Broody Leghorn sitting but not on all eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JRG, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. JRG

    JRG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    We have a 6 mo. old broody Leghorn (2 of them) that is faithfully sitting, but not on all the eggs. I keep finding them on the outsides of her nest. It's like she only wants to sit on a couple of eggs. She is almost 2 weeks into this. Could I pull all the eggs put her in a more enclosed space with the other Leghorn that's sitting and start with a new batch of eggs? Will she sits until something hatches? I'm new to this whole broody thing.

    JRG:cool:
     
  2. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are your eggs marked ? Do you know if she is kicking out the same eggs, like she knows something is wrong with them. Do chickens even know something like that?
     
  3. JRG

    JRG Out Of The Brooder

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    I have not marked them, but I can do that now. I just wonder if any of them are any good with the way she's acting. I'd love to start over and do this thing right, but I don't know if she will continue to sit for an extra 2 weeks. What do you think?

    JRG
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    If this is her first time, she may be a little unreliable at it (also leghorns aren't known as great broodies). But it's great that she's sitting.

    There are other reasons though why she could be feeling a bit unsettled. If there is any chance rodents might be coming by at night, this could make her more likely to push eggs out (or rats could be trying to take them from under her -- rats will readily do that).

    Hens that have mites are also not very good at brooding: the itching etc makes them very restless.

    I would make sure she's been dusted, rat-proof the area, and see how she goes if she's still got any eggs left to sit on. Make sure other birds can't get in there to lay or you'll get a mix of hatch dates, and some will be left to die.

    If she's basically dumped all the eggs, it's worth trying the other broody if you feel any eggs could be salvaged. Then either break this hen's broodiness by putting her in an airy cage, or sit her on plastic eggs for a while, until you're sure she's settled — then slip some fresh fertile eggs under her and away you go.

    As long as you check her for weight loss and make sure she's coming out for food and water, she can sit longer than the 3 weeks they normally sit for. But if it goes on for ages broodies can get very weak and thin...

    Best of luck with it,
    Erica
     
  5. JRG

    JRG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    Erica,

    Thanks for the advice. I will dust her with diatomaceous earth. I have a cat in the barn where the coop is, but the coop is closed at night so she can't patrol for mice/ rats then. How do you get rid of rats/ mice in a coop? I'm wondering if I need to build a little cage/coop for both the hens so that critters and other hens can't get in and hatched baby chicks can't get out. Would that be a good idea? Also, would candling the eggs be a good idea to see if they are even good or not?

    Thanks - Jana
     
  6. ShanCarl1971

    ShanCarl1971 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    I used to raise exotic birds, and they could definitely tell if an egg was bad, and would very often push it aside. So, I guess it could be possible for Chickens too. Do you know how to candle the eggs? If so, you could check them. I think marking them would be a good idea in any case, and maybe mark each one differently so you can tell them apart.
     
  7. JRG

    JRG Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    Perfect. I'm going to do that. The marking sounds like a super idea because I'm not sure, but it seems like it might be different ones that are not underneath her when I check. Thanks alot you guys!
     

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