Chicken Psychology

peepinglaura

Songster
10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
299
1
131
Not that any of us can really tap into the minds of chickens. However, what do yo think a very broody hen with a failed hatch would prefer?

Her eggs were due to hatch yesterday. I'm leaving the eggs under her till Monday, but I don't think anything is going to happen. Would she be happier if I:

a) removed the eggs and set her free to stretch and run for the first time in 3 weeks

b) give her some good eggs from the incubator, which means she has to brood for an extra 2 weeks

c) let her sit on useless eggs till next Saturday (21st), when our feed store is having a chicken swap, and I can buy her little chicks to slip under her at night

Thanks,

Laura
 

mcmch91

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 14, 2009
97
1
29
Clark County, IL
What a good chicken mama you are! Sounds like something I would struggle with, too.


I don't have loads of experience with chickens and 'lost' babies, but I have had goats and sheep for years. Anytime I can substitute a baby for a totally lost little famiy, the results are happier animals.

Now how that works for chickens, I am not sure. Is the drive in a chicken to nurture the chick or sit on the egg?

I would probably leave her until the chicks come in. After all, maybe the hatch is just slow? Either way, she deserves something for her hard work and dedication!

Let me know how it works out!
 

krv

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
39
0
32
Hi,
I would wait until day 25 or 26 to see if they will hatch. Here is what happened to my son's chicken. She sat for 3 weeks and nothing happened. We had already threw away a few that did not even have veins. We were going to give it until day 26 to check the eggs. But all 4 that she was setting on hatched on day 24, day 25, and day 26, some with his help. But they did hatch and they all look and act good. This just happened last week.

krv
 

peepinglaura

Songster
10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
299
1
131
krv, thanks! Wow, please tell me more! Which did he help and why? Did you candle? If so, what could be seen? Do they seem healthy despite their protracted egg time?Was there peeping for long?

I guess I'll extend my "give up" day till Tuesday. This is day 22 (definite).

Thanks,

Laura
 

peepinglaura

Songster
10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
299
1
131
This morning the eggs were beginning to smell foul. It's strange that she didn't know they were bad, but they were. Opening one revealed that they died days and days ago. So, I got her 4 baby chicks. My 4 year old son really wanted to crack an egg from our fridge and toss the shell in there, thinking it would help her fall for our rouse. That's what I did, though I doubt the hen noticed


Anyway, she is calmer than I have seen her in two days, happily tucking them under her body and screaming at anyone but my daughter and me if we go near her. I'm glad I did it!

Laura
 

okiemommy

Mother of 5, Prisoner to None
11 Years
May 26, 2008
1,644
1
159
Okla-Homa
hmm good idea. I may try this also. I have a broody that is on "air" right now b/c her eggs didn't make it. I would think mine would prefer the chicks than to sit on nothing indefinitely. (mine is free to get up any time she would like, but hasn't budged except to eat and drink.
 

mcmch91

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 14, 2009
97
1
29
Clark County, IL
Quote:YEAH!!

I know there are those among us who take a different view, but isn't it nice to see her happy? Soft hearts can't always be heeded, but it work in this case! Congrats to you and your little hen!

 

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