does an assembled clutch mean my dominique is going broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by baconandcoffee, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. baconandcoffee

    baconandcoffee New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2009
    Our half-dozen chickens are completely free range, having given up the coop to roost in a cedar tree. I've discovered a nest in the bushes with 9 eggs. If I leave it undisturbed will she hatch them out? I'm not sure if she's going broody yet, but she is still laying (new egg today). How can I tell if they've been there too long to eat? any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Bacon&Coffee! I can see by your name that you're all ready for breakfast & it's your hens who supply the all-important EGGS!

    It must be the fact that we're having the manual transmission repaired on our truck that made me think "automotive" when I read the title of this post. I had to stop & wonder, "what do car parts have to do with broody hens?" [​IMG]

    But seriously now, you'll have to watch your hen to see if she really intends to hatch that clutch of eggs. Often chickens will just like laying in the same spot without ever planning to incubate them. Often I'll find hidden nests with a dozen or more eggs, some that are the work of several different hens. They like to follow fashion which keeps them from having to think too hard & hurting their tiny little heads. They see an egg and go "Well, somehen thought that was a great place to lay so I'll lay there too!"

    If this hen does intend to brood she will at some point, whenever she reaches her magic number or the voices in her head tell her to, cease laying new eggs there & want to set on the eggs all day & night. She'll fluff herself out, spread herself over the eggs, and yell at you if you try to get too close.

    You have several choices:

    Take the eggs & cover the nest spot

    Take most of the eggs, mark a few to leave in the nest, and collect the fresh ones from there daily

    Leave them there & wait to see what the hen will do

    If you take the eggs you may still find them fresh enough to eat. Place them one at a time in a bowl of warm water & see if they float (bad) or sink (good). You should still crack them separately in a dish before eating, but they may be just fine.

    If she does decide to brood you may want to move both her & the nest to a protected pen. Or make a barricade around her where she is. There are many posts on this forum about how to tend a broody hen.

    I wish you all great success, let us know what happens with this clutch!

    Edited to ask "Are at least one of your half-dozen chickens a rooster?"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2009
  3. baconandcoffee

    baconandcoffee New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2009
    thanks for the info. Yeah, I've got one big rooster named George. I decided to leave the clutch intact (traded out a few Marans eggs) to see if she'll go broody when she gets a few more. Then I can try moving her and the nest back to the coop for protection. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  4. baconandcoffee

    baconandcoffee New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2009
    She's been sitting on the eggs since the day before Thanksgiving. I built a small open bottomed coop for her to keep any predators away and placed it over her nest. We should see some chicks in another week and a half or so.[​IMG]
     

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