Concerned about broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kbird, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. kbird

    kbird Chirping

    Apr 23, 2010
    Galena, Maryland
    One of my hens has been sitting on a clutch of eggs in a big patch of poison ivy for about 3 weeks now. When I first discovered her clutch there were about 18 eggs. We have a rooster, so I assume the eggs are fertilized. Does this mean all the eggs are going to hatch with a clutch that large? Also, I never see her leave the eggs for food or water. Is there a chance she will starve to death or die from lack of water? We usually gather any eggs we find that the hens lay in the woods, but we decided to leave this hen alone. Should we try and move the hen and her eggs to our nesting boxes inside the coop, or just leave her alone?
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009

    You can put food and water where it is in easy reach---she'll get off the nest once a day to do the gynourmo broody poo.

    You may want to move her to a secure place, like a dig dog crate---but don't do it until nighttime. For my girls, it was the place that called to the broodiness, not the eggs themselves. Be prepared for her to abandon the nest if you move her.

    I doubt all the eggs will hatch, but now that I have said so, I am sure she'll prove me wrong. [​IMG]
  3. kbird

    kbird Chirping

    Apr 23, 2010
    Galena, Maryland
    Thanks for the info, and the advice! [​IMG]

    I put food and water right next to her. I also tried to prod her and get her to move off the eggs and she got really annoyed with me. I'm going to give her a few more days, then move her off the eggs and collect them. I doubt they will still be edible so most likely will throw them away. I just don't want the poor girl to be the victim of a predator since she's out in the open at night!

    We have another hen that we got at the same time. She decided to lay a clutch of eggs in a bucket that was on its side. I got her out of the bucket, gathered up the eggs and she hasn't been broody since. Hopefully the same will work with this hen. Thanks again, I appreciate your time!!
  4. joe17

    joe17 Songster

    Nov 25, 2009
    If you plan on letting her sit on eggs, please dont make her get off her nest! lol So many people take there broodies off to make them eat and drink. They know when to do it themselves..... its natural instinct! Good luck with whatever you decide to do with her! Maybe before you throw the eggs out, move her in a dog crate or a seperate coop/enclosure.........
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] That's a very handsome rooster in your avatar photo, he looks like a Brown Leghorn, my favorite.

    I would bet that since this hen was smart enough to steal herself a nest and stay on it for 3 weeks she is smart enough to have gotten up for daily coffee breaks when she will eat/drink/make an enormous poop. Look around her nesting area (with caution for the poison ivy!) for some big smelly poops. They might even look like dog poop, they're that big & solid. Keep the food & water nearby her now, she will appreciate the convenience.

    Since chicken eggs take 21 days to incubate they should have hatched by now. You could give her a few more days, in case you got your time/days wrong, or in case some hens added new eggs once the hen began to brood. If nothing hatches by the end of the week you may want to take her off the nest at night and put her back in the coop. You can candle or open the eggs if you're curious, or just bury them deep somewhere.
  6. kbird

    kbird Chirping

    Apr 23, 2010
    Galena, Maryland
    Thanks to all of you for the great advice! I'll let you know what happens [​IMG] Thanks, Sunny_Side_Up for the compliment on our rooster. Yes, I believe he IS a leghorn. His name is Henry and he's such a character. He talks to me all the time, but I don't understand rooster talk...LOL! Chickens are an endless source of entertainment!!
  7. kbird

    kbird Chirping

    Apr 23, 2010
    Galena, Maryland
    I was going to take my hen off the clutch of eggs she's been sitting on for at least 3 weeks because I didn't think they were going to hatch. Went outside this morning and OMG....she's got at least 15 new baby chicks! She's still in the huge patch of poison ivy with her new brood and won't come out. I set out some water and Purina Layena crumbles. Don't know what else to do. I realize that some of the chicks might fall victim to predators. Do I need to go out and get special feed for the little ones? I wasn't really prepared for this. Yikes!!!

    Will try and get some pics of the little peepers and post them later.....
  8. Liana

    Liana Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Southern NH
    Congratulations! Your girl must be so proud of herself. Can't wait to see some pics of mama and her fuzzy butts.

    Layer feed is not good for the little ones, it's too high in calcium. I'd go out and get a bag of starter crumbles for them and some oyster shell for mama in a separate dish where she can get at it but the littles can't reach.
  9. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    If it were me I would move her and the babies to a secure area. Out in the open here is an invitation to a raccoon feast. I have not had any problem with the mother hen accepting the chicks when I move them together. Do what you think is right but I know what would happen in my neck f the woods. Oh, and if you do move them wear protective clothing for the poison ivy.
  10. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chirping

    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:Is it possible for you to secure the area she and the chicks area already in, temporarily of course, just so you can protect them from predators until you can safely remove them all from the poison ivy without gettin' the itchies?

    Gunna throw this question out there to you experienced broody peoples.
    My broody has been given all the luxuries of a private room, food & water, and I been watching to see if she deposited any of that broody poo, but she smeared poo all over the 6 eggs shes been setting on.

    I'm disappointed and fearful that the eggs aren't any good now.
    Got any suggestions?

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