Broody pullet is screwing up-should I let her continue?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Free Feather, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    My bantam black australorp pullet went broody when she laid her third egg at 6 months old. Her first clutch I did not know about until I found a bunch of her eggs in the creek with half developed chicks in it. I am not sure what the story was there, but she definitely had been incubating them. The second clutch I let her set for nearly a month to find they were not fertile. The third was an assortment of other pullet's eggs she had hoarded. One hatched, but by the time I found it, it had frozen to death. This is because all the eggs had staggered incubation starts, so while she waited for the rest to hatch, she let the one chick die in the single-digits night. She has yet another bunch of eggs she wants to brood. When I have tried separating her into a pen I made, she quit being broody. She has been trying to brood in a cabinet in the tool shed. She has been doing all these clutches back-to-back and is starting to look pretty crappy. I worry about her being killed by predators in the shed.
    My question is, should I let her brood this clutch? Try to force her to stop and maybe let her do it later? Should I put her in the separate pen, and if she quits, she quits? I can put her in the run to keep her away from the shed; she found it while free-ranging. I am thinking I should just call it quits. I have the room for chicks and I will keep cockerels, but the repeated failures are depressing. And winter is coming.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I think I would either try the separate, safe broody pen again, or break her, at least until spring. If she's going to be a useful broody for you in the future, you will want her to accept doing her setting in a single, safe place.
  3. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    I have two different broody coops. When I tried putting her in one last time, she just paced at the window and squalled to go back to her nest, even though her eggs were right in front of her. I had to put her back to get her to set. That was the second clutch.
    I made her sleep in the coop tonight. She was very, very unhappy even though she was off them all day. From now on, if she wants to brood, she has to do it in a coop.
  4. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    Well, I cracked open all 12 of her cold eggs.
    They were very staggered. The Cochin and Game Bantam eggs were either infertile or too fresh to have started developing. The buff laced Sebright eggs were a whole other story. All of the Sebright eggs had cold, dead babies in them. Some were many days dead, from when Crow first started leaving the nest all day. One I found was due to hatch very, very soon. I am no expert, but the one that really got me crying was fully developed, slick and curled up. I wanted to puke. I can not bring myself to do anything with it yet, besides cradle it and mourn. So, so close. When I look at my Sebright, Dove, I just see her little babies all dead and cold. The one that hatched was bad enough, let alone this one, on the brink of life.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you want her to brood, you need to control what eggs she broods and when they are placed. I've moved broodies and they've fussed for a few days, then settled down to set. That's when I give them the eggs I want them to hatch. They all start incubating at the same time, so they all hatch at the same time. I don't give her the eggs I want her to hatch until she's been on the nest two nights in the place I want her.....until then, no eggs for you! If the hen's in a communal area, I mark the eggs with a sharpie so I can do a quick visual and see there haven't been any additions made, avoiding the staggered hatch issues.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    Well, at first I thought she had been killed by predators because I could not find her for a couple days. We free range. When I found her I figured the eggs were already developing so I did not take them. I just tried to move her. After a couple hours of her freaking out I just put her back. I really wanted those babies to live.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hear, Hear!! ....and LMAO!!

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