Broody question...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jossanne, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I've got two bantam cochins setting clutches of barnyard mix eggs, due August 20. So today is day 7. I've also got a batch of silkie eggs probably arriving next Wednesday, to be placed under one of the broodies next Thursday, day 14 for the mutt eggs.

    I know these girls will last a while broody, as they both sat for at least 5 weeks last time, before I got them settled down in nest boxes away from where everyone else was laying. Their eggs hatched out on the same day last time, and the clutches they're sitting right now are set to hatch on the same day.

    So I'm going to consolidate these 10 eggs under one of the mamas, and give the other mama silkie eggs to set, on what would have been day 14 with her first clutch. I expect that she could easily last the whole time for the silkies to hatch, a total of 35 days on a nest.

    But... do you think she'll abandon her nest when the other pullet's babies start hatching? Will her hormones tell her it's time for babies when her sister's babies hatch? They're in neighboring nest boxes, and share a tiny common yard area to stretch their legs. Do I need to figure out something else for my long-awaited b/b/s silkie eggs? Maybe separate the two mamas more?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I like your plan to consolidate the eggs.

    Her hormones will not tell her it is time for babies. They can not tell time.

    I personally would separate them more though if that is an option. You are dealing with living animals pumped on hormones so anything can happen. It is possible the hen will hear her sister's chicks and abandon her nest, not because of the time but because of the chicks hatching. It is possible the hen will try to kill the other chicks if she thinks they are a threat to her babies. I've heard of hens stealing eggs from each other, so I'd mark the eggs differently even if you do separate them. Less chance for confusion. Other than it being more convenient for you, I can't think of any advantage to keeping them together. I'm not saying bad things will definitely happen if they stay together, just that they could.
  3. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Thanks Ridgerunner. I'll see what I can figure out between now and next Wednesday to separate these girls. I've got a couple of ideas that will probably work.

    My extra chicken house is currently full of 24 cornish X. Otherwise it would be easy to separate them! 3 more weeks, and it'll be butcher day.

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