caught an australorp brooding

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by digbychris, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. digbychris

    digbychris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2017
    Hi all, I'm new to the form (my first post). I've had layers for several years, the last few years all australorps. I have 16 hens and one rooster, all over 3 years of age. I still get 5-6 eggs a day from them. However, realizing they may be nearing the end of their laying days, I had thought about buying a cheap incubator and hatching a few. Then, almost as if on cue, I caught a girl brooding on 3 eggs 2 days ago. she (i assume the same one) was still on them yesterday. I don't often see this in australorps, so I'm hoping it lasts. I took a sharpie and marked those 3 eggs.
    Now, I could use some suggestions. The coop she's in is big enough for all of the birds, her nesting box is a Rubbermaid type of tote that I cut a side out of and turned upside down, so it is somewhat private and safe. Should I make it even more private by blocking it off and giving her her own feed and water source and a few square feet of room?
    how intrusive should I be? does she care if I touch the eggs to clean the nesting material (straw) and candle the eggs? I'm not too bothered if the eggs don't hatch, this is a hobby I enjoy so it is purely an experiment.
    my layers all very free range, but they come in to the coop to sleep, eat and lay.
    for what its worth, I haven't noticed the flock, including the rooster, ever be aggressive when new birds were added. as an experiment I introduced some meat bird chicks (which are kept separate from my layers) to the laying flock at feeding time and no one freaked out. I introduced some ducks to the flock once and they were scared for a while but no one attacked each other, and they all run around together now. BUT these birds aren't pets, I have never and don't handle or pet them and they don't let me. the rooster is very chill, but you know, like the others, they come at feeding times but they don't like to be messed with.

    any info or advice is very much appreciated!

    thanks!!
    chris
     
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    You should block it off, hens can be mean to brand new chicks. Even if they aren't mean, th mother is incredibly protective, and really doesn't want any other hens near her chicks for the first few weeks

    There shouldn't be any reason to clean the straw.

    I did candle my broody's eggs once, and she was ok with it. I wouldn't do it more than once though
     
  3. digbychris

    digbychris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2017
    great, thank you! Do you think it's necessary to block her off now or wait until closer to hatching time? If she wants to be left alone I guess I should do it now?
     
  4. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd block her off now. A broody hen really, really hates it when other chickens come near her nest
     
  5. digbychris

    digbychris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2017
    can do! thanks again! just as a funny, yesterday when I went in to collect eggs and feed again, she was on her nest. she let me lift the box off her, and I had to scoot her along to get off the eggs so I could check on the nest. I wondered why she was being so calm, and as I wondered that and she moved away I saw why, she was in the act of laying right at that moment! poor thing.
    so, fingers crossed! hatching day should be Friday the 12th or Saturday the 13th!
     
  6. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck!
     
  7. digbychris

    digbychris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2017
    well, she abandoned her eggs/nest. I went in after I posted this to begin blocking her off. she left the nest at that time and never went back to it. So maybe I'll be better prepared next time!
     

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