Broody old english bantam hen and her clutch

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by polenslager, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. polenslager

    polenslager Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2008
    post falls Idaho
    I have three of the old english bantams.. one rooster and two hens.

    One hen went missing about two weeks ago, then would show up during the day.
    We figured out she was broody.. (I guess! new to me!) and was hiding eggs..
    we found where her clutch was and wanted/needed to move her for safety reasons..
    15 eggs!
    we were able to catch her today when she left the eggs to go in the hen house to eat. We moved the eggs, and
    have them under a lamp, nestled in some straw and moved her in with them to a safe spot in the house.
    She is not setting on them now.. I have checked on her twice.. (window in the house I can see her from)

    its been about three hours since we did the move.. the area she is in is large say 5 feet by 20
    but I dont know if that matters in getting her back on them?
    Ideas?
    We have had chickens for 4 to 5 years now. but never had one go broody or lay a clutch of eggs..
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    You have game hens, and this is the first time they've gone broody? Crazy! My only game mix hen has gone broody twice and she is 7 months old.

    Anyway... Moving a broody is risky. They don't always accept where you want them to go. I have only had success moving if they have gone broody in a kennel, and then I've moved the kennel itself. Moving the broody to a new location that she is not used to won't always work. Has she returned to her old location even after you moved those eggs? Is there any way where she is nesting can be made safe for her to stay? Or will she settle down if you put her in an enclosed space with the eggs? Try to keep it as dark and quiet as possible. Preferably a nesting box where she is used to laying (before she started hiding the eggs).
     
  3. polenslager

    polenslager Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2008
    post falls Idaho
    Well, I have not let her out of the house since we caught her. I could put her in a dog kenel, with the eggs in it. I have a large one
    and make her stay in it with food and water.. that might help.

    as far as making the old place safe, I supose it could be done, but my first choice would be to keep her in the house.
    This hen is young.. we have not had this type before and they were chicks this spring.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Best advice.. Keep the eggs warm and try to get her to settle on some golf balls for 30 minutes at least. Once she is calm and setting, put the eggs back under her. Best to candle them now while you have them. Discard of any clear eggs or any with blood rings - which indicates embryo death.

    By house do you mean chicken coop? You wouldn't want her in the house. Trust me.. That broody poop is nasty! :sick
     
  5. polenslager

    polenslager Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2008
    post falls Idaho
    Yes, its the chicken house! Not my house :) I am not that good of a chicken mom!

    I could get her to calm down and set on the eggs but once I moved away slowly she would only sit for
    a few more mins then move and try and get outside..
    so we went to plan B
    which was to make where she had them safer.. I moved the eggs back, made it safer from weather and preditors
    and let her out... she went back to them.. seems unsettled but has gone back several times..
    I left her along to sort it out.. and will hope for the best.. I shored up the gate to the area too to keep
    the dogs away.. sigh..
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My games hate to be messed with if they are setting. They are very good mothers, and I've read stories where they set on someone's deck. Did you candle the eggs? 15 is a lot for a game bantam!

    Be prepared for a lot more broodies now that you have this breed. They are one of the best mothers from everything I've heard. Comparable to silkies, but are better at protecting their young.
     
  7. polenslager

    polenslager Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2008
    post falls Idaho
    I tried to candle the eggs, but could not tell anything. I think my light was not bright enough as I could
    not see in or through the eggs.
    In the end we decided to let it alone and hope for the best.

    We had some black silkies last year.. a hawk got them this spring.
    We live in the country and my chickens free range and I close them into their chicken house each night, let
    them out in the am.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Is she in the bushes or under a deck? Hopefully she is safe enough to avoid hawks and raccoons. I wish you all the luck! Please let me know how it goes! :)
     
  9. heybarb

    heybarb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    I have 4 OEGB's - 3 girls and a boy that we got in March of this year. All 3 girls went broody at the same time - two in the coop, each in a nest box, leaving only 1 box for all the other girls, and one disappeared under an old building. Without pulling up the floor of the building, there was no way to tell where her nest was, so we too decided to leave her where she was and hope for the best. We had one girl from the coop, give up on hers, so we put her eggs under the other girl in the coop. The girl under the old building did hatch out 4 chicks and I caught her and her babies and put them in a rabbit hutch for a few days to keep them safe. The other girl also hatched 4 chicks and I did the same thing. About a week after hatch, I moved everyone out to the coop and they have been free-ranging with their mamas every day. Out of my two mamas, the one from under the building (Sally) is by far the best mama.

    PS. My dog later found the unhatched eggs under the building and with a little stretching, I pulled out 6 rotten eggs. In many ways I am glad that they didn't all hatch!!!
     
  10. polenslager

    polenslager Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2008
    post falls Idaho
    Wow.. lots of info! Thanks!
    She is under the chicken house on the back side and right by the edge so it was easy to get to. I moved some boards so she is not exposed
    (there is another spot she goes in and out of) and shored up a fence and closed a gate to
    keep the dogs out of there. Its dry under the house so that is good. She has been coming out to eat and drink.
    The hawks are my main concern.. we shall see!
     

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