First Broody Hen hatching. Ridiculous story.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Of Three Oaks, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Of Three Oaks

    Of Three Oaks Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2012
    SO.... First timer here and I think it may show in my tale i have to tell.

    We have bought Bantam Cochins to sit on our other birds eggs. Great move, I would suggest this breed to anyone wanting adoptive mothers for your main flock. They have been laying almost every day under a 12 hour light during this fall and winter, and now they are proving to be broody.

    Just about two weeks ago, one of the Bantam Cochin hens started to linger in the egg box a little longer each day until she wouldn't budge from her spot even when i came to collect. So I searched the forums of BYC to see if this behavior was indeed "broody-ness" and yes I got the thumbs up and dubbed her "Broody Mama". From my readings I gathered that I should let her fully go broody and then move her into a broody box and replace the eggs with the desired breed. Easy enough I thought. I had a small run ready to go, so about 4 days into her nest takeover I attempted to move at dusk to her to the new run I had set up for her with the new eggs... broody mama was having none of it. wouldn't sit or even settle down. Plan B. I made an alternative nesting box for the other ladies in the coup and moved Broody Mama's nest box off to corner setting up a half pallet to keep her head in the game and replaced her eggs with 6 Barred Leghorn's eggs and 1 of her own (call me gracious). I marked them all with pencil 1-6 and 1.

    Now the good stuff. All week I have been checking on her to remove new eggs and making sure she is not pooping in the nest (first time broody checklist from what I have read). All good, but i start to see some slight goo on the eggs which I attribute to the moisture from her body and condensation form the heat. Now comes candling weekend, day 9. I lift up broody mama and set her to the side and start to candle the eggs one by one, all fertile all moving!!! I am on cloud 9. all eggs accounted for 1-5 leghorns and 1 of her own because i have heart like that. I still notice the goo, and it has gotten worse and has solidified hay and feathers onto some eggs and matted some of the hay in the nest together. I remove the matted hay and scrape off some of the the grass and set off for the house to look up what this bum goo coming from broody mama is about. THANK YOU BYC FOR YOUR INFO!!! I find zero forum posts relating to bum goo but instead find plenty relating to exploded rotten eggs in the nest... hmmm, but all the eggs are there (1-5, and 1) and there is no egg shells in the nest. After reading about the pros and con's of cleaning hatching eggs I decide I need to clean this goo off the eggs, what ever it is. I get my warm water, paper towels, and a flashlight and head back out to the coop.

    I lift and move broody mama off the nest and set her aside while i wipe off every egg in the nest, recounting, re-candling, and re-confused. 1-5 and 1 all look healthy and not one missing. no broken shells from other eggs and no hen juice. I set broody mama back into the nest and see her tuck the eggs back under her when I notice she failed to tuck one leghorn egg under herself. I was just visible form under her wing so I decide to help her out by tucking it in for her... may hand recoils with goo in trail. I am more than confused, as i lift broody mama up too look at what caused the slime when i see the egg I had just tried to tuck in rise with her. WHAT!!!! I peel the egg off of her belly and sure enough #6 in pencil on the end with a hole in the middle dripping out goo. Really?!?!?! I set the rotten egg aside re-clean the eggs, clean broody mama's belly, all the while trying not to vomit on the whole production. First time brooding eggs... and I get this happening to me, hahahahaha.

    I am pretty annoyed with myself that I didn't catch this sooner, she must have had that egg stuck to her for 4 or more days slowly leaking out egg onto her clutch whenever she repositioned. Sorry broody mama. I has stupidly not written down the numbers and when #6 went missing I was none the wiser due to #1-#5 being intact. I also dropped her egg trough the toilet paper tube on to the flashlight i was using to candle the eggs (I hope it didn't kill the chick).

    All in a days work on the acreage right? That being told we have 6 chicks due on the 20th (Lord willing) and will learn from my mistakes to hopefully catch faults sooner and succesfuly brood and raise our marans, wyandottes, and leghorns through out cochins.

    The end.
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    Congrats and [​IMG]
  3. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    [​IMG] Sounds fun! sad about the rotten egg, but that happens. thank goodness everyone else is fine! :)
  4. Of Three Oaks

    Of Three Oaks Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2012
    Just as a follow up:

    Out of the 6 eggs of this clutch hatched,
    One leghorn died the day after hatching which i think was a result of having them in with the rest of the flock (got trampled mabey?)
    The Cochin Baby died of exposure. It got out of the run thru some chain link and tried to get back into the coop through the chicken wire part, and unfortunetly it was a cold rainy day and it died before we got home.
    Two of the leghorns we sold at 2 month old, and the last two leghorns (I think they are hens) we have integrated with our other leghorns this last weekend.

    We ended up with two graves, 10 dollars, two leghorn hens, and experience for the next brood.
  5. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    not a terrible result! 4 for 7 the first go [​IMG]and thanks for posting this. I hope to have a broody hen some time in the next year and it is helpful to know what to expect and watch out for.
  6. chickenlady80

    chickenlady80 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2012
    Great story! Who would have thought it would be so complicated right? I had a bad experience with my first broody hen. Left her in the chicken coop on the floor with her nest and after a week and a half the other chickens were mean to her and destroyed her nest, scattered her eggs. It was a bad deal. I was soooo sad about it. So now I never leave them around other chickens - they always have their own area. Now I just have to learn to quit peaking at the eggs so much, its hard to resist candling them. :)
  7. Of Three Oaks

    Of Three Oaks Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2012
    Same Here.

    I have built a broody box in my shed and set the broody hens in there with a clutch. When the chicks get big enough i set them in the run or outside with the rest of the flock (about a week or two). Here are some pictures with two of my Maran hens sitting.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    You can tell who the messy maran is!!!

    I line the bottoms with used plastic feed bags to keep the eggs off the concrete and put in hay, water and feed. The fan is for air circulation.
    Then i turn on and off the lights every day, until "lock-down" at which point I then leave the lights off for 3 days or so to encourage longer sitting.
    And the cat if for killing mice and cuddles.

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