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Can I encourage earlier sitting on a clutch by isolating the hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by linsleym, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. linsleym

    linsleym New Egg

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    I have a rescued hen that hatched out 8 eggs (eggs came from the internet) earlier in the spring. Fantastic Mom! Kept a rooster, who is now her suitor. They are inseperable.

    She has layed a clutch of 12 eggs, as of today. She made a nest in a woodpile in the yard but has not started brooding them. She sleeps voluntarily locked up in the coop overnight with the rest.

    I plan on moving her to a pen once she starts sitting on them but I have to go away next week and kind of want to force the issue.

    My question: Can I take her and her eggs now, even though she hasn't started sitting on them yet, and put them in the pen and expect that she will sit and hatch them? Should I expect the Rooster to complain etc....

    Thanks for your help...
     
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Doesn't sound like she is broody at all... just likes laying her eggs in the nest that she made. If a hen is not voluntarily broody, it's pretty much impossible to force her to set. [​IMG]

    That said, when you do go away are you going to keep your birds in a closed run/pen? If so, then I would move the eggs in with them (can you move some of her nesting material, too?) and see what happens... couldn't hurt, and just maybe... [​IMG]

    We left for a week on vacation... birds in a closed run... no broodies... and my chicken-sitter didn't collect eggs while we were gone... when we got back I had 2 hens that had decided,"Why not?"... and now I am waiting for my surprise Fall hatch? [​IMG]

    Good Luck and safe trip! [​IMG]

    edited for spelling [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Don't think it will work. She'll go broody when all hormonal systems are go. With that many eggs she should be close, but moving her before she starts will most likely disrupt the process.
     
  4. linsleym

    linsleym New Egg

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    My friends will ensure they'll be allowed free range all day but I was going to move her and her nest to their own small hen house so if she does start sitting while I'm gone, and not sleeping in the hen house, she can be locked up overnight for protection. I'm hoping she'll take to them, she normally won't get off an empty nest she's so broody.
     
  5. linsleym

    linsleym New Egg

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    Well I took the advice and didn't move her to the 'Hen Palace' until she sat on her clutch, 16 eggs in all, a few days later. I opened the door after a frw days and she would venture out for 30 minutes or so before returning to her nest. As the days went buy she spent less and leess time off the nest. i'm proud to announce the as of yesterday we are proud parents of 11 new baby chicks. She's, Ms. Ranch, proven to be a great Mom inthe past and we expect nothing less form her this time around.

    Quick question,

    I plan on keeping her and the chicks locked up for a week before letting them free range with the rest. Should I worry that the other three chickens, 2 hens and a rooster will mess with the babys? The hens and the rooster are acutally the Mothers foster kids as she hatched them from eggs bought off the internet. The Rooster is also the father of the new chicks. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  6. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been keeping my momma and babys in a tractor that is in the yard next to the big coop, they all rome around th tractor when the chicks are about 2 weeks or more old I lift the tractor and let them free range together. If it seems to stress-fulll to the mom I wait a little longer. It doesn't take long for the mom to let the others know those are her babes , hands or beaks off .[​IMG] It doesn't matter how laid the eggs once those eggs hatch they are her baby's I usually only let them free range on days I am home, cats, dogs, any pred. could snatch a chick , so I try to watch a little closer till they are a little bigger.
     

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