Can you take the eggs when she's brooding?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickeedudel, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. chickeedudel

    chickeedudel New Egg

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    Jan 1, 2010
    What is the best way to go about taking the eggs from under the hen when she is trying to brood? They are not fertilized so nothing will come of it but I also wonder how long I can go without collecting them and them still be edible?

    Any help is appreciated!!
     
  2. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I am new at this myself. If your hen is broody and the eggs are not ever going to hatch maybe you should consider snapping her out of her broody state. Taking her off the nest and placing her out in the yard could help. If this doesn't work maybe dip her in some cool water. That I have read will almost always bring them out of their broody state.

    I have also heard they stop laying when they start brooding so maybe you can prevent it by collecting the eggs as often as possible.

    Mind you.. this is all just research I have done... so far my hens have yet to get broody [​IMG]

    Good Luck

    Jeanette
     
  3. chickeedudel

    chickeedudel New Egg

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    That is what I have gathered as well but I guess I'm a little intimidated by her and I get nervous when she pecks at me. Is it okay to just pick her up and handle her even with her pecking at me?
     
  4. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    I just stick my hand under and take them. Some make noise, some do nothing, some peck (doesn't really hurt). You could get some work gloves. In your particular case, I would try lifting the chicken out of the box and putting it outside. Might have to do it a few days in a row. Although, sometimes they stop brooding when you remove the eggs.

    If they won't give up, you could make a nest somewhere else and put some golf balls or fake eggs in it. Move her on it at night. She should stop brooding eventually. You could try putting day old chicks under her one night about four-five weeks later, if you want. But it doesn't always work (i.e. have a brooder ready).

    Unfertilized eggs are probably fine under there for awhile (at least a week). Most people in this world don't even refrigerate eggs.
     
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put on gloves if you need to.

    I remember when I had my first hen go broody. Being the wide-eyed innocent that I was, I had no idea that they would be aggressive when they were broody. HA! I was totally offended, and refused to let it faze me at all. I handled the hen extensively, till she gave up. After that, I used broodiness as an opportunity to tame my wilder hens. It works pretty well.

    If the eggs aren't fertile, you really should break her of her broodiness. It's unlikely that she'll stop being broody on her own. You can try the easier methods, like putting her off the nest repeatedly. It may or may not work. I haven't had much luck with it personally. My hens are very determined, and I have found that the best way to break them is to put them in a cage with no bedding material at all. Just food and water. I leave them in there until they are broken of their broodiness. It takes 3 days to a week, depending on the hen, and also on how long she has been broody before I put her in the cage.

    As for whether you can eat the eggs or not. I'm not sure. I can offer you a suggestion, though. Use 2 bowls. Break an egg into a bowl. If it looks okay, pour it into the second bowl. Do the same with each egg. That way if one seems gross in any way, you can just throw that particular egg away without ruining the whole bunch of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    lauralou pretty much covered it. Either reach right in there and get them or pick her up gently and set her down and let her fuss. Even my fussiest hen doesn't hurt all that much when she pecks at me, but if it does hurt too much, gloves work.
     
  7. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    and dont worry... lots of us have been hen-pecked lol. myself included;)
     
  8. chickeedudel

    chickeedudel New Egg

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    You guys have been super helpful, thank you! I moved her a couple times today (to collect 7 eggs!) and will cage her up tomorrow for a couple of days.

    When they are caged, how often should you let them out to go to the bathroom?
     
  9. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't let them out at all. I know that sounds awful, and when I first heard it I thought it was the cruelest thing ever. After dealing with broody hens for a couple of years, I realize that it doesn't hurt them a bit.

    That said, my cages are outside, up on legs, with wire bottoms. So the poop pretty much falls through. If you don't have a setup like that, then it's a little different. You may need to let her out once a day to scoop the poop.

    In all likelihood, she will run straight back to her nest. So be sure to get the poop quickly and get her right back in the cage ASAP. The more nest time she can get, the harder she will be to break. I know this from experience because I've had problems with my husband feeling sorry for them and letting them out.

    (ARG!)
     
  10. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, keep her caged until it seems that she isn't broody anymore. It may take longer than a couple of days, since she's been broody for a while. I watch what happens when I walk by the cage. When they are broody, they are all puffed up. They complain to me when I walk by, it's a puck-puck-pucking sound.

    When that stops, I let them out. And then wait to see what happens. If she goes back to the nest, she isn't broken of her broodiness. So don't let her trick you into thinking she needs to lay an egg. She doesn't. It will be about a week after breaking her before she will start laying again.

    They're sneaky little devils! But you'll be dealing with this "problem" on and off, well, forever, so you'll figure it out. It gets to be a rhythm after a while, their cycles are pretty regular, and it's much less of a hassle than it is at first because you know what to expect.
     

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