[email protected]! (Literally. Broody hen pooped the nest)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Aumlet, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Aumlet

    Aumlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Carlsbad, Ca.
    I am trying to decide whether to start over with new eggs, or keep on with what we have.

    We started with 13 mixed eggs from a person with fertile eggs. Due to some mishaps with trying to move my broody hen to a more protected environment, they did not get the ideal start. Nonetheless, we're at day 9 and 3 have shown good development. There are some she's removed, some I've removed for obvious blood rings, and a few I kept in with her "just in case."

    She's a stubborn wench, this one, and has not been getting off the nest to eat. I've had to bring her food once or twice a day and entice her to eat a little. Prior to today, she had pooped twice - both time out of the nest box. So I hadn't been making sure she pooped, I figured she was ok on that front.

    Oops.

    Today I went out to check on her and she pooped directly on the eggs. Some of them were caked with broody chicken poop front to back. (Did she roll them???) I am still queasy from the smell. I cleaned out the next box, threw out the filthy eggs I was pretty sure weren't happening anyway, and left her with 4 or 5. At best, 3 of those were going well, and one of the good three is filthy. Not just pooped on.

    I can get new eggs and be vigilant about her potty habits. Or I can wait another 12 days hoping that the poop explosion didn't damage the only three that were going anywhere. I'll be pretty frustrated if I wait and then we get nothing, AND I'm counting on chicks to break her of this insane broodiness she has going on. Before I got her these eggs, she was devotedly sitting on an empty nest. She didn't care that I'd removed all the eggs.

    So. Advice, opinions, consolations?
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I would have rinsed them off with very warm water (90-103*f) and given them back- just in case... after candling

    also- she either is in broody trance and doesn't need the food and water or she'll get up to get it.

    The only cat skeleton ever in a tree was from 15 year old cat that had a tree house and food /water delivered via pulley/elevator every day-

    Therefore cats do climb down.

    Never hear of a hen broody dead on a next- therefore they do eat/drink and poop.

    She might not have felt the need to get up because you were bringing everything.

    If you need- a hatch use an incubator as a back up- I have two that are broody about 3/4 of the year- but If I need those eggs for something I use the incubator -

    I put half under one of them and the others in the incubator, when they start cheeping I can choose to let her lock down or sneak them under her at 2-3 hours old.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  3. Aumlet

    Aumlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Carlsbad, Ca.
    In the beginning, she went 3 days without eating, drinking, or pooping, which is when I became a little concerned. Even when I bring food to her, I have to get her off the nest and a little more alert before she will eat. She is just in the zone and stoned out of her mind.

    When I put some canned dog food (something all my chickens go nuts for) in her cage but out of reach of the nest box, it went untouched.

    I have definitely learned my lessons about letting her back onto the nest without pooping!

    I wiped/gently scraped the developing eggs as best I could and she's on the right now.

    eta - I was worried about washing them off because of the bloom. And I don't have an incubator. (wish I did!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    They are not spending a lot of energy to set the eggs and don't need to eat much, don't worry about her next time.

    She may not set through two hatch cycles either.
    do you have an incubator?
     
  5. Aumlet

    Aumlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Carlsbad, Ca.
    Good news!

    I took your advice and got a basic incubator (LG still air). I washed the eggs off in warm water yesterday and plopped them in the incubator. I put 12 new eggs under my hen, and started a morning routine of taking her off the nest in the morning and depositing her halfway down the run so she has some distance to go to get back on her eggs. Today she pooped shortly after I took her off. [​IMG]I'll do that every morning. I just don't want to deal with a pooped nest box EVER again.

    In other news .... I just candled the eggs in the incubator and the three are still alive and kicking! [​IMG]

    I'm really really happy. Although now that I own an incubator, this could be trouble.
     
  6. kevlar

    kevlar Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2011
    I know what you mean about the incubator....... Hmmmm well I could build another coop here and I could put a tractor over there lol
     
  7. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Awesome. thanks for the update.
     
  8. Aumlet

    Aumlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Carlsbad, Ca.
    The other side of chicken math is coop math. [​IMG] When I started out I got the coop you see in my avatar. Quickly decided the run area was too small, so placed the coop in a larger fenced run. There's a shed in this area that I've been using to store feed and the nest boxes, and I've tarped over the front of the run to make the outside roost into a night time roost ... It's getting ugly but I still spend way too much time thinking about how I could convert the shed or add another coop or .... My run area can support a few more chickens easily.
     

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