Broody on Vacation

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by heyeddah, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. heyeddah

    heyeddah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Milford Ct
    Ok So I posted yesterday that I have a first time Silkie that is what I would say broody, but not sure,. She has not left her box sine Sat night. When we go in there she growls at us and puffs up. My problem is that excatly 21 days from now is Easter and I will be on vacation with my family. I have someone who can come by twice that week to fill water and feed station in the coop.
    We have two hens and one rooster all together and I know the babies would not be safe out there.
    sooo...
    If she is still sitting on the nest on Good Friday, can I move her to a large pet carrier inside the house with water, layer feed and medicated chick feed if I have someone check on her Sunday, Monday, Tuesday?
    Will the new mom teach the babies to eat and drink? Will she keep them warm or do I need to set up a warming light? I have another friend who could stop by who has hatched many chicks with me in school in incubators and she has 20 birds of her own. The problem is she is going away the following Friday for the weekend, and I do not get back until Sunday night.
    If this plan stinks I would love to hear some advice.
    Pluuuuease!
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Do you have to set eggs right now? Could you wait a week? If she really is broody she'll wait a week . . . or two . . . or more, LOL!

    In the meantime, you might set a few fake eggs under her, or even non-fertile ones. This is a good chance to see if she's serious. It will also be soooo much more fun to be there when the eggs hatch! [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  3. heyeddah

    heyeddah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Milford Ct
    You mean just take the eggs now and put a wooden one under there and place them back next weekend, or giver her someone elses eggs next weekend? How long will she sit there? We put food and water close by, but she wants nothing to do with it.
     
  4. heyeddah

    heyeddah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Milford Ct
    no other comments on the cat carrier plan ?
    Or just put other eggs under her later this weekend?
    Thanks
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You cannot take eggs away once hye are started and then put them back later. The embryo will die. So,if you did take her eggs, you would have to start with new eggs. I agree with the other poster if you have not started the eggs yet. Wait a few days to start eggs so you will be back from vacation when they hatch. This site gives you information on how and how long you can store eggs to hatch.

    http://gallus.tamu.edu/Extension publications/b6092.pdf

    If she is really broody, she may sit on eggs for months. This is hard on them, however, and I like to either give her eggs to hatch or break her from being broody. A couple of months being broody will not do any longtime harm to her, however.

    She will eat and drink when she wants to, usually once a day. As long as you do not see poo in her nest, she is getting up to eat, drink, and poo.

    Why are you so convinced that she cannot take care of her chicks with other chickens around? They do it all the time. I would let her hatch them and expect a very nice welcome when I returned home if you have already starte the eggs.
     
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I guess I am confused on where the actual hatching eggs are coming from. If they are from your own hens, welllll. . . You could go either way with them, let the hen set them now or have your "chicken sitter" gather them and either store or discard. If they are coming from somewhere else, either purchased or whatever, you would probably want to time the receipt of the eggs around the date you are ready to have chicks around.

    There are cases of other chickens (or roos) harming young chicks, although many hens do just fine hatching out in a flock. This is up to you. I personally like to separate the broody on eggs, since she clogs up the nest boxes and the others tend to pick on her. It's less stressful for me, LOL!

    I suppose the pet carrier thing would be OK if that's what you want to do. Remember to leave your HVAC system on and keep the cage out of drafts. Remember, though, that if this is a first time broody there is always a risk she will not necessarily be a "good" broody, and if you are out of town you will not be able to monitor her behavior and possibly remove chicks or eggs as needed. There's nothing wrong with letting nature take its course with broodies, just be prepared for all possibilities . . .

    Good luck! Keep us posted on how things work out.
     

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