Broody sitting on plastic easter eggs! what should I do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SoCal-chick, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. SoCal-chick

    SoCal-chick Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Feb 17, 2007
    San Diego
    My 5 hens had been getting lazy about where they laid their eggs, so I placed a couple plastic eggs in each nest box to remind them where I wanted them to lay. Now one of my Black Australorps has been sitting in one of the boxes now for 4 days. I found a man who would give me 3 fertile eggs (Gold Sex-link/RIR mix). I am thinking of getting them to slip under her and let her fulfill her wish to be a mom. What other options do I have? If I get the eggs for her, should I move her and the eggs out of the main hen house to their own place till the chicks are older? This is a first for us. Thanks.
     
  2. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Chillin' With My Peeps

    856
    0
    149
    May 8, 2008
    I'm sorry I'm a newbie and have NO answers but had to tell you that this is the funniest thing I've heard all day. THANK you for the laugh. They really are humorus aren't they?
     
  3. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

    735
    1
    153
    May 4, 2008
    Thanks for the smile!!!!!

    I say get some fertile eggs for that girl!

    (or some marshmallow peeps for inside those eggs:lau)
     
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I have a separate place for my broodies to sit on eggs. It can be a pain if you have a broody in a nest that the other hens want to use. For me, it was a big uproar in the coop, hens climbing on top of the screeching broody to lay eggs in the favored spot...

    However, if you don't have a separate place for her, you can just mark the eggs that you want to hatch and remove any others that happen to get laid in the nest.

    Also, my "Broody Box" is in the main run with the rest of the chickens. The mother hen usually brings the babies out after a couple of days. I have had no problems with any of my chickens hurting the new babies. That's my experience, but I think that it could go the other way, too, depending on the individual chickens involved. I watched them all very carefully at first.

    By the way, I have a broody hen right now, and I'm desperately trying to break her of it, because I'm afraid that it's too hot here for her right now. I would hate for her to die on the nest due to the heat and dehydration... maybe I'm paranoid, but I thought I'd mention it.

    Good luck!
     
  5. SoCal-chick

    SoCal-chick Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Feb 17, 2007
    San Diego
    Thanks, I do have an old rabbit hutch we keep in the run for times when someone needs 'their own space'. If I put the fertile eggs in a nice nest in there, how difficult would it be to move her? Would I need to move the plastic eggs also, so she isn't 'traumatized'?
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    153
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    From my experience, broody hens can't be moved easily. If they are broody, it's for that spot. As a kid I tried moving broody hens to better spots and they simply stopped setting on the eggs.
     
  7. SoCal-chick

    SoCal-chick Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Feb 17, 2007
    San Diego
    Thanks for sharing your experience. If I were to slip the fertile eggs under her at night for her to hatch in the nest box, should I then try and move the family to the hutch after the chicks are all hatched? I woke up in the middle of the night worried about the baby chicks eating the layer food. How do you get the chicks to eat their starter food and the hens to eat their layer food if they are all living together in the hen house? Sorry if these are silly questions I'm a details person.
     
  8. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Yes, I think it would work - moving the chicks after they hatch. What I've done is move everybody in the evening, then lock them up for the night. They wake up there, and tend to stay there, though you may need to move them for a couple of nights. Not sure, my girls are pretty accomodating. [​IMG]

    As far as feeding, I believe that you can feed all of your chickens the chick starter, as long as you supplement calcium with oyster shell so the hens' eggs don't suffer.
     
  9. SoCal-chick

    SoCal-chick Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Feb 17, 2007
    San Diego
    On Saturday we slipped 3 fertile eggs under the hen and took out the plastic ones. She is still faithfully sitting. When the eggs are hatched we will move the new family to the hutch and keep them separate for a few days. Thanks for the info.
     
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    You can move a broody and her eggs and she should stay on the eggs in the new nest area. You don't want to move her or bother her after day 16 until after all chicks have hatched.

    I wish I had moved my broody at first. I didn't know I should. It was too late to move mine once I found out that it's usually the best option. Thus, I had to wait until after her chick hatched and then moved them both (at night) to a secure rabbit hutch.

    If you chose to move her and the eggs do it sooner than later. In your case I'd move her now and see if she continues to sit, then add the fertile eggs the next day once you are sure she's going to continue sitting. Move her at night to the new nest area.

    My broody sat for an entire week before I was able to get fertile eggs to put under her. She readily accepted the eggs, I just put them under her when I got them. She then sat for the next three weeks until a chick hatched. I was so happy!

    The biggest reasons to move a broody are:

    1) Other chickens will try to get into her nest box and lay their eggs on top of her!

    2) When she leaves the nest to eat, etc. another hen may jump into that nest box to lay her egg and then when broody comes back she will likely pick another nest box to sit on (even if it doesn't have eggs in it) and then when the first hen leaves the real broody nest ... the eggs can get cold and die. I had to physically move my broody back to the correct nest box four times because of that scenario.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by