won't all hatch, since they were laid at different times. If the difference is more than three days the broody will likely abandon the younger eggs before they hatch. Mark the ones that are in the nests now. Collect all the new unmarked eggs. Keep the number from growing. If the number of potential chicks is to many, remove some of the eggs. Or start them over with new marked eggs in the amount you chose.
     
  4. SunnySoleil

    SunnySoleil Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for takng time to reply. I dont want them all to hatch because it's too much work.. and I'm tired!!! We have four hens and a rooster in the wild, in a secluded holler by a creek.. and a cabin.. they are completely free range and get some corn occasionally... the one hen there went broody and all the eggs were in the same place.. She had 8 and now there are 6. The mortality rate is probably high as down there they don't have a coop.. they roost in trees.. and she sat on and hatched the eggs in a dog kennel!!!

    I marked the eggs today and took away some from the game hen... she now has 6 instead of 11!!! I took two from the Silkie, but didn't mark them.. as she wasn't off the nest.

    Really appreciate your ideas... and understand the idea about selling them... that could work well in a different area, but we're remote and everyone has chickens and lots of chicks running around wild.. I did kid my neighbors that I could probably dump my chickens, like people do dogs, on their land and they wouldn't know the difference.. they've got so many!!!! Seriously, there are around 80 or so running around at both our country style neighbors..

    I feel very overwhelmed with all these chickens..because we just settled them in a new roost and they were all laying profusely in there.. now they are laying elsewhere I am sure.. as these games are pretty independent.. probably in the neighbors... kind of ironic!!! If he complains again, I'll say, I hope you enjoy the eggs because of course feel free to keep any you find! ha ha!

    thanks.and have a happy chicken week
     

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